Lark Davies and Lydia Thompson helped England secure a narrow win over Canada in the Women’s Rugby Super Series after a 19-17 victory in San Diego.
Davies started for her country at hooker with Lydia Thompson moving onto the bench for the second match of the series.
After opening with a 38-5 victory over USA Women in round one, England faced a real physical test against the Canadians who scored the first try when a series of pick and drives saw Tyson Beaukeboom go over.
Minutes into the second half, Canada were down to 14 players as Gabby Senft was sent to the sin bin for her off the ball challenge on Amber Reed, but a breakaway saw wing Paige Farries race in from her own half for a second try for the North Americans.
It was two tries in two minutes for the Red Roses as they took the lead for the first time when a slick backs move was worked to Kelly Smith who avoided two tacklers from inside her own half to race away – her second try of the tournament.
Canada responded when they worked the ball to the right wing for Farries to cross for her second, before Abbie Scott was sent to the sin bin for an accumulation of penalties by England.
The victory is England’s seventh in a row against the Canadians and they will next play France on Wednesday 10 July and then end the tournament against the world’s number one ranked side New Zealand on Sunday 14 July, with both matches available on Sky Sports.