Canada conceded a try in the first minute of this match but settled down to go on to defeat Italy 22-12 with a bonus point at Rugby World Cup 2021.

The triumph means they have already secured a quarter-final place and they are in good form.

Both sides went into this Pool B encounter at the Waitakere Stadium in Auckland off the back of bonus-point wins in week one - Canada against Japan and Italy against USA.

And with Canada ranked third in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini and Italy fifth this was always going to be a fascinating contest.

And it lit up within the first minute, a clearance kick by Canada scrum-half Brianna Miller bouncing around on the halfway line before Italian full-back Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi got her hands on the ball and showed great feet to get through the defence and score an excellent try. Centre Michela Sillari missed the conversion.

That shocked Canada into action, but it took them until the 20th minute to get on the scoresheet.

When it came it was a really good finish by winger Paige Farries and when Miller converted they were 7-5 up.

Hooker Emily Tuttosi, who scored a hat-trick of tries against Japan, was at it again with four minutes to go before half-time. Miller missed the conversion and Canada were 12-5 to the good with 40 minutes to go.

The tries by Farries and Tuttosi - plus some strong defence - seemed to have given Canada confidence and they stretched their lead even further in the 50th minute.

Centre Sara Kaljuvee was the scorer this time and although it was unconverted they were up 17-5.

And that lead was further extended to 22-5 thanks to the bonus point fourth try by Tuttosi.

The five pointer was her fifth of the competition so far and when she was replaced by Gillian Boag in the 67th minute she could take a rest feeling more than happy about her contribution to this performance.

Around that same time her team mate Emma Taylor, a replacement, was yellow carded for a late challenge as she tried to block a clearance kick.

Italy could not score when Canada were down to 14 players, but they never gave up and they did get a second try through Elisa Giordano at the death. Sillari converted to make it 22-12, but it was Canada's day.

After the match, the Canada captain Sophie de Goede said: “This is a tough Pool B that we are in, so we knew we had to play well against Italy.

“Our experienced forwards help set up this victory and we are pleased with how things are progressing, but there are still improvements to make before we play USA next.”