Thompson helps England to victory in San Diego

Warriors Women wing Lydia Thompson helped England to a 38-5 win over hosts USA in their opening match in the Women’s Rugby Super Series in San Diego.

It was Thompson’s first international since the autumn and she played her part in helping England to an 18th straight win over USA.

In glorious sunny conditions at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center in California, it was England who opened the scoring when Amber Reed, on her 50th cap, launched a crossfield kick that bounced kindly for Poppy Cleall to feed Kelly Smith to stroll in – Emily Scarratt converting.

USA were level five minutes later when a couple of powerful forward drives saw Hope Rogers cross from close range, but Claudia Macdonald’s sniping run off the back of a ruck saw her dart in from ten metres out for her first England try.

Scarratt then read a USA attacking move to intercept the ball and canter in under the posts, and then converted her own score, before some powerful work from the pack was rewarded when hooker Heather Kerr drove over for the bonus-point, and a 26-5 half-time lead.

Two minutes after the break, Poppy Cleall was shown a yellow card but this did not stop England’s momentum as Kerr grabbed her second off the back of a driving maul from a lineout.

Natasha Hunt then pounced on a loose kick by the Eagles to gather and sprint in from just outside their 22, Scarratt getting her fourth conversion, and although England continued to press they could not add to their six tries.

This was the first of a four-game round robin tournament that England will be in California. They will now face Canada in eight days’ time before matches against France and New Zealand.