Day One wrap: #WRWC2014
irb.com 02 Aug 2014 Getty Images
Ireland beat their Pool B rivals USA in a match that could be crucial for the progress of the girls in green, while Australia and England impressed in their pool openers.
Pool A: Canada and England start with wins
Canada 31-7 Spain
Canada secured four tries that earned them a winning bonus point with an impressive display against the Spanish on #WRWC2014 day one. The day belonged to winger Magali Harvey who scored all the 31 Canadian points in the Parisian sunshine.
Rocio Garcia was the only Spanish scorer, converting her own try after 38 minutes.
England 65-3 Samoa
England coach Gary Street was happy with the performance of his charges on the opening day. Despite a strong start by the Pacific Islanders, they were outclassed in many areas around the field and a red card to their Number 8, didn't help the Samoan cause.
"Obviously we were very pleased with the result, and I'll take a score of 65-3 every day of the week," said Street after the match.
"We did simple things well. There were a few errors but it's only to be expected in the first match of the tournament."
"It was very warm but we trained for hot weather. We are fortunate to have very good legs on the bench so we can bring on strength and we need it in the heat," said the England coach.
Pool B: New Zealand impress while Ireland gain crucial win
New Zealand 79-5 Kazakhstan
Defending champions New Zealand opened the tournament in style with a comprehensive 79 - 5 win over a plucky Kazakhstan. The Black Ferns enjoyed an impressive 13 trips over the whitewash, their first after only two minutes, to rack up the highest score of the day.
But Kazakhstan failed to go down without a fight, managing a try in the 62nd minute to scenes of elation amongst the squad.
Kiwi coach Brian Evans was happy with their first outing of the tournament: "The girls found it very hot out there and had to adapt."
"We now have to prepare for our next match against Ireland and they are more of a known quantity to us, so we will be ready and we should have our game plans running smoothly"
USA 17-23 Ireland
Ireland and USA was the closest match of the day with fans at Marcoussis on the edge of their seats until the final whistle.
Ireland opened the scoring with a penalty but let the Americans in for a try after six minutes which set the tone for the rest of the match.
Niamh Briggs was the stand-out player in green, adding a try to her kicks at goal to keep the Irish ahead for most of the second half. Despite relentless pressure from the USA, Ireland had most of the possession and territory in the second period to ensure a crucial win, ahead of their clash with defending champions New Zealand in the next round.
Captain Fiona Coughlan was content with the three points: "We were very pleased to finish the game in the way we did, we knew what we had to do and we did what we had to do so we're all happy."
Asked about their upcoming bout with New Zealand, Coughlan was staying positive: "We feel very good actually, we are looking forward to playing them next Tuesday."
Pool C: Australia and France off to winning starts
Australia 26-3 South Africa
Australia withstood a strong South African side to run out winners in the opening game in Marcoussis on Friday.
Fresh from a strong performance during this season's IRB Women's Sevens World Series, Australia's Sharni Williams brought her skills to the fifteens game, opening the scoring for the Walleroos after just two minutes.
South Africa continued to apply pressure but the Australian backs were on top form, and tries from kicker Ashleigh Hewson as well as Tricia Brown put the game beyond the South Africans.
France 26-0 Wales
A raucous home crowd welcomed Les Bleues to pitch one at Marcoussis on Friday evening as the hosts opened the tournament in style on what was a stunning occasion in the Parisian suburb.
The Welsh held their own despite the partisan support in the French capital. The match remained scoreless until the 25th minute when Marion Lievre intercepted a Welsh pass deep in her own half and outpaced the opposition to dot down, much to the delight of the home fans.
Wales have faced the French on many occasions during the Six Nations, and their experience meant that the French did not have their own way for much of the encounter, but tries, including one from French stalwart Sandrine Agricole, helped them to a 26-0 victory in the last match of the day.
"In the first half an hour the Welsh engaged us physically and didn't allow us play our game," said French captain Gaelle Mignot.
"The crowd really helped us to score the fourth try and get a bonus point...but we know the next matches will be difficult."
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