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Home > News > England Women go into Semis as top seeds
Your News England Women go into Semis as top seeds

England 37 USA 10

England head into the Women’s Rugby World Cup semi finals as top seeds after a third consecutive bonus point win in the pool stages, this time over America, at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford on Saturday evening.

The host nation will now take on Australia at the Twickenham Stoop on Wednesday September 1st, kick off 815pm, with Australia qualifying as the best runner up. Reigning world champions New Zealand meanwhile take on France in the other semi final at the Stoop, kick off 6pm.

England, who had already defeated Ireland and Kazakhstan, booked their place in the final four with a well earned and impressive 37-10 victory. Full back Danielle Waterman grabbed a brace of tries and Katherine Merchant, Emily Scarratt, Amber Penrith and Margaret Alphonsi also all touched down.

Again, the scoreline by no means reflected the intensity of this encounter with America firing on all cylinders with nothing to lose going into this clash. As predicted the USA were physical and battle hardened and it wasn’t until half time that England looked comfortable in securing the top seed position.

England put the pressure on early doors though and were immediately camped on the Eagles’ try line, but the US held firm and drove them back. The USA then managed to overturn England but a poor clearance kick saw an on form Charlotte Barras pounce on the ball and charge back up field. Waterman was in support and Barras offloaded to the full back, who showed a tremendous turn of speed to carve her way through the US defence and score after just three minutes. McLean didn’t make the conversion, but managed to overcome the blustery conditions to slot home a penalty after 13 minutes.

The tempo of the match remained fast with the USA looking dangerous when their wingers got the ball, and after some good pressure by the underdogs they went close to scoring, only for flanker Alphonsi to stop them in their tracks. The ball, however, was recycled out to the left wing and wing Natalie Marchino showed her pace to charge her way over the line and score the first points against England all tournament.

With just three points separating the two sides with half an hour gone, the game was tense but England showed their superiority with skipper Catherine Spencer going close twice with some good pick and drives.

It was, however, wing Merchant who handed England some breathing space with a 34th minute try thanks to a well executed chip through by Katy McLean. Waterman then secured England a more comfortable 20-5 lead at half time with a late try. With the home side taking advantage of a US sin binning she found the space in the midfield to carve her way through America’s defence.

Heading into the second half with just one try needed to secure the bonus point win, England came back out fighting. Some good pressure gave them territory, and that paid off when scrum half Amy Turner got the ball out to the right wing through McLean, Waterman and then Scarratt. Centre Scarratt, who had been well marked all evening, barged her way through the defence to score the all important fourth try on the right wing.

America were by no means down and out though, and scrum half Kim Magrini secured their second try on 67 minutes. Fly half Christy Ringgenberg couldn’t add the conversion though and they were soon back chasing England with the home side back in the driving seat.

Replacement Amber Penrith ran in try number five for England before Alphonsi took the last try of the evening in extra time to the rapturous applause of the sell out Guildford crowd.

England Head Coach Gary Street said: “I'm pleased with that performance, we certainly would have taken that before the match started. The girls really showed their determination and physicality tonight. The forwards were tremendous and set the platform, and the backs capitalised. This was a good day in the office.

“The Americans really hit the breakdowns hard and they put in some hard tackling. I think we just kept our resolve, and in the second half especially we played in the right areas and took our chances when they came.

“Australia next and that is going to be an exciting one. We have never played them before so there is a sense of the unknown here. They won the Rugby World Cup 7s last year so we know they are used to the big stage, and I think it is going to make for a really thrilling semi final clash.”

For WRWC 2010 tickets visit the Ticketmaster website or call 0844 844 2010. The semi finals and final will be held at the Twickenham Stoop. 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 Charlotte Barras (Saracens), 13 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), 12 Rachael Burford ( Richmond), 11 Katherine Merchant (Worcester), 10 Katy McLean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) (Vice-Captain), 9 La Toya Mason (Wasps), 1 Rochelle Clark (Team Northumbria), 2 Amy Garnett (Saracens), 3 Sophie Hemming (Bristol), 4 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 5 Jo McGilchrist (Wasps), 6 Sarah Hunter(Lichfield), 7 Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens), 8 Catherine Spencer (Bristol) (Captain), Replacements: 16 Emma Croker (Richmond), 17 Rosemarie Crowley (Lichfield), 18 Becky Essex (Richmond), 19 Sarah Beale (Lichfield), 20 Amy Turner (Richmond), 21 Amber Penrith (Worcester), 22 Fiona Pocock (Richmond).

Tries: Waterman (2), Merchant, Scarratt, Penrith, Alphonsi

Conversions: McLean (2)

Penalties: McLean

Drop Goals

Substitutions: Turner for Mason (51), Beale for Spencer, Croker for Garnett (57), Crowley for Clark, Essex for McGilchrist, Penrith for Merchant (all 63), Pocock for Scarratt (68)


15 Ashley English (C), 14 Vanesha McGee, 13 Amy Daniels, 12 Lynelle Kugler, 11 Nathalie Marchino, 10 Christy Ringgenberg, 9 Kim Magrini, 1 Farrah Douglas, 2 Lisa Butts, 3 Jamie Burke, 4 Blair Groefsema, 5 Sharon Blaney, 6 Phaidra Knight, 7 Kristin Zdanczewicz, 8 Mel Denham. Replacements: 16 Maurin Wallace, 17 Lara Vivolo, 18 Kitt Wagner, 19 Stacey Bridges, 20 Claudia Knudsen-Braymer, 21 Mel Kanuk, 22 Victoria Folayan

Tries: Marchino, Magrini



Drop Goals

Referee: Nicky Inwood

Assistant Referees: Joyce Henry & Gabriel Lee

Half time score:England 20 USA 5

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