Daryl Holden in Barcelona
England 53, Canada 10
ENGLAND produced a remarkable turnaround in form yesterday to outclass Canada and power into the women's rugby World Cup final here. Having been disappointing in their opening tournament wins over Italy and Spain, England finally rediscovered their touch, scoring eight tries to Canada's two, to set up an eagerly-awaited final against New Zealand on Saturday.
Last night, the Black Ferns, New Zealand's defending champions, proved much too good for France in the second semi-final, winning 30-0, but they will have to be at their best to hold on to their title.
England will take much confidence into the final after destroying Canada in searing heat. They produced a high-class running game, with backs and forwards combining superbly.
Geoff Richards, the England coach, who was worried by his team's poor form, was pleased with the effort. "We always knew we were capable of playing good rugby and they really put it together," he said. "What was really pleasing was that they followed the game plan to the letter."
England certainly did that and they had stars all over the field. No one was better than Gill Burns, the No 8. She was dynamic, making powerful runs from the base of the scrum and out in the midfield in a commanding display.
Burns led a forward effort to which Canada had no answer. They struggled in the set-pieces, their scrum lost two against the head and they lost six of their own lineouts.
Sue Day, the centre, was again polished in all she did. She finished attacks superbly to grab four tries by backing up but she was also rock solid in defence and one withering 50-metre run from a counter-attack led to a try for Nicola Crawford, the right wing.
SCORERS: England: Tries: Day 4 (17min, 29, 54, 75), Crawford 2 (24, 52), Feltham 2 (9, 37). Conversions: Rae 2. Penalty goals: Rae 3 (4, 31, 40). Canada: Tries: McAuley 2 (36, 62).
SCORING SEQUENCE:3-0, 8-0, 15-0, 20-0, 25-0, 28-0, 28-5, 31-5 (half-time), 38 5, 43-5, 48-5, 48-10, 53-10.
ENGLAND: P George; N Crawford (rep: N Jupp, 75), S Day, A De Biase (rep: S Rudge, 75), E Feltham; S Rae, E Mitchell (rep: S Appleby, 62); M Edwards (rep: V Huxford, 40), A O'Flynn, T O'Reilly, K Henderson (rep: J Sutton, 50), T Andrews, J Phillips (rep: C Frost, 40), H Clayton, G Burns.
Scotland chase fifth place
SCOTLAND will have to defeat Australia if they are go live up to their fifth place seeding after beating Spain more easily than the 23-16 scoreline suggests yesterday.
After a solid opening, tries from Angela Hutt, the wing, and Fiona Gillanders, the flanker, gave Scotland a 13-6 advantage at half-time, Paula Chalmers kicking a penalty.
After the break, Niki McDonald, the centre, scored the third try, converted by Chalmers, who added a penalty.
The Times (London, England) (May 22, 2002): p39