England have won their opening 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup game with a convincing 56-5 win over Spain.
The Red Roses produced an entertaining attacking performance against the eighth-ranked side in the world as they scored 10 tries in the first game.
Megan Jones and a hat-trick from Kay Wilson gave England a 24-5 half time lead at the UCD Bowl in Dublin as Spain crossed just before the break after a quick tap penalty.
Replacement Emily Scarratt scored two minutes into the second half, with Harriet Millar-Mills, Alex Matthews, Amy Cokayne, Lydia Thompson and a fourth from Wilson putting England past the 50-point mark.
It was a 10th Test win in a row for England as they got off to a winning start in Dublin, with Italy and USA still to come.
Simon Middleton said: ‘Full credit to Spain, they never stopped coming at us and that is a taste of what we are going to get in every game. The score doesn’t reflect how well they played.
‘First half we didn’t match their work rate, we made a few too many errors with the ball and were a little bit too impatient. We talked at half time about playing to our processes a bit more, working hard and working to create better opportunities and we did that.
‘I was really pleased as we developed through the game which is a good sign. It’s a great start for us and there is plenty more to come.’
England captain Sarah Hunter also commented: “We’re really happy to get a good win under our belts and get the first game done. Spain came at us and caused problems at times. We had to really dig in but it’s pleasing to get a run out. There is certainly a lot for us to look back at and improve on for our next game.”
England match-day 23 against Spain, Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017
15. Danielle Waterman (Bristol, 71 caps)
14. Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries, 33 caps)
13. Megan Jones (Bristol, 5 caps)
12. Rachael Burford (Harlequins Ladies, 68 caps)
11. Kay Wilson (Richmond, 46 caps)
10. Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 87 caps)
9. Leanne Riley (Harlequins Ladies, 12 caps)
1. Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Ladies, 27 caps)
2. Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 9 caps)
3. Sarah Bern (Bristol, 12 caps)
4. Abbie Scott (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 18 caps)
5. Zoe Aldcroft (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 5 caps)
6. Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield, 47 caps)
7. Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol, 33 caps)
8. Sarah Hunter (Bristol, 94 caps) ©
16. Amy Cokayne (Lichfield, 29 caps)
17. Rochelle Clark (Worcester Valkyries, 125 caps)
18. Justine Lucas (Lichfield, 23 caps)
19. Poppy Cleall (Bristol, 13 caps)
20. Alex Matthews (Richmond, 33 caps)
21. La Toya Mason (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 67 caps)
22. Amber Reed (Bristol, 40 caps)
23. Emily Scarratt (Lichfield, 70 caps) (VC)
Schedule Pool B
England 56 – 5 Spain
Tries: Jones, Wilson (4), Scarratt, Millar-Mills, Matthews, Cokayne, Thompson
Conversions: Mclean (2), Scarratt
England v Italy
Sunday 13 August – Billings Park UCD, Dublin (KO 2.30pm)
Live coverage ITV1 from 2pm
England v USA
Thursday 17 August – Billings Park UCD, Dublin (KO 2.30pm)
Live coverage ITV4 from 2pm