Alphonsi plays in England win over Samoa at the World Cup

Maggie Alphonsi
Maggie Alphonsi

University of Bedfordshire graduate Maggie Alphonsi has helped England to a winning start in their World Cup Finals campaign.

The Saracens flanker, who is at her third tournament, played the full game as England began with a 65-3 victory over Samoa last week.

Two tries for Kat Merchant, Lydia Thompson, Natasha Hunt and Kay Wilson and one apiece for La Toya Mason and Emily Scarratt set England on the way to victory while Scarratt also added 15 points with the boot.

Alphonsi provided the assist for the eighth try too, passing for Scarratt to race over.

She was then an unused sub as England made it two wins from two in Pool A, defeating Spain 45-5.

Kay Wilson, Danielle Waterman, Laura Keates, Claire Allan and Marlie Packer – who landed a brace – all dotting down while Scarratt added 15 points thanks to a flawless performance from the tee.

Head coach Gary Street said: “We had a plan going into these first two games – we wanted to give everyone a chance and we wanted to see all 26 players in action.

“I thought that we started quite slowly against Spain but we knew that we would have to be patient, and that proved to be the case.

“Space eventually came our way and we got ourselves into some good positions.

“Looking ahead to Canada, we have some fresh legs who will come into contention.

“But there will be some tough calls to make ahead of what promises to be a very difficult game.”

Captain Sarah Hunter added: “It was a tough game, we knew that Spain would come at us and cause us problems.

“It was a case of playing in the right areas and hoping that we would get the rewards – and eventually they came.

“Canada up next will be a huge test for us, we’ll look at this game and take what we can out of it and then switch attention to Saturday, which will be a difficult game as they are an excellent side.”