Sunday sees Day Two of the Women’s Rugby World Cup get underway at UCD in Dublin and after a blistering opening day to the tournament on Wednesday, supporters will be hoping for some more high-octane action.
Some countries have already laid down a serious marker and further wins tomorrow for those teams could all but see them through to the tournament’s semi-final stage.
Here we take a look at the lay of the land in each Pool of the competition.
Pool A – New Zealand, Wales, Canada and Hong Kong.
In Pool A (the pool of death), the Black Ferns recorded a 44-12 victory over Wales and the Welsh side just couldn’t live with the power and pace shown by the New Zealanders.
Selica Winiata was phenomenal in that game and she finished her days work with a hat-trick of tries to her name.
New Zealand are up against Hong Kong who were absolutely outclassed by Canada on Wednesday. Expect a bonus point victory for the Black Ferns and pole position in the group.
Canada are up against Wales and the ladies from the valleys know a win is vital if they want to have any hope of advancing to the semi-finals. Canada will be the favourites here and a win would see a mouth-watering match take place between them and the Black Ferns next week.
New Zealand v Hong Kong – 12:00 Billings Park
Canada v Wales – 17:00 Billings Park
Pool B – England, Spain, USA and Italy.
In Pool B, the tournament favourites, England, recorded a comprehensive victory over Spain with the game finishing 56-5 to the only professional side in the competition. There was no shortage of impressive performances from the English, with Kay Wilson and Katy McLean combining to produce one of the tries of the tournament. England will face Italy at Billings Park on Sunday and although they will expect a sterner test, they should prevail and remain top of Pool B.
England will face Italy at Billings Park on Sunday and although they will expect a sterner test, they should prevail and remain top of Pool B.
Emily Scarratt who started on the bench the last day will be making a start against the Italians which just shows the strength in depth the English have at their disposal.
The USA are up against Spain and they will look to make it two wins from two after beating Italy 24-12 on the opening day. A win here will set up a winner takes all clash with the Red Roses next week.
England v Italy – 14:30 Billings Park
USA v Spain – 14:45 UCD Bowl
Pool C – Ireland, Australia, Japan and France
Undoubtedly the most exciting game of the tournament so far was the narrow 19-17 victory for Ireland over Australia at the UCD Bowl. Ireland clung on for their opening win and they should be able to produce a much more assured performance against Japan who themselves were hammered by France 72-14.
The French will be up against the Wallaroos and the Australians know that they can’t afford any more slip ups if they are to reach the semi-finals.
Ireland v Japan – 17:15 UCD Bowl
France v Australia – 19:45 UCD Bowl