Fast start sees England Women battle to victory over 14-player Canada

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England recorded a 29-12 victory to do the double over Canada at the StoneX Stadium.

The visitors had to play over an hour with 14 players after Gabrielle Senft was sent off for a high tackle on Hannah Botterman in the 17th minute.

They trailed 10-0 at that point as Marlie Packer and Ellie Kildunne had scored tries in the opening 13 minutes for England.

Canada made a fight of it despite their numerical disadvantage but further tries from Maud Muir, Amber Reed and Jess Breach secured victory for the Red Roses.

Captain Packer, who touched down during the 50-24 win at Sandy Park last weekend against the same opposition, got the scoring started when she forced the ball over from a dominant driving maul.


Kildunne doubled the hosts’ score after 13 minutes following some good pressing, with a second conversion from Meg Jones unsuccessful.

After Senft’s dismissal, Canada reduced the deficit through a 26th-minute Sara Svoboda try.

But England crossed the whitewash again through Muir on the stroke of half-time, with Jones this time adding the extras to make it 17-5 at the break.

The Red Roses extended their lead further 10 minutes into the second half as Bristol’s Reed found a gap in the Canada defence and pounced over. Jones was again on target with the conversion.

Breach crossed over following a great run from Jones to put England’s victory beyond doubt – moments after replacement scrum-half Lucy Packer limped off. Canada reduced the deficit through a converted Taylor Perry try late on but the Red Roses comfortably held on.

Player of the match Reed felt the contest was a proper workout for the team.

She told the Red Roses Youtube channel: “It was a tough game. Them getting the red card really galvanised them and after that, it was about us getting back on top and getting back into the game.

“They’re always going to be physical, they’re always going to work hard. We definitely played in the right areas. They put us in some difficult situations we really had to work to get out of.

“Also, fair play to them. Another step on from last week, with both teams really going at it and another great Test match everyone wants to see.”

The global WXV tournament gets under way in three weeks and Reed feels England are on course in their preparations for the opening match against Australia.


She said: “We’ve definitely got things to fix up on still, but where we started from five weeks ago, we’ve really tried to implement our game plan and it’s definitely coming – just a few little tweaks.

“I think it’s testament to how we’ve trained over the past few weeks, how the team last week and the team this week can go out and perform how we want to play. We’re really excited heading into the WXV.”

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