#WRWC2014 Live Blog
- Four-time champions New Zealand out of semi-finals despite beating USA 34-3
- Unbeaten France claim top-seed last-four slot after a 17-3 win over Australia
- Ireland book semi-final place with 40-5 victory over Kazakhstan
- England draw 13-13 with Canada in Pool A; both teams qualify for semis
- Wins for Spain and Wales in the other Pool clashes
- Live updates by Jamie Hosie and Pranav Soneji
Phew, we're completely exhausted after an enthralling day of rugby. So we're down to four for the big one - but who'll be in next week's final? Join us next Wednesday when we'll know more. Until then, bonne chance!
So it's Ireland v England and France v Canada in our two semi-finals - all four teams are unbeaten in this year's tournament. However, two of them will lose that record on Wednesday 13 - but who will advance to the final?
Here's the confirmed fixtures for Wednesday 13 September (all times in CET):
14:00 - South Africa v Samoa
15:45 - New Zealand v Wales
16:15 - Spain v Kazakhstan
18:00 - Ireland v England
18:30 - Australia v USA
20:45 - France v Canada
FULL-TIME: France 17-3 Australia
Referee Barber blows up to confirm France's sixth semi-final in World Cup history - the players, coaching staff, crowd and pretty much the entire population of Marcoussis are in raptures. And guess what? They're top seeds in the last four - the only team in the tournament to win all three of their Pool matches. Bien jeu les Bleues.
More bad news for Australia - should the result stay the same at full-time (two minutes left on the clock), Canada will advance into the final semi-final slot as they have a better points total from their three Pool matches. France 17-3 Australia
Less than five minutes on the clock and France are back deep in Australian territory. It's looking ominous for the Wallaroos... France 17-3 Australia
Australia spurn a golden opportunity to reduce the deficit as Ashleigh Hewson sends an awkward miss pass to replacement winger Ashley Masters, who can't cling onto the bouncing ball. Agonising and frustrating for the Wallaroos supporters. Ten minutes left on the clock. France 17-3 Australia
Remember this is a winner takes all encounter - both teams are unbeaten and the winner will advance alongside Ireland and England into the sem-finals. So far it's looking like the hosts who'll be making a date with the last four but two converted Australia scores and we're even. France 17-3 Australia
Australia haven't managed to move beyond their 22m line in the past 10 minutes. But still their rearguard defence is admirable. The crowd's chorus of "Allez les Bleues" is having its effect - France are absolutely bossing this second half with 15 minutes until full-time. France 17-3 Australia
France are channeling their power through their forwards, who have the ascendency over their opponents. It's energy-sapping stuff with wave after wave of drives, recycling and pick-up-and-goes. How long can Australia hold off this barrage for? France 17-3 Australia
TRY: France 17-3 Australia (Mignot, 50 mins)
France eschew a penalty at the sticks 10m from Australia's tryline following a lineout infringement, instead going for the try and the corner. And from the resulting lineout the rolling maul sees hooker Gaëlle Mignot rise from under a pile of bodies for the hosts' second try of the evening. Agricole converts, much to the delight of the crowd.
You don't have to be a Francophile to understand what Franck is on about, bodies everywhere, every player putting themselves on the line for their countries. Brilliant to watch.
No let-up in intensity in the opening exchanges of the second-half, both teams testing the other with a series of long kicks. So far it's even. France 10-3 Australia
Right, we're about to get this second-half show on the road - a winner here joins England and Ireland into the semi-finals. That fourth-place is still up for grabs, so much to play for. France 10-3 Australia
HALF-TIME: France 10-3 Australia
A sensational first 40 minutes with both teams refusing to concede an inch. It's the hosts who take the decisive advantage at the break with Australia a player down. More of the same in the second-half please.
TRY: France 10-3 Australia (PENALTY TRY, 37 mins)
The referee has had enough of Australia's persistent infringements as France press for the opening try of the match. There are green and gold bodies all over the place, a lot of them where they shouldn't be, so up goes the arm and Leah Berard runs under the posts to indicate the five points. Over goes Agricole's conversion and up goes the noise level in Marcoussis.
