Women's Rugby World Cup: England 56-13 Italy

By James StandleyBBC Sport
Emily Scarratt tries to stretch over for England
Emily Scarratt nearly scored a hat-trick but had to settle for two tries after losing control of the ball as she tried to finish this attempt
England v Italy
England (22) 56
Tries: Scarratt 2, Matthews, Thompson 2, Cokayne, Taylor, Waterman 2, Wilson-Hardy Cons: Scarratt 2, Reed
Italy (8) 13
Tries: Magatti, Giordano Pen: Schiavon

Defending champions England made it two wins out of two in Women's Rugby World Cup Pool B as they outclassed Italy.

Emily Scarratt, Alex Matthews, Lydia Thompson and Amy Cokayne scored to help them to a 22-8 half-time lead despite several missed chances in Dublin.

They added further tries through Tamara Taylor, Scarratt again, a Danielle Waterman double, Thompson's second and Amy Wilson-Hardy.

Italy replied through efforts from Maria Magatti and Elisa Giordano.

Wales' 15-0 defeat by Canada means they cannot now reach the last four, while in the other Pool A match New Zealand annihilated tournament debutants Hong Kong 121-0.

Hosts Ireland had to fight back from a 14-0 deficit before finally subduing Japan 24-14 in Pool C, with France beating Australia 48-0.

In the other game in England's pool, the United States cruised past Spain 43-0.

Was it all good from England?

The Italians restricted England to a 29-15 win in the Six Nations earlier this year but they were no match for the Red Roses on Sunday.

Much like in their midweek thumping of Spain, England again produced plenty of classy moments but they also threw in a host of handling errors that prevented a thrashing turning into a rout.

The industrious flanker Marlie Packer was outstanding in attack and defence, one minute popping up to charge through the Italian defence near the fringes of the breakdown, the next winning a turnover at a ruck.

Rachael Burford prompted well in midfield and Katy Mclean pulled the strings effectively when she came on at 10 for the second half.

And when the ball went wide outside centre Scarratt and the lively back three of Waterman, Thompson and Wilson-Hardy all looked threatening and took the chance to add to their try tallies for England.

Their biggest concern may be the poor goal-kicking, with only three of the 10 tries converted as Scarratt, so assured in the rest of her game, left her kicking boots at home before handing over to Amber Reed.

Who are next up for the champions?

England meet the United States in what will be a pool decider on Thursday, 17 August.

World Cup Pool B

'Plenty to improve on'

England captain Emily Scarratt speaking to ITV: "It was a pretty good day. There's plenty to improve on now for a big game against the USA.

"After the first half we came out with added impetus. Italy threw everything at us and we had to try to break them down.

"We had some good spells and individuals stepped up and showed us what they can do. We're always striving to better though."

England: Danielle Waterman; Lydia Thompson, Emily Scarratt, Rachael Burford, Amy Wilson-Hardy; Amber Reed, Natasha Hunt; Rochelle Clark, Amy Cokayne, Justine Lucas, Tamara Taylor, Zoe Aldcroft, Izzy Noel-Smith, Marlie Packer, Alex Matthews.

Replacements: Heather Kerr, Vickii Cornborough, Poppy Cleall, Harriet Millar-Mills, Sarah Hunter, La Toya Mason, Katy Mclean, Megan Jones.

Italy: Manuela Furlan; Michela Sillari, Maria Grazia Cioffi, Beatrice Rigoni, Maria Magatti; Veronica Schiavon, Sara Barattin (capt); Marta Ferrari, Melissa Bettoni, Lucia Gai, Valeria Fedrighi, Alice Trevisan, Ilaria Arrighetti, Isabella Locatelli, Elisa Giordano.

Replacements: Elisa Cucchiella, Gaia Giacomoli, Sara Tounesi, Valentina Ruzza, Silvia Gaudino, Sofia Stefan, Paola Zangirolami, Veronica Madia.

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