- Canada outscore England by three tries to two
- Graham Smith confident young England will learn from tour
England Women were unable to defend their Nations Cup crown on Sunday when they were defeated 27-13 by Canada in the final at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colorado.
This young and inexperienced squad, which included 11 new caps, were unable to tame an experienced Canadian outfit, who scored three tries to England’s two and led throughout the match.
Afterwards, acting Head Coach Graham Smith said: “This was a great effort by the players in a hugely physical match with England giving it their all. Canada were the better team today as they possessed the superior power and pace, and at times they out-muscled us at the breakdown.
“We may not have defended our title but for many reasons this has been a successful tour. All of us will be better for the experience and we look forward to meeting them again soon.”
Canada made a quick start with wing Jessica Dovanne breaking free through England’s centres after just three minutes, finding fly-half Cheryl Phillips in support, who scored under the posts. Fullback Magali Harvey added the conversion for Canada to take a 7-0 lead.
Vice-captain Ceri Large struck a 13th minute penalty to claw back three points for England, but Canada stretched their lead when a speculative kick from Dovanne bounced up nicely for wing Bianca Farella steal in for the first of her first of two tries. Again Harvey added the conversion making the score 14-3.
England hit back just before the break after some good pressure was rewarded when prop Laura Keates latched onto the end of a lineout drive to force over for England’s first try. Large couldn’t make the conversion so England trailed 14-8 at the break.
Canada’s momentum continued after the restart with Harvey slotting home two further penalties, edging the Canucks into a comfortable 20-8 lead. However, England kept their heads down and their hard work paid off.
A quick tap penalty taken by Harriet Millar-Mills saw Victoria Fleetwood, playing out of position at flanker, take a good inside ball and drive her way over the try-line. Large couldn't make the conversion, leaving the score at 20-13.
England had their chances in the final stages of the game but they failed to make them count and instead a solid Canadian lineout saw the Canucks wrest away possession, allowing Farella to show a superb turn of pace to score. Harvey again added the conversion, making the final score 27-13.
15 Kay Wilson (Bristol), 14 Lydia Thompson (Worcester), 13 Amy Wilson-Hardy (Bristol), 12 Lauren Cattell (Saracens), 11 Georgina Roberts (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 10 Ceri Large (Worcester, vice-captain), 9 Fiona Davidson (Richmond), 1 Rochelle Clark (Worcester), 2 Emma Croker (Richmond), 3 Laura Keates (Worcester), 4 Becky Essex (Richmond), 5 Rowena Burnfield (Richmond), 6 Isabelle Noel Smith (Bristol), 7 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield), 8 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield, captain).
Replacements: 16 Mercedes Foy (Thurrock), 17 Claire Purdy (Wasps), 18 Justine Lucas (Lichfield), 19 Zoe Saynor (Bristol), 20 Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield), 21 Charlotte Keane (Worcester), 22 Emily Scott (Thurrock), 23 Abigail Chamberlain (Richmond)
Tries: Keates, Fleetwood
Substitutions: Scott for Cattell (HT), Saynor for Essex (47), Chamberlain for Wilson-Hardy (51), Millar-Mills for Noel-Smith (52), Keane for Davidson (53), Foy for Croker, Lucas for Keates (both 70)
England’s Nations Cup results:
July 30: England 18 Canada 25
August 3: England 18 South Africa 17
August 8: England 36 USA 21
August 11: England 13 Canada 27