Now it's Australia's turn to hit the rearguard as France press with their numerical advantage with Parry in the sin-bin. Five metres out and France have an attacking scrum. France 3-3 Australia
YELLOW CARD: Shannon Parry (Australia, 29 mins)
Ugly challenge from Parry, who is clearly offside as she attempts to clear a French attack inside her 22m area. The referee is not happy and immediately reaches for her pocket - 10 minutes in the cooler for you Shannon. However, Agricole's penalty strikes the upright and agonisingly bounces on the wrong side. France 3-3 Australia
The rugby is of such high intensity, physical - brutal at times - but so, so compelling to watch. France are standing firm in defence as Australia push more waves of attack. We're 22 minutes into the first-half and it's breathless. Can both teams maintain these energy-sapping levels? France 3-3 Australia
PEN: France 3-3 Australia (Hewson, 13 mins)
France eventually buckle under Australia pressure, committing an error in the breakdown and Ashleigh Hewson steps up to level the scores.
PEN: France 3-0 Australia (Agricole)
First blood to France as Australia are adjudged to have come in from the side in a ruck. Up steps Sandrine Agricole and wallop goes the ball straight through the posts.
Strong start by Australia but they're pinged for not releasing on the floor inside France territory. An eruptions of "Oui!" rings around the ground. Fierce opening exchanges and very, very physical.
Echoes of La Marseillaise ring around Marcoussis, such a rousing anthem when sung with gusto, and both teams - who have yet to concede a try in this year's tournament - are pumped. Leah Berard from the USA is our referee. Ready? We are, off we go...
The Tricolores are waving, the decibels have been cranked up - the hosts are primed. Can home advantage gives Les Bleues the edge they need to beat this well-drilled Australia unit? We'll find out in the next 90 minutes...
Lawrence is a man who knows more than enough about the components of a world-class number 8 - and Sarah Hunter has it in droves judging by her performance in England's 13-13 draw with Canada earlier today.
Here's one World Cup winner who's been impressed with what he's seen in Marcoussis...
As if there wasn't enough drama already, we've still got so much to play for in our final match of the day. Australia's Ashleigh Hewson is fourth in the top points scorers' list with 26 - can she move up the table and catch England's Emily Scarratt on 43? We'll find out soon enough...
So we're down to our final Pool match of the tournament as the two unbeaten sides in Pool A, Australia and France, meet in 45 minutes. If you're just tuning in, the big news is defending champions New Zealand will not advance into the semi-finals stages. They've won the last four tournaments, so there'll be a new name on the trophy this year.
New Zealand captain Fiao'o Fa'amusili on her team's elimination from the tournament: "We didn’t know the result from the game beforehand so we just played what we know best - running rugby the Black Ferns way.
"We've come here to play out best rugby and we've shown that in the second half."
FULL-TIME: New Zealand 34-3 USA
TRY: New Zealand 34-3 USA (Lavea, 80 mins)
Despite the USA's best attacking intentions, it's the Black Ferns who have the last say as Amiria Rule and Renee Wickliffe combine to put Justine Lavea through to touchdown in the corner for try number six. Kelly Brazier's unsuccessful conversion is the last kick of the game but, if you're joining us now, you won't be seeing the defending champions in the semi-finals. A new name will be on the trophy this year.
A rousing chant of "U-S-A!" rings around the ground but it's highly unlikely to motivate the Eagles to overturn their 26-point deficit with three minutes left on the clock. Still, they're pressing to at least make double figures on the scoreboard. New Zealand 29-3 USA
TRY: New Zealand 29-3 USA (Wickliffe, 68 minutes)
The Black Ferns are running rampart - a superb interchange between Renee Wickliffe and Kendra Cocksedge sees the latter steam through for New Zealand's fifth score of the match. The Eagles look dejected.
