By Cassandra Chin
Aggressive from the start, the final game of the Nations Cup 2011 had power teams England and Canada battle against each other at Appleby College in Oakville, Ontario. It was in the second half of the game England overpowered Canada to win 41-19.
Canada exchanged penalty kicks to knot the score at 3-3 ten minutes into the game.
England pushed hard with a solid offense that had the hosting country scramble for solid ground. A scrum to Canada was broken down twice before England was given the reign. Margaret Alphonsi, placed in an open position, ran through the Canadian defences to get the first try. Scarratt easily scored the conversion to give England the lead 10-3.
Dressed in their red jersey’s, Canada delivered a kick deep into England’s zone, but a breakaway from Kelsey Willoughby was halted midstride, as were several other attempts from the hosting team.
A fast-paced game, a second try was quickly taken by England’s Kat Merchant, along with the conversion by Scarratt to pull away at 17-3. Canada returned the fire with some brilliant footwork, as Jen Kish bypassed several defenders to score a try t make the score 17-8.
A penalty kick to Canada at halftime put the score to 17-11.
The second half of the game proved to be difficult for the Canadian team, as England’s continued strength in offense and defense seemed to overwhelm the hosting nation. The speed of the game went from high intensity to a slow burn, where the slightest misstep caused the attacking team to falter.
Quick to attack, England’s winger Kay Wilson scored the first try, shortly followed by a penalty kick to Canada’s Cheryl Phillips that placed the score at 22-14. The game was a show of strength and agility, where England kept the score at a large margin and Canada played catch-up.
Another two tries by Sarah Hunter and Claire Allen, and the conversion by Scarratt allowed England a wide berth of 34-14, yet the visiting team did not let up as the time dwindled down.
A valiant effort from Canada’s backs allowed inside centre Mandy Marchak a last minute try against England’s formerly impenetrable defence.
Canada’s Head Coach John Tait stated the team fell off their game plan.
“We lost out on a lot of one-on-one tackles and let it get to us. We have to work on our tackles because our top players are lacking it right now. We have three years now to work towards the World Cup that we now need to address.”
It was England who had the last say of the game, as a quick surge by Alphonsi gave England another try, and her second, before the end of the game. The conversion kick by Scarratt was put smoothly through the posts that resulted in the final score of 41-19 to England.
For England, Head Coach Gary Street said, “It was a fantastic experience we’ve had and it was a chance test our players out, as well as see the other teams.”
In the battle for third place the USA beat South Africa 29-9.
England placed first, Canada second, U.S.A. third in the 2011 Nations Cup
Final Score: England 41 – Canada 19
Canada Tries: Kish, Marchak
Canada Penalties: Berk, Phillips (2)
England Tries: Alphonsi (2), Merchant, Wilson, Hunter, Allen,
England Conversions: Scarratt (3), Phillips, Mclean,
England Penalties: Scarratt
Canadian Roster vs. England
1. Laura Russell (Toronto Nomads)
2. Kim Donaldson (Burnaby Lake RFC)
3. Brandi van Eeuwen (Lethbridge RFC)
4. Danielle Rowlands (Calgary Hornets)
5. Maria Jaworski (Calgary Hornets)
6. Kelsey Willoughby (Lethbridge RFC)
7. Jen Kish (Lep Tigers)
8. Kelly Russell (Toronto Nomads) ©
9. Laura Stoughton (Calgary Hornets)
10. Ghislaine Landry (Toronto Scottish)
11. Julianne Zussman (Town of Mount Royal RFC)
12. Mandy Marchak (Capilano)
13. Andrea Burk (Capilano)
14. Cheryl Phillips (Toronto Scottish)
15. Brittany Waters
16. Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid (Club de Rugby de Québec)
17. Ashley MacDonald
18. Megan Gibbs
19. Kayla Mack
20. Julia Sugawara
21. Jessica Dovanne
22. Arielle Dubissette-Borrice
Head Coach: John Tait
Assistant Coach: Sandro Fiorino
Specialist Coach: Gary Dukelow
Manager: Penny Delaney
Therapist: Darren Wharrie
Therapist: Jason White
Press Officer: Jeff Hull, Cassandra Chin
England Roster vs. Canada
1. Claire Purdy (Wasps)
2. Amy Garnett (Saracens)
3. Sophie Hemming ( )
4. Tamara Taylor (Worchester)
5. Rowena Burnfield (Richmond)
6. Rebecca Essex (Richmond)
7. Maggie Alphonsi (Saracens)
8. Sarah Hunter (Lichfield)
9. La Toya Mason (Wasps)
10. Katy McLean (Darlington Mowden Park) ©
11. Kay Wilson ()
12. Alice Richardson (Richmond)
13. Clare Allan (Richmond)
14. Kat Merchant
15. Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)
16. Vicky Fleetwood
17. Rochelle Clark (Richmond)
18. Jenny Brightmore (Worchester)
19. Marlie Packer
20. Natasha Hunt (Lichfield)
21. Sarah McKenna (Old Albanians)
22. Michaela Staniford (Wasps)
Head Coach: Gary Street
Assistant Coach: Graham Smith
Manager: Janette Shaw
Doctor: Jo Larkin
Physiotherapist: Jill Chapman
S&C Coach: Dan Howells
Video Analyst: Dave Gardner
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