Women's Rugby World Cup: England scores 14 tries in an 84-19 victory over Fiji in Auckland.
England led 24-14 at halftime before scoring 10 tries in a dominant second half to win 84-19 and move to the top of Rugby World Cup Pool C; the Red Roses' victory extends their winning streak to 26 games.
England started their Rugby World Cup campaign in record-breaking fashion, defeating Fiji 84-19 in Auckland.
The Red Roses scored 14 tries, including 10 in the second half, to extend their winning streak to 26 games and move to the top of Pool C with a bonus-point victory.
Fiji, making their tournament debut, posed problems in the first 40 minutes and trailed by only 10 points at the break, but they struggled in the second half at Eden Park as England's fitness and experience showed.
England's 14-try total breaks their previous record for most in a World Cup match, with winger Claudia MacDonald scoring four tries.
Hooker Amy Cokayne, lock Abbie Ward, and MacDonald all scored tries in the first 27 minutes, all of which originated in England's trademark lineout drive, before Fiji hit back with a brilliant try.
Full-back from Fiji Roela Radiniyavuni broke through the England defense before finding Alowesi Nakoci with a lofted pass, giving the winger a free run to the line.
England responded in kind after a break from flanker Sadia Kabeyat, but Fiji had the final say in the half with a fine individual score from centre Sesenieli Donu, cutting the deficit to 24-14 at the break.
The second half was mostly one-way traffic, with Cokayne scoring again, winger Lydia Thompson scoring twice, and MacDonald adding three more tries to her tally.
As the Fijians chased shadows, lock Zoe Aldcroft, replacement winger Abby Dow, reserve hooker Connie Powell, and scrum-half Leanne Infante all crossed.
Fiji, on the other hand, had the final say, with scrum-half Lavena Cavuru scoring a consolation try just before the final hooter.
Emily Scarratt converted five of England's conversion attempts, with Zoe Harrison adding two of her own, and the 84 points surpassed England's previous World Cup best of 82 against Kazakhstan in 2010.
Middleton: Fiji really shook us up.
England head coach Simon Middleton said it was natural for his team to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the World Cup, and he praised his team for overcoming early nerves to outclass their inexperienced opponents.
"Fiji certainly came to the party in the first half and made it really difficult for us," Middleton said. "We probably didn't handle it as well as we would have liked, but that's okay because it shows how human we are.
"We calmed down at halftime, and I believe we played with great poise in the second half, returning to our strengths.
"Fiji rattled us in the first half with their physicality. We appeared nervous, which is understandable given that this is the biggest stage and what a place to play. So happy with how we came up with and executed the game plan."
What is England's next step?
England's next Pool C match is next Saturday in Whangarei against France, who started their World Cup with a bonus-point win over South Africa.
Scrum-half Laure Sansus scored the first of her two tries, before centre Emilie Boulard pounced on a chip ahead from fly-half. Caroline Drouin and winger Gabrielle Vernier scored on an interception inside the first 20 minutes.
South Africa took the lead early in the second half when winger Nomawethu Mabenge finished well in the corner, and they repelled French attacks until Sansus broke through their defense for the second time in the 68th minute.
Drouin capped a strong performance with her own try four minutes later, before her cross-kick in the final seconds provided debutant winger Joanna Grisez with the easiest of finishes for France's sixth try of the match.