Defending champions England cruised into the semifinals of the Women’s Rugby World Cup with a 47-26 defeat of Pool B rivals United States in Dublin.
England cantered to a 31-7 half-time lead thanks to tries from Emily Scarratt, Marlie Packer (2), Katy McLean and a penalty try.
Simon Middleton’s side extended their lead shortly after the break as Amy Wilson-Hardy touched down before Amy Cokayne added a seventh try with over half an hour to play.
However the U.S, who had scored earlier through Kate Zachary, refused to buckle and breached the England line three times in the last 30 minutes, with a try from each of their impressive back three Cheta Emba, Naya Elena Tapper and Kris Thomas.
Thomas’ dramatic late score secured a try-scoring bonus point for the States, and they must now wait on the result of Ireland’s clash with France to see if it is enough to seal their progress to the last four.
New Zealand scored eight tries to storm into the semifinals. David Rogers/Getty Images
Earlier, New Zealand secured a convincing 48-5 win over Canada in Pool A to book their place in the semifinals and send the 2014 finalists crashing out.
First-half tries from Selica Winiata, Aldora Itunu (2), Stacey Waaka and Kelly Brazier gave the Black Ferns a commanding 29-0 lead at the break.
Fiao’o Faamausili and Renee Wickliffe both crossed the whitewash in the second half before Itunu completed her hat trick. Kendra Cockseage kicked six points, while Brazier converted her side’s final try.
Canada’s sole reply came through Jacey Grusnick’s unconverted score. Defeat for the Canucks leaves them on nine points, two points adrift of the U.S in the race for the best runner-up spot.
Spain claimed third place in Pool B with a hard-fought 22-8 victory over winless Italy at the UCD Bowl in Dublin.
Tries in the second half from Anne Fernadez, Iera Echebarria and Marina Bravogoes saw the Spanish finally break clear after the scores had been locked at 3-3 at the interval.
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WRWC: England, NZ cruise into semis
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