TRY: New Zealand 24-3 USA (Cocksedge, 66 mins)
The Black Ferns are well on top now and replacement scrumhalf Kendra Cocksedge sells a dummy which would fool even the most cynical of defenders before cruising over for the score, securing the bonus point (although irrelevant for semi-final purposes now). Superb play, with Kelly Brazier adding the conversion.
TRY: New Zealand 17-3 USA (Manuel, 59 mins)
Lovely hands from New Zealand, whizzing the ball out wide, something we haven't really seen them do too much over the course of this tournament, for Huriana Manuel to touchdown in the corner. It's a tough kick and Brazier can't find the uprights.
USA Subs: 17 Burke, 19 Blaney, 21 Bydwell on. 1 Chobot, 5 Walsh, 12 Braaten off. #WRWC2014 USA 3 - NZL 12— USA Rugby (@USA Rugby) 09/08/2014 19:17
PEN: New Zealand 12-3 USA (Rozier)
The Eagles earn compensation for their territorial dominance in the opening 15 minutes of the second-half as Kimber Rozier loops over a penalty to reduce the arrears to nine points.
The Eagles are camped out on New Zealand's tryline, pounding the Black Ferns defence this way and that yet there's no sign of capitulation from the world champions. However, Linda Itunu is sent for a 10-minute sit-down after she illegally plays the ball off her feet. NZ 12-0 USA
We're back under way again with the USA trailing the four-time world champions New Zealand 12-0 - can they stage a second-half comeback to stun the Black Ferns?
FULL-TIME: South Africa 3-35 Wales
TRY: South Africa 3-35 Wales (Harries, 80 mins)
With the very last play of the match, Wales pile through for their fourth try of the match, and the bonus point to boot, as Sioned Harries clinches a thoroughly deserved hat-trick. The number 8 is lurking on the left wing when Amy Day's pass finds her in space. Wilkins blots her 100% kicking record but she doesn't look bothered at all.
HALF-TIME: New Zealand 12-0 USA
Two early New Zealand tries set them on the road to what looked like another big victory, but the USA responded well and spent the majority of the half camped in Kiwi territory. The lack of a clinical edge could come back to haunt them, however, as you sense there'll likely be more brilliance to come from the Black Ferns.
USA have been camped in the New Zealand half for about 15 minutes now, but so far to no avail. Points are needed because you can be sure that New Zealand will score again at some stage.
TRY: South Africa 3-30 Wales (Harries, 73 mins)
Wales are cruising now, a muscular scrum allows number 8 Sioned Harries to pick up and charge off the back of the set-piece, bruising her way past three defenders before grounding the five points. Robyn Wilkins adds the conversion, her fifth from five, to maintain her 100% kicking record today.
They're very much on the ascendency Tatjana, bossing the tempo of this match with a series of clever kicks for territory as well as slick handling moves. You would approve, we're sure of it. South Africa 3-23 Wales
The injury to their captain seems to have lit the fire in the Americans - it's been all USA since their talisman went off. The New Zealand defence has held firm so far, but this sort of effort is energy-sapping and they won't hang on forever. Still New Zealand 12-0 USA.
TRY: South Africa 3-23 Wales (Davies, 58 mins)
The best passage of the match from Wales, as they whizz the ball from one flank to the other, allowing replacement prop Jenny Davies to pile in from close range. Robyn Wilkins adds the extras with another impressive conversion.
No further scores in the New Zealand vs USA game since those two early Kiwi tries - there was a fairly long delay due to a serious-looking injury to the USA captain Kate Daley - our thoughts go out to her.
Interviewed Canada captain Kelly Russell after the game - she had no idea they'd knocked NZ out. "Wow really. wow" :)— Scrumqueens #wrugby (@ScrumQueens) August 9, 2014
TRY: New Zealand 12-0 USA (Richardson)
Two opportunities, two tries - is the the backlash we were all fearing? It's simple stuff made to look oh so easy on this occasion, as the midfielders draw their opposite players and send Claire Richardson over in the corner.
