|Italy : (0) 0|
|England: (28) 54|
|Give it a try: Kildunn, Cleall, Scarratt, Ward, Bern, Brick, Riley, Packer Cone: Scarratt 5, Harrison 2.|
England finished second in a row in the Six Nations Women’s Grand Slam and beat Italy 54-0 in Parma.
The Red Roses were champions after four games, but their intention to stay unbeaten was clear when Ellie Kildunne crossed the finish line in four minutes.
Poppy Clell, Captain Emily Scarratt and Abby Ward followed her with a bonus point in the first half.
Four other attempts after the break limited the six England-dominated nations.
After a slow start in the second half by the visitors, Sarah Bern found her way across the tribal line before Jess Breach, Leanne Riley and Marley Packer put their names in the scorecards.
The Red Roses now have a week’s rest before playing two tests against France as the countdown to the 2021 FIFA World Cup continues.
Two other Six Nations women’s weekend games – Wales against Scotland and France against Ireland – have been postponed because of a coronavirus.
The progress of the Red Rose, not stopped by the suspension of six countries
England hadn’t played a single test match since March and at first it seemed to be a misunderstanding between Abby Dowe and Amber Reed, so Katie Daly-Mcklin came off as an underdog at the start of the match.
But it took only three minutes and 40 seconds for Kildunn, who impressed the Seven, to return to international rugby, 15 against 15. The red roses were built in phases, and the entire rear side skilfully stepped over the defenders.
Then, at number eight, Sarah Beckett picked up the ball from the base of the crowd and came within thumb of the line and Cleall finished the job.
Italy reacted with pressure, but wasted its time on simple mistakes, and England did not make use of it, because Bern’s attempt was rejected because of a previous informant.
But Scarratt, who took the injured Sarah Hunter’s place as captain, broke through a slanting line of support to break through the defenders and among the posts before handing over his bill.
England earned a bonus point before the break as Ward’s Castle returned from a pontoon break after 11 months of injury and Scarratt added a fourth successful conversion.
Both teams saw their standards drop after the break and Italy missed a penalty – 13th in the game – to give England a chance to shine.
There were no red roses in the corn, but they could not be stopped for long, and eventually Bern burst in.
England was without Captain Hunter and midfielder Natasha Hunt, who tested positive for the coronavirus, but head coach Simon Middleton cleared an extremely solid bench after 60 minutes.
The new attacker managed to make some holes and the Breach wing had enough room to score in the corner.
A thick fog fell on the field and England struggled to find its way back until Riley, the last scout to replace Hunt, grabbed the interceptor and plunged over the line.
It was time for the eighth and final attempt, which Packer scored at the foot of the pier before pretending to celebrate the baby’s cradle – and dedicating the score to the baby he and his partner welcomed in September.
When England won six countries.
2. February: Victory over France 19-13
England began to defend their six nations crown with a persistent victory, with Emily Scarratt delivering a nice solo effort in the second half and showing her determination.
10. February: Victory in Scotland 53-0
Monday’s game in Murrayfield was played because of storm Ciara. In England it was warm in the snow and frost to reach the top of the table.
23. February: Defeat to Ireland 27-0
The unbridled first half of the performance took its toll when England suffered its first defeat against Ireland and came closer to the title.
7. March: defeat against Wales with 66-7
In the last game before the pandemic some 11,000 spectators watched Poppy Cleall’s hat-trick when England surpassed Wales at Twickenham Stoop.
1. November: Victory over Italy 54-0
With the title, which had been won a week earlier by a tie between Scotland and France, England won eight victories over Italy.
Actors: Abby station
Lock Abby Ward had a big influence on her return after a break of 11 months. She scored goals in the first half and took over the role of captain when Emily Scarratt left after the break.
Large back-to-back helmets are rare, they said.
Captain Emily Scarratt from England on Sky Sports: It was very important that we kept our foot on the accelerator and did justice ourselves. It was very good teamwork.
English national team player in the game Abby Ward: We wanted to end Six Nations on our terms. It’s rare to build a large back-to-back helmet. That’s what we’re looking for.
Our ability to play rugby after so many years It’s great to be together again. English rugby in a very exciting time.
England can participate with high expectations –Analysis
Former winner of the Rocky-Clarke World Cup on Radio 5 Live Sport Read more
England was responsible for most of the game. It was a good performance, but there are a few things you can do to restore order after not playing for so long.
Young talented players pass us by and it was nice to see that they have played so well at the World Cup in one year and that they can participate with high expectations.
England has been phenomenal throughout the tournament and can draw confidence from it.
Italy : Furlan (Captain); Magatti, Sillari, Rigoni, Stefan; Mudia, Barattin; Turani, Bettoni, Guy, Fedrigi, Dooka, Sgorbini, Franco, Giordano.
Replacements : Kerato, Scofka, Merlot, Tunesi, Sberna, Ostuni Minuzzi, Muzzo, Mancini.
England: Kildahn; Brick, Scarratt (Captain), Reid, Doe; Daily Mcklin, McDonald; Cornborough, Davis, Bern, Ward, Count, Cleall, Packer, Beckett.
Replacements : Cocaine, Harper, Brown, Millar Mills, Matthews, Riley, Rowland, Harrison.
