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Aldcroft scores and Venner makes debut as Red Roses sweep Wales aside

Aldcroft scores and Venner makes debut as Red Roses sweep Wales aside
The Red Roses made it four wins from four in the Women’s Six Nations after a 66-7 victory over Wales at Twickenham Stoop. Gloucester-Hartpury’s Zoe Aldcroft was amongst the try scorers and Mia Venner made her debut.

In front of 10,974 fans, a record attendance for an England Women ticketed home game outside of a Rugby World Cup, Simon Middleton’s side were dominant throughout the match as they ran in 10 tries and secured the Triple Crown.

Poppy Cleall powered over from close range in the seventh minute to open the scoring and added a second shortly after she drove in under the posts, before a wonderful individual score from fly half Katy Daley-Mclean as she broke the defensive line and rounded the full back to score.

A driving maul off the back of lineout just before half-time saw Vicky Fleetwood go over as England secured the bonus-point 26-0 lead at the break.

It took three minutes of the second half for England’s fifth as Harriet Millar-Mills hit a excellent line inside the 22 and held off the cover defence to cross, before Cleall then rounded off her hat-trick with another line break and the lock powered over two defenders – her 12th try in 40 Tests.

Cleall then turned provided as her offload out of the tackle saw Amy Cokayne, on her 50th cap, latch onto the ball and saw her momentum carry her over.

After finisher Mia Venner’s clearance was closed down, Wales were awarded a penalty try after Natasha Hunt tackled a Wales player before she reached the ball, which also resulted in Hunt being shown a yellow card.

Despite having 14 players, England scored two more tries as Zoe Aldcroft capitalised on a loose ball from a ruck and burrowed over, and then Hannah Botterman went in under the sticks – captain Emily Scarratt converting both as she knocked over eight of her nine kicks.

And with minutes remaining Sarah McKenna stretched over for a 10th Red Roses try and England's 19th win in a row on home soil.

Head coach Simon Middleton said:

"I'm really pleased with the victory today. Seeing just under 11,000 people here at the Stoop makes you immensely proud.

"It was a great atmosphere. I was pleased we could put on a good performance for the crowd and want to thank everyone for their support.

"Zoe Aldcroft was sensational again, as she has been all tournament. She's an old head on young shoulders.

"Poppy Cleall was superb and her hat-trick is a fitting way for her to finish up this part of the tournament. She's a real team player, has great skills but works tirelessly."

HALF CENTURY

It was a milestone match for Red Roses hooker Amy Cokayne who played in her 50th game for England at the age of just 23.

After her second half try, the front row forward has scored 18 tries since her debut at the age of 18, which also took place at Twickenham Stoop, and put in another industrious performance around the park, busy in the loose and consistent when it came to her lineout throwing.

Flanker Harriet Millar-Mills also made her first start for England since the 2017 World Cup having come on as finisher in other games during the Six Nations following 22 months out injured, and capped an excellent day with England's fifth score.

There was also a debut as a finisher for 17-year-old Gloucester-Hartpury Women back Venner after being brought into the squad this week, as she came on at half-time for Emily Scott.

The Red Roses will now await details of their postponed final fixture against Italy, knowing they are just one victory away from sealing a successive Grand Slam title.

England

  1. Emily Scott, 14. Lydia Thompson, 13. Emily Scarratt (C), 12. Amber Reed, 11. Sarah McKenna, 10. Katy Daley-Mclean, 9 Leanne Riley; 1. Vickii Cornborough, 2. Amy Cokayne, 3. Shaunagh Brown, 4. Poppy Cleall, 5. Zoe Aldcroft, 6. Harriet Millar-Mills, 7. Vicky Fleetwood, 8. Sarah Beckett


Finishers

  1. Heather Kerr, 17. Hannah Botterman, 18. Sarah Bern, 19. Sarah Hunter, 20. Amelia Harper, 21. Natasha Hunt, 22. Zoe Harrison, 23. Mia Venner


Wales

  1. Kayleigh Powell 14. Lisa Neumann 13. Hannah Jones 12. Kerin Lake 11. Caitlin Lewis 10. Robyn Wilkins 9. Keira Bevan; 1. Gwenllian Pyrs 2. Kelsey Jones 3. Cerys Hale 4. Georgia Evans 5. Natalia John 6. Alisha Butchers 7. Bethan Lewis 8. Siwan Lillicrap (capt)


Replacements

  1. Molly Kelly 17. Cara Hope 18. Ruth Lewis 19. Gwen Crabb 20. Robyn Lock 21. Ffion Lewis 22. Hannah Bluck 23. Lauren Smyth

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Gloucester Rugby
Sat 28 Nov
KO 15:00
Wasps
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