Lydia Thompson’s brilliant hat-trick carried England to a comfortable 39-13 win against USA in the final game of the 2016 Women’s Rugby Super Series on Saturday in Salt Lake City.
The Worcester winger got her team off to a dream start in just the fifth minute with a try in the corner following quick hands from England’s backs. It was then forward power which dominated throughout the match, and a rolling maul allowed Amy Cokayne to bundle over 15 minutes later for the first of her two tries of the game.
Thompson scored her second before half time, while England ran riot in the second half as Alex Matthews and Millie Wood scored before Thompson completed her hat-trick with a fine solo try.
Thompson picked the ball up in her own half, shrugged off a couple of tackles and sprinted away for a fine score. Alycia Washington scored USA’s only try seven minutes from time.
England finished the Series with wins against USA and France, who they defeated 13-17 on Tuesday night, and a 17-52 loss against Canada on Friday 1 July.
After their struggles in the first two games, England went out to utilise the width of the pitch and make the USA move from side to side. It worked, as holes opened up through the middle and out wide for powerful runners, such as Matthews, to exploit.
Lead Coach Scott Bemand said: “I am hugely proud of that result today. It’s been a tough two weeks having got off to the start we did against Canada. We said we would regroup and we said we would stick to our principles. The squad have gone away and worked incredibly hard. The way they have managed to come back and produce a performance against the USA who were 0-2 coming into this game, in their country and on their turf, was really impressive.
“The USA threw everything at us physically and our girls have done ever so well to come back here, stick to their principles and then ultimately come up with the result.”
England Women games, 2016 Women’s Rugby Super Series
- v Canada 1 July (17-52)
Tries: Mason, Wood, Blackburn
- v France 5 July (17-13)
Tries: Large, Aldcroft
Conversions: Reed (2)
- v USA 9 July (39-13)
Tries: Thompson (3), Cokayne (2), Matthews, Wood
England Women match-day 23 v USA
15. Fiona Pocock (Richmond) (29 caps)
14. Lydia Thompson (Worcester) (25 caps)
13. Lauren Cattell (Saracens) (20 caps)
12. Ceri Large (Worcester) (50 caps)
11. Lotte Clapp (Saracens) (10 caps)
10. Amber Reed (Bristol) (32 caps)
9. Bianca Blackburn (Worcester) (15 caps)
1. Victoria Cornborough (Richmond) (17 caps)
2. Amy Cokayne (Lichfield) (17 caps)
3. Laura Keates (Worcester) (52 caps)
4. Harriet Millar-Mills (Lichfield) (34 caps)
5. Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park) (94 caps)
6. Alex Matthews (Richmond) (24 caps)
7. Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol) (20 caps)
8. Sarah Hunter (Bristol) (81 caps) (c)
16. Lark Davies (Worcester) (3 caps)
17. Rochelle Clark (Worcester) (113 caps)
18. Sarah Bern (Bristol) (2 caps)
19. Zoe Aldrcoft (Darlington Mowden Park) (2 caps)
20. Poppy Leitch (Bristol) (6 caps)
21. Leanne Riley (Richmond) (9 caps)
22. Millie Wood (Lichfield) (3 caps)
23. Katie Mason (Bristol) (13 caps)