England Women dominate Canada with 50-24 win in Exeter

England were in good form against Canada ahead of WXV
©Photo by Hagen Hopkins - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

England 50-24 Canada, Exeter

Helena Rowland and Ellie Kildunne scored two tries each as England Women dominated Canada with a 50-24 win in the first of the two-game series in Exeter on Saturday.

The two teams will meet again on 30th September for the second and final game of the series at StoneX Stadium.

This was also England's first win under interim head coach Louis Deacon, who replaced their most successful coach ever Simon Middleton as he completed his eight-year association with the team.

England hooker Lark Atkin-Davies also made her 50th appearance for the red rose team, who started the game on an attacking manner as Abby Dow collected a crossfield kick before offloading to Helena Rowland for the opening try inside two minutes. Rowland also landed a difficult conversion to make it 7-0.

England stretched their lead further with this time Marlie Packer dotting down at the back of a maul before Justine Pelletier with her dive from close range got Canada their first points in the 11th minute making it 12-7.

The gap between the two teams remained at five points by the end of the first quarter as Mackenzie Carson and Tyson Beukeboom traded tries but England stepped up gears Ellie Kildunne exhibiting quick footwork after collecting the ball wide and going past the Canadian defenders and Lucy Packer followed the suit in the half-hour mark.

Rowland kicked both the conversions as England completed the opening half with a 31-12 lead.

Canada looked promising early in the second half but they lost the possession couple of times leaving England unharmed. Holly Aitchison and Connie Powell combined to help Kildunne complete her second with Rowland improving but their efforts was negated when Canada hooker Emily Tuttosi forced her way over in the 58th minute making it 38-19.

Canada had a glimmer of hope when Olivia Apps made the break for Madison Grant's try reducing the deficit to 14 points heading into the final quarter but England ensured there was no slip up as further tries from Rowland and debutant Maisy Allen ensuring they breached the 50-point mark and a comfortable victory against their last year's World Cup semi-finals opponent.

Team line up:

England: Kildunne; Breach, Rowland, Heard, Dow; Aitchison, L Packer; Carson, Atkin-Davies, Bern, Galligan, O'Donnell, Talling, M Packer (capt), Aldcroft.

Reserves: Powell, Botterman, Muir, Beckett, Allen, Hunt, Jones, MacDonald.

Canada: Tessier; Farries, Bermudez, Grant, Symonds; Gallagher, Pelletier; Hunt, Tuttosi, Menin, Beukeboom, Holtkamp, Senft, Forteza, De Goede.

Reserves: Boag, DeMerchant, Ellis, Royer, Svoboda, Apps, Perry, Harvey.