In round two of the women's Super Series, New Zealand overturned England while USA beat neighbours and firece rivals Canada.
New Zealand 26 England 7
New Zealand secured a morale boosting win over World Champions England in a game that was high on penalties and errors but was also marked by excellent individual finishes in the game's three tries.
Both sides have travelled to this tournament with a raft of new faces, but it was the familiar names which did the job for the Black Ferns, who are rebuilding after their disappointments of last summer.
Strong defence and running from the likes of Linda Itunu and the boot of Kendra Cocksedge – a vital player over the two games in the black shirt - helped New Zealand to their second win of the week.
England will be frustrated at the rate of which they were consistently pinged by the referee and by the 13th minute Cocksedge had already given New Zealand a 6-0 lead.
England responded through a quite brilliant Alex Matthews try. The youngster has been sidelined too often by injuries in her career so far, but her talent is quite something and she showed it in abundance in a powerful run beyond New Zealand’s defence. Emily Scarratt converted but it would be England’s only lead of the match.
For the remainder of the first half England were on the defensive with New Zealand slowly but surely upping the tempo. In the 21st minute, Black Ferns fly half, Victoria Subritziki-Nafatali, showed her own power, brushing past a would be tackler and scoring a try under the posts. Cocksedge converted and the Black Ferns regained the lead.
The rest of the first half would see New Zealand remain on the attack, but see a frantic England defence kept them out with New Zealand’s last pass also letting them down on occasion. At halftime they led 16-7 thanks to another Cocksedge score.
The first 20 minutes of the second half saw a sustained attack by England in a desperate attempt to get back in to the game. Time and again England were in prime attacking position to score, but New Zealand’s defensive line held.
At the 64th minute mark, New Zealand finally got out of their own half and Cocksedge convert another penalty attempt.
The score remained that way until the final minute of the match when Selica Winiata scored a great individual try.
New Zealand: (26)
Kendra Cocksedge (2)
Kendra Cocksedge (4)
Canada 28 USA 36
USA defeated World Cup runners up Canada in a much more lively affair in the following game.
Canada started very strongly, but the USA fought back, taking the lead in the 32nd minute and never looking back. In the final 10 minutes, Canada pushed hard securing a four-try bonus point.
Canada opened the scoring in the opening minute when flanker, Latoya Blackwood, broke a series of tackles to score the match’s opening try. Andrea Burk converted but the USA responded with a penalty of their own just a few minutes later.
The next 20 minutes saw Canada on the attack and scoring tries, however, they would also give them up as well. In the 12th minute, Maria Samson passed to Lisa Gauthier who for Canada’s second try and her first test try with Burk converting.
However, the U.S. again responded quickly as captain Jane Parr went over in the corner to cut Canada’s lead to 14-8.
Burk scored next when from a great run, in the 20thminute, she broke past a number U.S. defenders and converted to take a 21-8 lead. This was the high point for Canada, as only three minutes later, U.S. number 8, Jordan Gray, scored a converted try to bring the score line to 21-15.
The US then took the lead for the first time in the match when Gray scored her second try of the match after a great dummy. The score would remain 22 – 21 at halftime.
The first 15 minutes after the break saw Canada mount great pressure in an attempt to regain the lead and Gauthier was about to score in the corner for Canada, but a great cover tackle by American full back, Jessica Wooden, prevented her from grounding the ball.
Within minutes the American full back would score herself after a great individual run, switching the momentum of the match.
Replacement hooker, Sam Pankey, got around the Canadian defence before setting up Wooden making the score 36-21 while the last try of the match would go to Canada when Julianne Zussman crossed the line with only a couple of minutes left, making the final score 36-28, and securing Canada a four try bonus point.
Andrea Burk (3)
Jordan Gray (2)
Jessica Wooden (2)
Kimber Rozier (4)
New Zealand v USA, KO 11pm BST
England v Canada, 130am BST (July 6)
Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton
All matches can be watched live on http://livestream.com/