England claimed a second successive Women’s Six Nations Grand Slam with a bruising 54-0 win over Italy in Parma.
The Red Roses were already champions after four games but their intention to stay unbeaten was clear as Ellie Kildunne crossed within four minutes.
Poppy Cleall, captain Emily Scarratt and Abbie Ward followed suit for a first-half bonus point.
Four more tries after the break capped off a Six Nations which England dominated throughout.
After a slow start to the second half from the visitors, Sarah Bern found her way across the tryline, before Jess Breach, Leanne Riley and Marlie Packer added their names to the scoresheet.
The Red Roses now have a week off before playing two Tests against France as the countdown to the 2021 World Cup continues.
The weekend’s other two Women’s Six Nations matches – Wales v Scotland and France v Ireland – were postponed because of coronavirus.
Red Roses’ progress not halted by Six Nations suspension
England had not played a Test match since March and it initially seemed this had taken its toll as a miscommunication between Abby Dow and Amber Reed meant Katy Daley-Mclean’s kick-off went into touch.
But they needed just three minutes 40 seconds to collect themselves before Kildunne – who has impressed in sevens – made a stylish return to international 15-a-side rugby. The Red Roses built through the phases and the full-back deftly stepped through defenders to go over.
Then number eight Sarah Beckett picked the ball up from the base of the scrum and came up inches short of the line, with Cleall finishing the job.
Italy responded with a period of pressure, but squandered it with simple errors and England failed to capitalise as prop Bern’s try was ruled out because of an earlier knock-on.
But Scarratt, taking on captain’s duties in place of the injured Sarah Hunter, ran a scything support line to break through defenders and go over under the posts before converting her own score.
England secured a bonus point before half-time as lock Ward, returning from an 11-month injury, scored from a maul and Scarratt added her fourth successful conversion.
Both sides saw their levels drop after the break and Italy conceded a penalty – their 13th of the match – to give England the chance of a line-out in the corner.
The Red Roses forwards were unsuccessful in a maul but they could not be kept out for long and Bern eventually barged over.
England may have been missing regular captain Hunter and scrum-half Natasha Hunt, who had tested positive for coronavirus, but head coach Simon Middleton emptied an extremely strong bench in the 60th minute.
Fresh-legged forwards managed to create some gaps and wing Breach had just enough room to score in the corner.
A thick fog fell on the pitch and England struggled to find their way through until replacement scrum-half Riley – a late recruit to replace Hunt – grabbed an interception and dived across the line.
There was time for an eighth and final try, which Packer scored at the base of a maul before pretending to cradle a baby in celebration – dedicating the score to the child she and her partner welcomed in September.
How England won the Six Nations
2 Feb: beat France 19-13
England started the defence of their Six Nations crown with a hard-fought win, Emily Scarratt racing clear for a fine solo try in the second half proving decisive.
10 Feb: beat Scotland 53-0
Switched to a Monday match at Murrayfield because of Storm Ciara, England were hot in the snowy and freezing conditions to go top of the standings.
23 Feb: beat Ireland 27-0
A rampant first-half performance did the damage as England inflicted a first defeat of the tournament on Ireland and moved a step closer to the title.
7 March: beat Wales 66-7
In the last game before the pandemic, a record near-11,000 crowd saw a Poppy Cleall hat-trick help England power past Wales at Twickenham Stoop.
1 November: beat Italy 54-0
With the title already secured by Scotland’s draw with France a week earlier, England clinched back-to-back Grand Slams with a ruthless eight-try win over Italy.
Player of the match: Abbie Ward
Lock Abbie Ward made a big impact on her return after an 11-month injury lay-off, scoring in the first half and taking over captainancy duties when Emily Scarratt went off after the break
‘Back-to-back Grand Slams are rare’ – what they said
England captain Emily Scarratt on Sky Sports: “It was really important we kept our foot on the gas and did ourselves justice. It was a really nice team performance.”
England player of the match Abbie Ward: “We wanted to finish the Six Nations on our terms. Doing a Grand Slam back-to-back is rare. It is something we were chasing.
“Our ability to actually play rugby after all this time… it is great that we are back together. English rugby is in a very exciting time.”
‘England can go into World Cup with high expectations’- analysis
Former England World Cup winner Rocky Clark on Radio 5 Live Sports Extra
England were in charge for most of the game. It was a good performance but there are a few things to tidy up which you would expect when you’ve not played for so long.
There are some young and talented players coming through and it was great to see them play so well with the World Cup one year away and they can go into it with high expectations.
England have been phenomenal throughout the tournament and can take confidence from that.
Italy: Furlan (capt); Magatti, Sillari, Rigoni, Stefan; Madia, Barattin; Turani, Bettoni, Gai, Fedrighi, Duca, Sgorbini, Franco, Giordano.
Replacements: Cerato, Skofca, Merlo, Tounesi, Sberna, Ostuni Minuzzi, Muzzo, Mancini.
England: Kildunne; Breach, Scarratt (capt), Reed, Dow; Daley-Mclean, MacDonald; Cornborough, Davies, Bern, Ward, Talling, Cleall, Packer, Beckett.
Replacements: Cokayne, Harper, Brown, Millar-Mills, Matthews, Riley, Rowland, Harrison.