Women’s Six Nations: Clinical England tear through Wales to keep their Grand Slam bid in tact

Stan Wilson

England defeated Wales 58-5 at home to end the away side’s unbeaten record in the Six Nations and strengthen their own Grand Slam bid.

Ellie Kildunne came on early at full-back as Abbie Dow went down with a nasty injury after 13 minutes that could put her World Cup availability up in the air.

When play resumed, Wales did well to limit damage in the first half with the score 19-0 at the interval following tries from hooker Lark Davies, lock Abbie Ward and returning winger Jess Breach.

Dominant second half

In the second half, an onslaught of tries came from England with Sarah Bern, Amy Matthews, Shaunagh Brown, Sarah Hunter and Emily Scarratt all adding to scores while Ward and Breach both came back for one more after the break.

Welsh replacement hooker Kelsey Jones of Gloucester-Hartpury scored in front of her home crowd in the 67th minute but it didn’t even scratch the insurmountable lead that the Red Roses had built.

Play was held up for several minutes early on after Dow suffered a painful injury that resulted in her being carried from the pitch on a stretcher and she was subsequently taken to hospital.

It was England who responded better to the lengthy break as Davies finished a rolling maul and soon after Ward was over.

Wales’ scrum was being consistently overpowered but the hosts’ line-out was malfunctioning, while their momentum was also affected by an indisciplined phase.

Turning to the maul once more, however, their pack made 20 metres before the ball was spun to Breach, who was swept over by her footwork.

A second for Breach was sandwiched by two tries for the front row as Davies completed another maul before a rampaging Bern charged over from a line-out.

England’s dominance up front was complete with Bern and Poppy Cleall leading the charge and replacement Natalia John was sent to the sin-bin because of an accumulation of defensive penalties from the visitors.

Matthews was the next to score, but in the 69th minute the one-way traffic was finally pierced when Wales finally registered their first points through Jones’ try from short range.

Brown touched down just before John returned from the sin-bin and there were additional scores for Scarratt and Hunter.

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