Once again South Africa are stifled by basic errors as winger Siviwe Basweni spills a pass metres from Wales' tryline when a touchdown looked certain. And the same thing happens again as Phumeza Gadu moments later, knocking on another straightforward pass with the Boks on the ascent. Frustrating for the coaching team and supporters. South Africa 3-16 Wales
TRY: New Zealand 7-0 USA (Manuel)
New Zealand enjoy a period of possession, and after the American defensive line gets sucked in a beautiful long pass from Brazier gives Huria Manuel a simple chance to stroll over for the opening try. Brazier converts.
With a penalty five metres from Wales' tryline, South Africa opt to run a set-piece play, only for Wales to force the turnover following some muscular defence. Frustrating for the Boks, who've showed endeavour but need to tweak their tactics to breach Wales' defence. South Africa 3-16 Wales
Words of war from USA coach Pete Steinberg below, and if you had any doubt about whether New Zealand were up for this one, you need only look at the passion in the players' eyes during their haka to allay them.
The New Zealand and USA anthems ring out around Marcoussis - there's still plenty to play for in this one, as the loser can't finish higher than seventh, which would be an unbridled failure for both these sides.
We're back under way between South Africa and Wales, who currently lead 16-3.
New Zealand vs USA should be a brilliant game anyway, but there's no doubt some of the sheen has been taken off this encounter by the news that neither side can qualify thanks to England's 13-13 draw with Canada.
HALF-TIME: South Africa 3-16 Wales
Despite being penalised for a high tackle on the cusp of the whistle, Wales maintain their 13-point lead when Zandile Nojoko spurns three points with a wayward kick at the posts. Not the best game we've seen today but still plenty of endeavour and commitment from both teams.
Next up from Pool B is New Zealand against USA - here are the teams:
New Zealand: McKay, Fa’amausili (c), Ohaere-Fox, Blackwell, Everitt, Itunu, Lavea, Robertson, Jensen, Brazier, Wickliffe, Rule, Manuel, Richardson, Winiata.
Replacements: Wilton, Nelson, Levave, Savage, Cocksedge, Hireme, Baker.
United States: Chobot, Augustyn, Rogers, Farmer, Walsh, Potter, Kugler, Daley (c), Tseng, Rozier, McGee, Braaten, Baravilala, Anderson, Bizer.
Replacements: Wagner, Burke, Wilson, Blaney, Turley, Bydwell, Marchino.
TRY: South Africa 3-16 Wales (Harris, 38 mins)
Moments after dropping the ball with the tryline begging, Wales eventually score their first touchdown of the tournament when Sioned Harris stands strong on her feet, stealing the ball in the tackle area before grounding, much to the jubilation of her team-mates. Wilkins adds the extras.
DROP-GOAL: South Africa 3-9 Wales (Snowsill, 28 mins)
Possibly the first three-pointer in open play from the ladies in red as flyhalf Elinor Snowsill drops into the pocket to launch a perfect drop-goal through the posts, extending Wales' advantage to six.
So, England top Pool A and qualify for the semi-finals. Canada, who finished on 12 points but end second due to points difference, will qualify as the best runner-up unless France lose to Australia and claim two bonus points. A France win, or an Australia win with fewer than two bonus points for France, is enough for the Canadians to go through.
England captain Sarah Hunter:
"It was very physical, competitive - we know we've been in a battle. It was fantastic to play in a match like that. It was always about getting out of the pool. We know we have to be better in the next round. We've got three days to turn it round - we'll get better."
FULL-TIME: England 13-13 Canada
England draw with Canada but that's almost not the main story here - what it means for Pool B is that New Zealand, the defending champions and winners of the last four World Cups, are out of the semi-finals. Unbelievable scenes here in Marcoussis.
Last play of the game. England 13-13 Canada. England have a line-out in Canadian territory.
PEN: South Africa 3-6 Wales (Wilkins, 21 mins)
With no clear line breaks or scoring opportunities, the boot could determine how this match is won. Robyn Wilkins lands her second three-pointer after South Africa are pinged in the breakdown.
If the result stays like this, it would have huge ramifications for Pool B. England and Canada would both finish on 12 points, a total that neither USA nor New Zealand could reach, even with a bonus point win. They would both be knocked out before their game even starts.
