As hosts England will begin the tournament as co-favourites alongside defending championship New Zealand after their latest Grand Slam.
But Ponsford maintains what happens now will count far more than any previous results.
She said: "They've had a six-week strength and conditioning programme, but some of the squad haven't played rugby since March, so it was about blowing away the cobwebs and making sure they're sharp.
"We'll be building-up the intensity leading into the World Cup.
"The facilities and the pitches here have been great. The accommodation was absolutely great, just what we needed."
"We're optimistic about our chances. We're really pleased about the preparation programme we have put in place.
"We think we'll be in the best position we can be to give ourselves the best possible chance when we get to the World Cup.
"But sport is sport and you can never underestimate the strength of the opposition."