Planet Rugby

Women's Six Nations: Round One

05th February 2013 10:58

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womens six nations

Mud bath: Italy record first Six Nations win over France

The Women's Six Nations tournament is now in full flight as England, Ireland and Italy banked wins in the opening round over the weekend.

What a way to kick off this year's Championship! With a come-from-behind victory in Wales, a dominant display of tries in England and a hard fought battle in the Rovato mud.

England were simply too strong for Scotland in a 76-0 whitewash in Esher. Scotland defended well early in the first quarter, but after England skipper Sarah Hunter scored, the floodgates opened.

England crossed the line twelve times and didn't miss a beat despite having a relatively new squad.

"We had a lot of young, inexperienced players out there today but actually they were all leaders and they stood up and that's something I'm really pleased with," said England head coach Gary Street.

"We did make mistakes but the important thing was that we didn't panic, we got it together and in the end, the result clearly went our way."

Scotland will need to lick their wounds and take a long hard look at themselves before they face Italy this weekend. And the Italians will be full of confidence thanks to an emphatic 13-12 victory over France.

In terrible conditions, heavy underfoot does not describe the conditions these ladies played in Rovato. From playing in a field of mud where not a blade of grass could be seen, to players being covered head to toe in mud - so much so that you had to double check if you were passing to a team-mate or the opposition... plus add a slippery ball!

How these ladies continued on playing and sending the ball out wide is a true testament to their class, professionalism and love of rugby.

This is the first time Italy have defeated France in the Six Nations and over 2,000 spectators helped celebrate an important and historic victory for their national side.

"We are becoming a mature team that knows how to handle difficult moments," said Italy's head coach Andrea Di Giandomenico.

"Today the girls played a great game. Accurate when it had to be combative when under pressure. France was strong with scrum and within rucks and mauls have pushed us back. But we did not give up."

France will regroup and will use this as motivation when they take on Wales, who also lost a tightly contested match against Ireland 10-12.

Despite Wales crossing the line twice early in the second half, both tries were deemed to have been knocked on by the referee and proved to be costly in the end.

Ireland hooker Gillian Bourke crashed over in the corner in the 75th minute to steal victory for her country much to the heartache and pain of the Welsh crowd.

"That was the best performance the girls have put in over the past two years," said Wale coach Rhys Edwards.

"The scrum was dominant and our defence was always in control. It a real kick in the teeth to lose a game that was there for the taking but we go to France next week knowing that if we repeat today's performance, we've got a great chance of coming away with a positive result."

The results of the Six Nations in the coming weeks will determine which two top teams - other than England and France - will automatically qualify for the 2014 Rugby World Cup.

Already this Six Nations is setting up to be one to remember given the results after the first round.

By Amanda Love

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
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Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
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South Africa vs Australia16:05
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Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
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Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso16:00
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Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
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Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
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Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Pumas vs Western Province19:00
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Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
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Recent Results
FixtureDetails
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Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
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Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
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ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
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Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
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Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
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Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
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Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
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ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
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Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
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Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39