PENALTY: England 13-13 Canada (Harvey)
After taking a few quick tap penalties to no avail, Canada seem to have learnt their lesson and go for the posts. Magali Harvey is on target for the first time today, and we're all square with 6 minutes left.
It's all a bit scrappy in the first 15 minutes between South Africa and Wales, with neither side playing with rhythm or verve. Meanwhile, it's getting very tense in the other game in Marcoussis... Wales 3-3 South Africa
Brilliant, brave defence from England keeps Canada at bay as they pound away at the English line. Still just three points in it - we're in for a tense final 12 minutes.
PEN: South Africa 3-3 Wales (Nojoko, 7 mins)
A transgression from Wales, not rolling away on the floor, allows the Boks a simple kick at the posts, which Zandile Nojoko slots with minimal fuss.
PEN: South Africa 0-3 Wales (Wilkins, 3 mins)
South Africa are pinged for an indiscretion on the floor and Robyn Wilkins curls a lovely kick between the sticks for the first points in the game. Advantage Wales.
This is how the two teams line up:
Wales: York, Phillips, Edwards, Hawkins, Powell-Hughes, Nicholas, Taylor, Harries, Moore Snowsill, Hywel, De Filippo, Wilkins, Taviner, Harries
Replacements: Harries, Davies, Hale, Williams, Day, Norkett, Taylor
South Africa: Ngxatu, Wentzel, Kula, Adonis, Booi, Geldenhuys, Mentoor, Momoti, Plaatjie, Nojoko, Gadu, Brown, Jordaan (capt), Basweni, Cant
Replacements: Macingwana, Jonga, Vazi, Weston, Kinsey, Grain, Nobele
When Maggie Alphonsi hits you, you stay hit. Brutal tackle from the England flanker on Canada fly-half Belchos knocks the playmaker back a few metres.
No let-up here, it's time for South Africa v Wales. Both teams have yet to register their first win in France so they'll be champing at the bit to end their Pool matches on a high.
TRY: England 13-10 Canada (Hunter)
Brilliant skill from Sarah Hunter as she controls the ball at the back of a dominant English scrum that barges its way over from five metres out. Emily Scarratt shows the value of a reliable kicker as she knocks England further ahead.
England throw three replacements on in the pack in a bid to regain parity up front - it's an area the Canadians have undoubtedly dominated, and that's reflected in their lead. It's still England 6-10 Canada.
No let-up here, it's time for South Africa v Wales. Both teams have yet to register their first win in France so they'll be champing at the bit to end their Pool matches on a high.
FULL-TIME: Spain 41-5 Samoa
Just like on the cusp of halftime, Spain look destined to score following yet another brutal scrum five metres from Samoa's tryline but Patricia García drops the ball as she attempts to ground, drawing the match to its conclusion. Impressive from Spain, especially their forwards.
TRY: England 6-10 Canada (Mack)
After missing out moments before Canada get their reward for a bristling start to the half as replacement back-rower Kayla Mack burrows over from close range. Harvey misses the conversion.
Canada have shot out the blocks in the second half - two clean brekas from Harvey and Alarie take them up to the England five metre line, and after a line-out and rolling maul the ball is spun wide where Jessica Dovanne is just dragged into touch before she can score.
We're into the final three minutes and Spain are pushing for their seventh try, once again their pack is at the heart of all their best work. They've beasted the Samoan front five, something not many expected before the start of the game. Spain 41-5 Spain
TRY: Spain 41-5 Samoa (Aigneren, 73 mins)
Another bullocking Spanish scrum inches out from the tryline punishes the tiring Samoans and number 8 Ana Maria Aigneren once again capitalises, picking up at the base for the five points. Patricia García scoops over the conversion.
The players are back out for the second half of England vs Canada - it's essentially a quarter final, and it certianly feels like knockout rugby. Don't move a muscle - if the second half is anything like the first, you won't want to miss it.
