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Lark Atkin-Davies scores four tries as England thrash Canada in WXV1

England 45-12 Canada: Jess Breach notches her 35th try in dominant Red Roses victory

Tom Harle
Friday 27 October 2023 12:26 BST
(AFP via Getty Images)

“Bring on New Zealand” was the cry from the Red Roses after they dispatched Canada 45-12.

Lark Atkin-Davies became the first hooker to score four tries in a women’s test as England scored seven in a convincing win in Dunedin.

Attention quickly turns to a rematch of the World Cup final, the only fixture worthy of bringing down the curtain on the inaugural WXV1.

England interim coach Louis Deacon said: "We don't get to play New Zealand very often, it will be a great occasion again. That's why this competition is exciting." The clash with the Black Ferns in Auckland will be by far the sternest test faced by Deacon’s side and the reference point for incoming supremo John Mitchell.

England backed up a 42-7 opening romp past Australia with another clinical performance, almost identical in terms of winning margin but a little more complicated than the numbers suggest.

Ellie Kildunne drew first blood on eight minutes, pouncing on a fumble behind the Canadian try line to dot down and Holly Aitchison, perfect from the tee against Australia, making her first conversion.

In the 20 minutes that followed, Canada gain a foothold through a strong set piece and England experienced a rare spell on the back foot, their opponents moving the ball well.

Canada burst through and were only denied a try when Aitchison knocked down a pass, for which she saw yellow, and Emily Tuttosi finished off a lineout drive to make it 7-5 on 30 minutes.

Having been briefly beaten at their own game at the lineout, England riposte was swift and brutal, Atkin-Davies crashing over twice from rolling mauls before the half-time whistle blew.

Canada landed a second blow when Shoshanah Seumanutafa picked up a loose ball and Paige Farries ran 50 metres to reduce the arrears. But it was one way traffic from there, Atkin-Davies scoring another two tries in five minutes and their opponents going down to 14 with Julia Schell sin-binned for a dangerous tackle.

England added sheen to the scoreline in the closing minutes as Jess Breach notched her 35th England try and Claudia MacDonald crossed.

(Getty Images)

The Canadian defence was far more disciplined than Australia's which made England work harder to build phases, making for a useful warm-up for next week's titanic tussle.

England captain Marlie Packer said: "Full credit to Canada, they came at us for the full 80 minutes as we knew they would, but the way we finished the game is something I'm super proud of.

"It's about the team, they are all phenomenal players. I want to put my best performance on whenever I get on the pitch."

Deacon added: "It was a good game, a very tough game, exactly what we needed. I'm pleased we were tested by Canada, especially around the set pieces."

::All matches will be broadcast live so back your nation on ITV X.

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