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The first round of the Women’s Rugby World Cup played as predicted, with only the Ireland-USA game offering a close contest. The three favored nations to win their pools – New Zealand, England, and France – all scored easy victories over lesser opponents. New Zealand, with 13 tries, and England, running in ten tries, easily achieved a bonus point for their more than four tries tallies. France, too, had four tries against Wales, shutting out the Taffies 26-0. The final seeding for the four-team quarter finals will look at total tries, first, and then total points to determine which XZ achieves the top rated spot. At present, the Black Ferns lead England in tries by three, and also a 14 point differential.

In the second tier, Canada narrowly leads Australia in total points, with Ireland third, as these three teams battle for the coveted fourth and last spot in the semi-finals.

The USA fought until the whistle, scoring seven points in the second half, to reduce the 20-10 half time score to a 23-17 final.

The WRWC resumes Tuesday, August 5, at the pitches at Marcoussis, outside Paris.

The lineup and times (French time) are:

USA vs. Kazakhstan – 1 p.m.

Australia vs. Wales – 3 p.m.

England vs. Spain – 3.45 p.m.

Canada vs. Samoa – 5 p.m.

New Zealand vs. Ireland – 6 p.m.

France vs. South Africa 8:45 p.m.

(Time difference is six hours. Television on Universal Sports. No live streaming in USA.)

The key game is Ireland against the Black Ferns since the Irish need to stay within seven points to earn a bonus point. The Eagles need to reach that four-try bonus point against the Nomads.

(Photos: Ian Muir)