While the Eagles have landed below, Patricia García's boot is off target as the heat and cramp take their toll on the players are visibly tiring as we approach the final 10 minutes of the game. Spain 34-5 Samoa
HALF-TIME: England 6-5 Canada
England might be ahead after a pulsating forty minutes, but they have looked nervous, going backwards in the set-piece and squandering chances they'd usually convert with their eyes closed. Canada, by contrast, have bossed the set-piece and scored the only try of the game. Kelly Russell has been Parisse-esque at the back of the scrum.
PENALTY: England 6-5 Canada (Scarratt)
Paquin breaks from the scrum too early and Emily Scarratt makes no mistake from the tee to send England in ahead at the half-time break.
Despite a 29-point deficit, Samoa are putting up a spirited display 66 minutes into the match. However, they can't find the decisive pass to unlock a resolute Spain defence. Spain 34-5 Samoa
Two minutes left in the half and England have a great attacking scrum in the Canadian 22. A score here would drastically alter the half time teamtalks.
Penalty missed by Magali Harvey, and we're still at England 3-5 Canada. Tense stuff on pitch one at Marcoussis.
PENALTY: Spain 34-5 Samoa (García, 57 mins)
Another indiscretion by a Samoan on the floor results in a simple penalty in front of the sticks, easily converted by Patricia García.
Ceri Large has got the ball on a string today - for the second time she chips delicately in behind the Canadian defence, and when Kat Merchant collects superbly it looks for all money like she'll score - it takes a brilliant covering tackle from Harvey to stop her.
Lovely hands from Spain, clinging onto some improbable passes as they throw the ball to all corners of the pitch. Their handling and eye for a break have been a real highlight in this game. Spain 31-5 Samoa
TRY: Spain 31-5 Samoa (Aigneren, 49 mins)
Spain's territorial dominance is rewarded as they once again boss Samoa's scrum to inches of their own tryline, allowing number 8 Ana Maria Aigneren to pick up and pile over from close range. Patricia García adds the conversion.
Pause fraîcheur underway and England will be grateful for the break. After a bright start they've been on the back foot thanks to Canada's set-piece brilliance. Next score will be crucial.
Toulouse and Samoa prop Census Johnston, one of the world's best front-row forwards, is among the crowd watching in Marcoussis. His compatriots are being cajoled deeper and deeper into their own 22m line as Spain press for their fifth try. Spain 24-5 Samoa
TRY: England 3-5 Canada (Paquin)
Huge statement of intent from Canada at the first scrum as they march England backwards. They win a penalty, kick to touch and their set piece dominance continues from the line-out as they roll their way over the line, Karen Paquin eventually coming up with the ball.
Spain's game is based around quick penalties and darting into defensive holes, a legacy of their sevens background. They're aggressive in the tackle and Samoa have no option but to boot the ball out with their tryline close to breaching. Spain 24-5 Samoa
First touch of the ball for Canada's Magali Harvey - one of the stars of the tournament so far. She threatens, but is shackled well by England. Neither side on top yet.
And we're off in the second-half between Spain and Samoa - can the Pacific Islanders claw back the deficit in the next 40 minutes? We'll find out soon enough.
PENALTY: England 3-0 Canada (Scarratt)
A superbly struck penalty from Emily Scarratt five metres in from the left hand touchline sends England into the lead.
Breathless opening five minutes between England and Canada. A superb turnover from England takes the steam out of a Canada attack, but a scything break on the counter attack from fullback Alissa Alerie takes them back into England territory.
Anthems completed, the Canadians hustle into a tight-nit huddle. They've been brilliant this tournament, but England haven't looked too shabby themselves. This is essentially a quarter-final. Strap yourselves in, we're underway.
TRY: Spain 24-5 Samoa (Pla, 40 minutes)
Bonus-point score secured for Spain courtesy of what can only be discribed as "tiki-taka-like" play. Sweeping from deep inside their own half following a speedy burst from Vanessa Rial, the ball is fashioned out to the left corner for Barbara Pla to score, converted by García. IT's the last kick of the first-half.
