England centre Emily Scarratt is wary of France threat


ENGLAND captain Sarah Hunter wants her team to continue the summer feel-good factor surrounding women's sport in the country when they tackle Rugby World Cup semi-final opponents France today.

Emily Scarratt got the first points of the game with a penalty on the 17 minute mark before France wing Shannon Izar slotted from the tee to make it 3-3 at half-time.

England Women's head coach Simon Middleton has made two changes to the team for Tuesday's World Cup semi-final against France in Belfast.

England also have to dust themselves down from a bruising 20-3 victory over France, but Scarratt added: "When it's the World Cup final, you find a little bit extra, don't you?" We know we have to be better than we have been and it is knockout rugby.

A succession of pick and drives near the France line saw Sarah Bern crash over for the first try of the game and her first at global level. "Both defences stood up and the tackle count shows that but we had a white wall and there was no way they were getting across our try line tonight".

"There are so many fans out here that aren't friends and family, genuinely, people who are wanting to come and support us, which is great for us and great for the game".

New Zealand, meanwhile, overpowered the United States 45-12 as Portia Woodman scored four of their seven tries.

"We'll enjoy the win but then it is back to recovery and all guns blazing for New Zealand".

The States led early in the first half following a Kris Thomas try that Alev Kelter converted, but once the Black Ferns found their rhythm, there was no stopping them.

That means this Saturday (7.45pm kick-off) England will be playing in their seventh final out of eight tournaments and will be looking to defend the title they won in France three years ago. Woodman bagged her fourth stepping USA fullback Cheta Emba, and replacement hooker Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate scored from a cross-kick.