Rugby Union: England women march on

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The Independent Online
DRAWING on a patriotic intensity generated by a crowd of over 3,000, Scotland stayed in touch with England for an hour before losing 26-0 in their Women's World Championship match in Edinburgh last night, writes Bill Leith.

Gavin Hastings, the Scottish men's captain who had broken down in tears at the denouement of the Calcutta Cup, was there to see his counterpart, Kim Littlejohn, take defeat stoically.

In fact, the Scots were entitled to take pride in their performance considering it was only their fifth international and their first against England.

Given first use of a strong wind, England led 11-0 at half-time through two penalties by Deidre Mills and a try when Paula George managed to break a midfield stalemate.

Scotland produced some aggressive passages featuring Debbie Francis, Pogo Paterson and Jenni Sheerin, but England killed the contest with tries in rapid succession by Claire Vyvyan, who intercepted on the home 22, and Helen Harding.

England now face Canada tomorrow at Galashiels. In other quarter-finals, France meet Japan, while the United States, the holders, who trounced the Japanese 121-0 at Melrose, take on Ireland.

England: Tries George, Vyvyan, Harding; Conversion Mills; Penalties Mills 3.

SCOTLAND: M Cave (Saracens); L Burns (Aberdeen Univ), P Paterson (Richmond), K Littlejohn (Edinburgh Acads, capt), D Francis; A McGrandles (Richmond), S Williamson (Edinburgh Acads); D Lochhead (Dundee), I Ferguson (Edinburgh Univ), D Aitken (West), L Cockburn, M McHardy (Edinburgh Acads), I Wilson, D Barnett (Wasps), J Sheerin (Heriot Watt Univ).

ENGLAND: P George; C Stennet, C Vyvyan, G Pragnell (Wasps), V Blackett (Clifton); D Mills (Richmond), H Harding (Wasps); C Bronks, S Dorrington (Richmond, capt), E Scourfield (Leeds), K Henderson (Novocastrians), H Stirrup, K Jenn, J Chambers (Wasps), G Shore (Richmond).

Referee: J Fleming (Boroughmuir).