Joy for England’s Red Roses and Katy Daley-McLean despite early USA red card

England's Sarah McKenna (centre) runs in under pressure to score her sides second try during the Qui

England's Sarah McKenna (centre) runs in under pressure to score her sides second try during the Quilter International match at Allianz Park, London. Picture: ADAM DAVY/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

It begin as a day of celebration with four debutants and Katy Daley-McLean winning her 100th cap but despite England’s comprehensive 57-5 win it ended with the discussion being about an early red card.

England's Katy Daley-McLean kicks a conversion during the Quilter International match at Allianz Par

England's Katy Daley-McLean kicks a conversion during the Quilter International match at Allianz Park, London. Picture: ADAM DAVY/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

USA prop Megan Rom was carrying the ball high when her short run brought her face to face with Sarah Beckett and almost instinctively her arm came up.

And her forearm did make contact with the England player’s head but when referee produced the red, there was an audible gasp around Allianz Park.

It is one of rugby’s biggest focuses at the moment but it looked little more than a nasty-looking coming together, and certainly one that no player on the field complained about at the time

England's Katy Daley-McLean runs in to score her sides fifth try during the Quilter International ma

England's Katy Daley-McLean runs in to score her sides fifth try during the Quilter International match at Allianz Park, London. Picture: ADAM DAVY/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

But it meant we will never know what sort of encounter would have taken place as England used their numerical advantage to pull clear with ease.

That said for former Welwyn junior Ellena Perry, one of that quartet receiving a first cap, it will still have been a memorable day.

It’s also one that Harpenden junior and OA Saints coach Sarah McKenna will remember as she bagged her sixth try in Red Roses colours.

England's Sarah McKenna dives in to score her sides second try during the Quilter International matc

England's Sarah McKenna dives in to score her sides second try during the Quilter International match at Allianz Park, London. Picture: ADAM DAVY/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

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And despite braving monsoon-type rain, the enthusiastic support also had the try they all wanted to see as Daley-McLean stretched her legs right on half-time to score an interception try.

That made it 33-0 and was the third try in the last five minutes of the first period as USA played found themselves down to 13.

It definitely ended the game as a contest once and for all, if it wasn’t already.

England's Katy Daley-McLean takes the applause of the crowd upon winning her 100th cap for England d

England's Katy Daley-McLean takes the applause of the crowd upon winning her 100th cap for England during the Quilter International match at Allianz Park, London. Picture: ADAM DAVY/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

England were already 7-0 when Rom was given her marching orders.

Leanne Riley got that, finishing off a Becket pick-and-go from the back of a five-metre scrum.

McKenna then had her moment as a beautifully angled line took her through a gap before a shimmy and a twist put the former Roundwood Park and Grove pupil over the line.

A penalty try as a catch and drive from a line-out rumbled towards the line frustrated the Eagles even further and started the final England flurry.

Abbie Scott got the fourth as England, starting with McKenna, went from inside their own 22 to the opposition try-line in a matter of moments.

Then came Daley-McLean’s moment, as the South Tynesider bolted in from just inside England’s half despite the best efforts of USA full-back Kaitlyn Broughton to stop her.

The half-time lead saw both teams make changes, Datchworth’s Hannah Botterman being one of those to come on.

It made little change to the momentum as England continued to batter their visitors.

Kelly Smith raced in for the first of the second period and Sarah Hunter was the beneficiary of a strong scrummage from 5m out.

There could have been more too but USA’s defence was exemplary in the second half, holding England up on five separate occasions.

And they got their reward for a superb display when Jennine Duncan crossed with five minutes to go.

It wasn’t the last try of the day though.

Smith showed her speed by scorching into one corner and Carys Williams went over in the other as England finished strong.

Perry’s debut ended on 58 minutes, two minutes before Zoe Harrison, another former Welwyn player in the squad, replaced the girl of the hour, Daley McLean.

That brought one of the biggest ovations of the night and perhaps that really is what we should all be talking about.

England: Perry, Davies, Brown, Aldcroft, Scott, Brown, Fleetwood, Beckett, Riley, Daley-McLean, Smith, Heard, Williams, Thompson, McKenna.

Replacements: Kerr, Cornborough, Botterman, O’Donnell, Hunter, Macdonald, Harrison, Atwood.

Tries: Riley 8, McKenna 25, penalty-try 35, Scott 37, Daley-McLean 40, Smith 45, 78, Hunter 51, Williams 80

Conversions: Daley-McLean 8, 25, 37, 45, 51, penalty-try 35

USA: Rom, Kitlinski, Benson, Bridges, Washington, Johnson, Zackary, Gray-Matyas, Pedraza, Cantorna, Levy, Hawkins, Henrich, Stockert, Broughton.

Replacements: Taufa, Nalbandian, James, Finkelstein, Sommer, Kenyon, Foster, Duncan

Try: Duncan 75

Red Card: Rum 15

HT: England 33 USA 0

Attendance: 3,336

Referee: Hollie Davidson (Scotland)

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