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Home > News > Bonus point win for England Women in World Cup Opener
Your News Bonus point win for England Women in World Cup Opener

England 27 Ireland 0

Women’s Rugby World Cup 2010 hosts England opened their tournament campaign with a determined and hard fought bonus point victory against Ireland at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford on Friday evening.

Despite Ireland failing to get on the score board England’s home nation rivals really made the hosts work for the victory and by no means did the 27 points to nil score-line reflect the intensity of this encounter.

England flanker Maggie Alphonsi was deservedly named Woman of the Match. As usual the Saracen powerhouse executed some crunching tackles as well as made some superb breaks, and in the end clinched the all important bonus point try in the dying minutes of the game.

Alphonsi was, however, by no means the only star of the match with all of England’s 22 making a real impression. Fiona Pocock, Amy Turner and Katherine Merchant grabbed the tries for the backs but the forwards also dominated upfront with some powerful drives.

England Head Coach Gary Street said: “We have been training for this world cup for a very long time so to get our first win under our belts is very pleasing, and especially to get the bonus point. We did the things we wanted to do and I feel like I can say that this was a good day in the office.

“On Tuesday we’ll play Kazakhstan, so now we have got to go back and get our heads down and start concentrating on that match. There are things we must improve on and hopefully we can execute them for our second encounter.”

England put the pressure on Ireland straight from the first whistle, and in fact went close to scoring when Ireland immediately lost possession. But the hosts had to wait a few more minutes when some constant pressure saw fullback Danielle Waterman find a space and then offload. Richmond wing Fiona Pocock was waiting on the left wing, and took on the ball to score after eight minutes. Fly-half and vice captain Katy McLean added the conversion. The early try was not necessarily a sign of things to come though with Ireland holding firm.

England continued to dominate possession and territory, with Alphonsi one of a number of players making some good breaks. Ireland, however, came close to scoring when they managed to break from their half but a superb cover tackle by Waterman put an end to that challenge.

England gathered pace just before half time with Merchant taking the second try. An England line-out saw the ball spun into the midfield, and Alphonsi took it on. She smashed her way through Ireland’s defence but couldn’t make the try line though. England were, however, in support and got the ball out to the right wing and a good pass by McLean set Merchant up for the score on the right wing. McLean this time couldn’t make the conversion, or a penalty and England went into half time with a 12-0 lead.

Ireland’s steely determination didn’t falter after the restart, as they continued to force England to graft for every point they chased. Their fullback, Niamh Briggs, had a good shot at a drop goal but the wind sent the ball wayward.

England, however, did capitalise on their points scoring chances and their pressure paid off with scrum half Amy Turner barging her way over the try line in the right corner on 56 minutes.

The fourth and bonus point try looked for some time it might elude England though with Ireland refusing to give up. McLean managed to stroke over a penalty but England had to wait for Alphonsi to grab the last gasp 76th minute score.

England will now play Kazakhstan on Tuesday 24th August at Surrey Sports Park, kick off 630pm.

For WRWC 2010 tickets visit the Ticketmaster website or call 0844 844 2010. Rugby fans who buy tickets for the WRWC 2010 will also be put on a priority ticketing information list for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England. For a full schedule of fixtures and to follow England in the WRWC visit


15 Danielle Waterman (Worcester), 14 Katherine Merchant (Worcester), 13 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), 12 Rachael Burford ( Richmond), 11Fiona Pocock (Richmond), 10 Katy McLean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 9 Amy Turner (Richmond), 1 Rochelle Clark (Team Northumbria), 2 Amy Garnett (Saracens), 3 Sophie Hemming (Bristol), 4 Becky Essex (Richmond), 5 Jo McGilchrist (Wasps), 6 Heather Fisher (Worcester), 7 Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens), 8 Catherine Spencer (Bristol). Replacements: 16 Emma Crocker (Richmond), 17 Claire Purdy (Wasps), 18 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 19 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield), 20 La Toya Mason (Wasps), 21 Alice Richardson(Richmond), 22 Charlotte Barras (Saracens)

Tries: Pocock, Merchant, Turner, Alphonsi

Conversions: McLean (2)

Penalties: McLean

Drop Goals:

Substitutions: Richardson for Burford, Purdy for Hemming, Taylor for Essex, Hunter for Fisher (all 61), Turner for Mason (72), Barras for Merchant, Croker for Garnett.


15 Niamh Briggs, 14 Amy Davis, 13 Jo O'Sullivan, 12 Lynne Cantwell, 11 Nora Stapleton, 10 Helen Brosnan, 9 Tania Rosser, 1 Fiona Coghlan (C), 2 Gillian Bourke, 3 Louise Austin, 4 Kate O'Loughlin, 5 Marie Louise Reilly, 6 Orla Brennan, 7 Claire Molloy, 8 Joy Neville. Replacements: 16 Yvonne Nolan, 17 Laura Guest, 18 Carol Staunton, 19 Sinead Ryan, 20 Louise Beamish, 21 Shannon Houston, 22 Mairead Kelly.




Drop Goals:

Referee: Sarah Corrigan

Assistant Referees: Kerstin Ljungdahl & Barbara Guastini

Half time score: England 12 Ireland 0

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