The Red Roses asserted their dominance over the women’s Six Nations competition on Saturday, beating Wales 66-7 and staying on course for the Grand Slam.
In front of a record-breaking crowd at Twickenham’s Stoop, the England women put on a show for their home support scoring nine tries during the 80 minutes.
Player of the match, England’s Poppy Cleall, was a stand-out performer going over the line three times for her side from her position at No.4 showing strength and agility throughout the game. Two of Cleall’s tries came in the first half and were supported by an impressive individual try from Katy Daley-McLean brought out of a moment of creative brilliance.
Wales showed creativity and resilience as the match progressed but were unable to capitalise on their chances as England showed why they are one of the world’s best sides in the women’s game.
The Welsh side were, however, able to ensure they put points on the board in the form of a penalty try that came in the second half. England’s Mo Hunt was deemed to have tackled Kerin Lake without the ball in a probable try-scoring position and was sent to the bin for ten minutes for the incident.
Playing with 14 players for ten minutes did not prevent England from making strides in the match and the Roses scored three more tries whilst down one player. Poppy Cleall, Vicky Fleetwood, Harriet Millar-Mills, Zoe Aldcroft, Hannah Botterman and Sarah McKenna all went over the line to add their own points to England’s tally.
17-year-old Mia Venner came on in the second half for her debut cap for England, whilst prop Amy Cockayne started her 50th game for her country and was rewarded with a try in the second-half.
England’s win over Wales means head coach Simon Middleton’s side have secured the Triple Crown and would, ordinarily, be on track for the Grand Slam. Coronavirus fears have delayed the inevitable, however, and England will have to wait and see when their final fixture against Italy can be played.
The Stoop was host to 10,974 fans, a new record for an England women’s rugby fixture and captain Emily Scarratt spoke after the match about how important the crowd were during the match.
“It’s awesome playing here in front of this many people. We love playing in front of crowds like this.
“It’s the last game of the Six Nations for us at the moment, so we wanted to put on a show, and rectify a few things we were frustrated with after the Ireland game.
“We got back on the horse as it were, and the scoreboard probably speaks for itself. There were some fantastic tries right across the board.”
An emotional Wales captain Siwan Lillicrap spoke after the match about the positives she saw in her side’s performance.
“We have got to take some of the positive stuff out of what we displayed today. England are an outstanding side but definitely there was some really good stuff from us as well.
“We’re at the beginning of a building stage, we’ve got lots of youngsters in the squad and we’ve got to stick with it, keep developing, keep learning.”
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