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England Women continue march towards Grand Slam with 51-12 win over Wales

England Women continue march towards Grand Slam with 51-12 win over Wales
The Red Roses made it three from three in this season’s Six Nations, with a comfortable enough win on the scoreboard although Simon Middleton’s side will not be completely satisfied with the performance.

The final result, and the five points gained, hint at a dominant display, but there are plenty of work-ons for England who were made to work very hard by a dogged Wales side who battled bravely throughout.

In fact, the middle third arguably went the way of Wales who scored late in the first half and succeeded in knocking England out of their stride.

Although Tatyana Heard and Kelly Smith were rested by England, there was still plenty of Gloucester-Hartpury involvement on the day. Mo Hunt started for England, while Hannah Jones and Beth Lewis started for Wales.

Cerys Hale and Kelsey Jones both featured as second half replacements for Wales, and the Gloucester-Hartpury highlight of the day was probably seeing Hale score late on for the home side.

England Women were quick out of the blocks in Cardiff, a cross kick from Daley-Mclean finding Abbie Dow to set up an early score for Sarah Bern. And this was followed by a well worked try for Jess Breach as the Red Roses took a 12-0 lead within five minutes.

Wales dug deep, but struggled to secure any consistent possession with the lineout a particular challenge. On the other hand, England’s lineout looked in fine fettle and the third try came from that source, as a catch and drive led to Marlie Packer touching down.

Sarah Bern then unleashed a fine turn of pace, followed by a devastating sidestep to go over under the posts, and a fine backs move saw Breach break a tackle to add the fifth.

At this point, Wales started to work their way back into the game as England’s discipline let them down and give their opponents some much needed possession and territory.

A good drive from the pack finally saw the home side get some reward for their efforts. A long pass to Kavanagh gave the left wing some room to work in and, as the England defence over pursued, she stepped inside to dot down.

29-5 to England at half-time and their superiority was reflected on the scoreboard. But Wales would have been heartened by the way they’d worked their way back into the game in the final 10 minutes.

The first 20 minutes of the second half were similarly frustrating for England, as Wales continued to compete hard and made a nuisance of themselves. A number of marginal decisions went against the Red Roses, including a possible hat-trick try for Sarah Bern being ruled out for apparently losing possession when the grounding looked good.

But, on the hour mark, England went back to basics, kept it tight and Cath O’Donnell showed good strength to drive over the line from a couple of metres out.

England now seemingly had a bit of self-belief back, and Abbie Dow scored a fine solo effort down the right wing although Wales will be disappointed by the tackling, three attempted efforts coming up short.

Sarah Beckett then cut a great line against the grain of the defence to storm through and touch down under the posts for her first international try, before Cerys Hale delighted the home crowd with her first try for Wales.

But the last word went the way of England, Katy Daley-Mclean jinking her way to the line after a long period of pressure, touching down to complete a 51-12 victory.
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Kingsholm Stadium
Gloucester Rugby
Sat 4 Jun
KO 15:00
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