TRY: Spain 19-5 Samoa (Del Pan, 34 minutes)
A fantastic opportunistic score as Samoa are yet again penalised inside their own 22m line. But rather than line up a kick at the posts, scrum-half Angela García takes the quick tap and steams through two tacklers before setting up flanker Angela del Pan for the simple score. García adds the extras.
It's a party atmosphere in Marcoussis, entertainment galore and more around the National Centre for Rugby. On the pitch it's just as convivial, albeit slightly more physical. Despite their numerical disadvantage, there's no let-up in Samoa's rugged muscular game.
TRY - Spain 12-5 Samoa (PENALTY TRY, 26 minutes)
Inevitably the Samoa pack twice collapse the scrum as Spain push for the try five metres from the line. The referee is unequivocal as she raises her right arm and runs towards the posts to indicate the penalty try, easily converted by Garcia.
Yellow card: Taliilagi Mefi (Samoa, 23 minutes)
A flowing move through the Spanish backs sees them kick into space behind Samoa's defensive lines. Mefi is the only cover and she's immediately pinged for not releasing the ball five metres from her own tryline as Spain swarmed to capitalise on their advantage.
Just over 20 minutes until we get our first glimpse of England, the top scorers in the tournament following the first two rounds. No captain Katy Mclean at flyhalf though, handing her replacement Ceri Large a fantastic opportunity to shine.
Winner-takes-all clash about to start in Pool A - here's your team news for England vs Canada:
England: Clark, Croker, Hemming, Essex, Taylor, Fisher, Alphonsi, Hunter, Hunt , Large , Allan, Burford, Scarratt, Merchant, Waterman.
Replacements: Fleetwood, Keates, McGilchrist, Matthews, Mason, Mclean, Wilson.
Canada: Pinault-Reid, Donaldson, Leith, Blackwood, Samson, Murphy, Paquin, Russell, Bernier, Belchos, Dovanne, Burk, Marchak, Harvey, Alarie.
Replacements: Russell, DeMerchant, Kirby, Beukeboom, Mack, Zussman, Waters.
TRY: Spain 5-5 Samoa (Collins)
The Samoans' physicality eventually brings reward. A couple of tackle-busting breaks up the middle leaves the defence scrambling, and the ball makes its way to Brenda Collins who finishes superbly in the left hand corner.
Scrappy stuff from both sides since that early try - the Samoans showing their physicality but the Spanish defence has held firm so far.
TRY: Spain 5-0 Samoa (García)
A huge scrum from Spain puts them on the front foot and a nice little pass sends winger Berta García over in the corner.
Early chance for Spain as Samoa go off their feet at the breakdown, and the Spaniards have a line-out five metres out.
All eyes turn to Pool A for now though - England vs Canada is the headline game but first up it's Spain vs Samoa to decide who finishes third in the pool. Remember, both sides will go through to the knockout games, so it's far from a dead rubber.
That Irish win means New Zealand and USA know they will both need at least a win, and probably a bonus point, when they play each other later today. Huge pressure on the defending champions to qualify for the semi-finals.
Some team news for you ahead of Pool A's first game today:
Spain: Rico, González, García, Gasso, Ribera, Medín, del Pan, Aigneren (c), García, Bravo, Martínez, Plá, Schiavon, García, Vanesa Rial.
Replacements: Sequedo, Redondo, Arnau, Casado, Alameda, Roca, Etxebarria
Samoa: Apineru, Kaokao, Muavae, Collins, Taala, Lilii, Campbell, Kersiano, Leuluaialii, Milo, Luatua , Faitala-Mariner, Collins, Mefi, Leuluaialii.
Replacements: Wright, Levi, Sua, Leavasa-Bakulich, Start, Leaupepe, Robertson
So there you have it, Ireland are the first side to qualify for the semi-finals. There's no let-up in the action here though - up next it's Spain vs Samoa from Pool A.
Captain Lynne Cantwell on qualifying for the semi-finals for the first time ever:
"It feels phenomenal. We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we used our full squad and we're delighted with the result."
