ENGLAND, joint favourites to win the women's rugby world championship, cleared the quarter-final hurdle by defeating Canada 24-10 at Galashiels yesterday. England won the try count by 4-1 and left the impression that they have a lot more scoring power in reserve.
Canada, although strong in defence, could not match the technical skills of the England forwards who dominated the lineouts, through some athletic jumping from Gill Burns and Heather Stirrup, who provided the bulk of England's posession from this source.
With Karen Almond, the stand-off and captain, both long and accurate with her line-kicking Canada found it difficult to get into the match.
Jacqui Edwards, the Blackheath centre, and Annie Cole, the Saracens wing, crossed for tries in the first half. The second-half scorers were Emma Mitchell and Almond, who landed two conversions. Josee LaCasse scored a late try for Canada which was converted by Natashe Shiels, who also kicked a penalty.
Wales joined England in the semi-finals, where they will meet the United States, as the result of an 8-0 victory over Scotland at Melrose.
In a closely fought match, played at a furious pace, Wales struck a telling blow ten minutes from full time when Kim Yau scored a try after the full back, Kate Richards, had come cleverly into the line. Amanda Bennet, the stand-off, missed the conversion kick but did succeed with a penalty to seal victory.
Scotland matched the Welsh in dynamic forward play but in the final reckoning the greater experience of the Welsh side and the combined skills of Lisa Burgess, a powerful No8, and Bess Evans at scrum half, provided their country with a decisive advantage.
Copyright (C) The Times, 1994
"England advance in impressive fashion; Women's Rugby." Times [London, England] 18 Apr. 1994