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Nations Cup glory for England Women
RFU
August 24, 2008

England Women added the Nations Cup crown to their already bulging silverware cabinet this season after a hard fought 43-9 victory against Canada on Sunday at Esher RFC.

The reigning RBS 6 Nations and European champions ran in seven tries with Clifton full-back Danielle Waterman and Henley prop Rochelle Clark grabbing braces of tries. The victory secures England the title after a thrilling 17-14 win over the USA on Friday evening.

England Head Coach Gary Street said: "I am immensely proud of the players. To come through three games in six days and win a tournament is a fantastic achievement. This tournament win is about all 30 of our squad players, because all of them have played a massive part in our success.

"Today's game was tough, but the second-half especially highlighted everything we have been working towards over the last 12 months. The players demonstrated their determination and passion and I'm delighted for them."

England had to work hard for the win again though, only leading 12-9 at half-time but then an outstanding second-half performance, that saw vice captain and fly-half Katy McLean controlling the game superbly, saw England run riot.

Canada initially pushed ahead in the early stages and were rewarded with a third minute Anna Schnell penalty. But England hit back with Saracens flanker Maggie Alphonsi handing England a 7-5 lead.

Saracens wing Charlotte Barras had come close to touching down, but a high tackle saw England awarded a penalty. McLean dropped the ball in the corner and England then took the clean line-out ball to drive forward, with Alphonsi picking up and charging over the line. McLean converted to take a 7-3 lead.

That advantage was, however, short lived for the home side as Canada clawed back two penalties to take a 9-7 lead with little time left on the clock before half time. England never gave up though, and battled to get the lead back at half-time.

The hosts pressurized Canada's line and a good line-out, catch and drive so England come close, but they were held up at the line. A well worked scrum followed and England got the ball out to the left wing and a good pass by youngster Emily Scarratt saw Waterman run in to score. McLean missed the conversion but England importantly had a 12-9 lead at half-time.

England and Canada both missed penalties early after the restart, but the home side soon established an important lead after recycling the ball through several phases of play in Canada's 22. Wasps wing Michaela Staniford then found space and muscled her way over the line. McLean added the conversion to establish a ten point cushion.

England's run continued and eight minutes later Henley's Clark drove her way over the line from a good line-out and again McLean converted, before Waterman ran in for another converted try.

Try number six was another great team effort with England relentless in attack and substitute Kat Merchant took the spoils to take a very comfortable 38-9 lead, before prop Clark polished off a great second-half performance with her second try of the afternoon.

England and Canada meet again on Friday evening at Esher RFC for a friendly rematch, while Canada and the USA will play off for the runners-up spot on Tuesday, also at Esher. Both games kick-off at 7pm.

England
1 Rochelle Clark (Henley), 2 Amy Garnett (Saracens), 3 Katy Storie (Blaydon Team Northumbria), 4 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 5 Joanna McGilchrist (Wasps), 6 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield), 7 Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens), 8 Catherine Spencer (C) (Bath), 9 Amy Turner (Richmond), 10 Katy McLean (vc) (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 11 Michaela Staniford (Wasps), 12 Kim Oliver (Clifton), 13 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), 14 Charlotte Barras (Saracens), 15 Danielle Waterman (Clifton).

Replacements: 16 Emma Layland (Richmond), 17 Sophie Hemming (Clifton), 18 Natalie Binstead (Wasps), 19 Karen Jones (Richmond), 20 Alice Richardson ( Richmond), 21 Kat Merchant (Worcester), 22 Francesca Matthews (Richmond).

Tries: Alphonsi, Waterman (2), Staniford, Clark (2), Merchant,
Conversions: McLean (4)
Penalties:

Substitutions: Richardson for Oliver (HT), Jones for Hunter (45), Hemming for Storie, Layland for Garnett (both 64), Merchant for Barras (68), Matthews for Staniford (69), Binstead for Taylor (73), Garnett for Spencer (76 blood).

Canada
1 LESLIE CRIPPS (SARACENS), 2 LESLEY MCKENZIE (RAVENS), 3 HEATHER MCDONALD (EDMONTON ROCKERS), 4 MEGAN GIBBS (TORONTO IRISH), 5 MARIE-EVE (BRINDAMOUR-CARIGNAN UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA (SA)), 6 HEATHER JAQUES (CAPILANO), 7 GILLIAN (FLORENCE ST. ANNE DE BELLVUE), 8 KATIE MURRAY (LEP TIGERS), 9 JULIA SUGAWARA (BURNABY LAKE), 10 ANNA SCHNELL (BURNABY LAKE), 11 MARIA GALLO (AT LARGE), 12 SARAH ULMER (SARACENS), 13 MANDY MARCHAK (CAPILANO), 14 MEGHAN MUTRIE (JOHNSONVILLE (NZ)), 15 ASHLEY PATZER (LETHBRIDGE).

Replacements: 16 KIM DONALDSON (BURNABY LAKE), 17 MARLENE DONALDSON (VELOX VALKYRIES), 18 KELLY RUSSELL (TORONTO NOMADS), 19 BARB MERVIN (VELOX VALKYRIES), 20 JENNIFER KISH (EDMONTON ROCKERS), 21 BROOKE HILDITCH (YEOMEN), 22 JULIANNE ZUSSMAN (TOWN OF MOUNT ROYAL)

Penalties: Schnell (3)

Half-time score: England 12 Canada 9

Referee: Terry Hall
Touch judges: Claire Hodnett and Natalie Amor

Match Schedule:
England v USA, August 19th at Esher RFC, KO 7pm WON 50-3
England v USA August 22nd at Esher RFC Nations Cup, KO 7pm WON 17-14
England v Canada August 24th at Esher RFC Nations Cup, KO 5pm WON 43-9
USA v Canada August 26th at Esher RFC Nations Cup, KO 7pm
England v Canada August 29th at Esher RFC, KO 7pm