FULL-TIME: Ireland 40-5 Kazakhstan
The scoreline doesn't really tell the full story of this one - Kazakhstan were competitive until the 60 minute mark, with Ireland making uncharacistic errors and never quite pulling away from the Nomads. Once they emptied their bench, however, it was a different story and four tries in the last twenty minutes saw them win it comfortably in the end.
TRY: Ireland 40-5 Kazakhstan (McGinn)
Gaps everywhere now and Ireland make the most of Kazakhstan's tired limbs, a simple overlap converted to send winger Vikki McGinn over in the corner. Shiels converts with the last kick of the game.
TRY: Ireland 33-5 Kazakhstan (Lynch)
The floodgates are well and truly open. With Kazakhstan down to 14 players, the gaps are everywhere and Ireland exploit it once again, showing some good hands in midfield to set Sharon Lynch free down the left. Shiels converts.
TRY: Ireland 26-5 Kazakhstan (Fleming)
And there's the bonus point try. Some lovely hands in the midfield as Ireland launch a counter attack from their own half, and flanker Siobhan Fleming shows an awesome turn of pace to scorch round the outside of the winger and over the line from 50 metres out.
PENALTY TRY: Ireland 21-5 Kazakhstan
It's a scrum penalty try for Ireland as their set-piece completely dominates that of Kazakhstan. Number 8 Marianna Balashova sees yellow too, to compound their misery.
We're into the second 'pause fraîcheur' here in Marcoussis, and the score remains Ireland 14-5 Kazakhstan. Huge credit has to go to the Nomads - after heavy losses in their two games so far, they've battled superbly well to keep Ireland within arm's reach here.
Some slick handling from the Kazakhstan backs sees Shardina break down the left flank, but a superb one-on-one covering tackle from fullback Jackie Shiels stops the winger in her tracks.
A relentless rolling maul from Ireland takes them to the Kazakhstan five metre line, but some excellent work from the Nomads at the breakdown sees them win a turnover and clear their lines.
The Fields of Athenry rings out around the ground as the Irish fans find their voice, but it's still not quite happening for their team on the pitch. A knock-on here, a penalty there - the effects of making so many changes to your starting team.
We're back underway in Marcoussis and Ireland immediately spill the restart - just the kind of error they don't want to be making as they look to pull away from Kazakhstan.
Great to see the supporters out in force again on another beautiful day in Marcoussis. The Irish have roared their team on all tournament, and it's no different today.
HALF-TIME: Ireland 14-5 Kazakhstan
After a superb start from Ireland they took their foot off the gas, little errors allowing Kazakhstan into the game. The Nomads showed they're here to do more than just make up the numbers with a muscular try, before Tania Rosser's brilliance made it a bit more comfortable for Ireland at the half-time break.
TRY: Ireland 14-5 Kazakhstan (Rosser)
Brilliant, brilliant stuff from Tania Rosser. Spotting a gaping hole in the Kazakhstan midfield, the fly-half puts her foot down and scythes through the defence, before bamboozling the fullback with an insatiable sidestep. She converts her own try.
Tell you what, though, the Nomads aren't letting up. A fine break from prop Bakhtiguzina sends the Irish defence scrambling, but they're allowed to clear their lines after she holds on at the breakdown.
Indeed, Derrick, that was not in the script. The Irish won't panic though - Kazakhstan have scored a try in every game they've played so far, even taking the lead against New Zealand, but haven't won yet.
TRY: Ireland 7-5 Kazakhstan (Karatygina)
Excellent composure from Kazakhstan as they keep their cool after several surges to eventually barge their way over the line. Great work from the entire pack, but it's Svetlana Karatygina who comes up with the try.
No try! Unlucky for Kazakhstan but great defence as they hold up the Nomads over the line. Great drive from the pack, though, and they'll look to attack again with a five metre scrum.
Another breakdown penalty from Ireland, and Kazakhstan kick to touch. They've got a line-out five metres out and the forwards drive over the line... is it a try? We're going upstairs to check...