Woman of Steel Tara-Jane Stanley scored a hat-trick in the second half; Six tries in the first-half put England 30-0 up at the break; Their final game of the Group is against Papua New Guinea next week
By Megan Wellens
Last Updated: 05/11/22 1:55pm
A hat-trick for Woman of Steel Tara-Jane Stanley helped England women cement themselves at the top of Group A as they cruised to a 54-4 victory over Canada at the Rugby League World Cup.
England crossed the line six times in the first half, Leah Burke, Georgia Wilson, Fran Goldthorp, Georgia Roche and a double from Hollie Dodd putting England 30-0 ahead at half-time and leaving Canada with a lot of work to do.
After the break, the job for the Ravens was immediately made more difficult in the 42nd minute as Stanley profited off the back of a huge Vicky Whitfield run to increase England’s lead to 36-0, going in for her second just two minutes later.
Canada fought back through Petra Woods but tries from Carrie Roberts, Burke and Stanley’s third nullified their efforts and cemented a huge 54-4 for the home nation and put them firmly at the top of Group A with Papua New Guinea still to play Brazil later in Saturday.
Story of the match
After a knock on from the kick-off, England were gifted early territory from the scrum, Burke diving over in the corner within the first minute to give England a 4-0 lead.
England head coach Craig Richards included all seven players who did not play in the opening victory against Brazil, with Wigan’s Georgia Wilson, Hornby’s Leeds team-mates Dannielle Anderson and Keara Bennett and the St Helens trio Beth Stott, Paige Travis and Carrie Roberts also coming into the fold.
Despite going down on the scoreboard early, Canada stood up well in defence and when granted an opportunity right on England’s line, some scrambling from the home side just about prevented the Ravens from hitting back.
An arm wrestle then ensued between the two sides before England found a breakthrough in the 16th minute, Dodd stepping back on the inside to go in under the sticks before Wilson powered through a gap just four minutes later, Stanley adding the extras to take England 14-0 up in the first quarter.
Carrie Roberts put in a brilliant performance in both defence and attack that continued to lay the platform for her team, Dodd finishing off the pass from Roche to fly in for her second after just 26 minutes.
Goldthorp them scored a brilliant individual effort on the 31st minute, stepping three Canada players to go over and increase England’s lead to 24-0 before Roche joined in the fun with an outstanding solo try of her own, dummying and breaking through the line to put England 30-0 up at half-time.
In almost a replica moment from the opening moments of the game, England came out for the second 40 with the same attitude as the first, Vicky Whitfield making some huge metres for Stanley to work off the back of to score, her accuracy with the boot adding two more points.
Match Summary England 54-4 Canada
England: Tries- Leah Burke (2), Holly Dodd (2), Georgia Wilson, Fran Goldthorp, Georgia Roche, Tara-Jane Stanley (3), Carrie RobertsConversions- Tara-Jane Stanley (4)
Canada: Tries- Petra Woods
Stanley wasn’t done there and just two minutes later went over again as England really took control, batting off two Canada defenders to put England at the 40-0 mark.
Canada fought back on the 47th minute through centre Woods after a mistake from the kick-off from Roberts, her strong footwork eluding England and putting the Ravens on the scoreboard.
However, it wasn’t enough to stop England in their tracks, Courtney Winfield-Hill running into the space out wide to send Roberts over with Stanley securing her hat-trick just 10 minutes later, backing herself in the two-on-one to bring England up to the half-century.
Burke then found her double in the corner after a sensational individual run from Winfield-Hill to secure a dominant 54-4 win for the home nation side.