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Six Nations: Red Roses beat France, Wales held in Italy

England Women Red Roses made it two from two with a impressive 41-26 victory over France while Wales were held to a 3-3 draw by Italy.

England took the lead against the reigning Grand Slam champions after Katy Daley-Mclean’s cross-field kick was superbly taken in the air by Jess Breach to dot down.

Poppy Cleall then burrowed over the line before Kelly Smith latched on to a pin-point grubber kick from Emily Scarratt. 

Jess Breach then secured her brace before the half was up before France responded in the opening stages of the second half when Safi N'Diaye got their first points, but some strong forward work close to the line saw England respond and Cleall crossed for her second.

Pauline Bourdon gave the visitors hope crossing midway through the second half, before Red Rose replacement Hannah Botterman finished a series of pick and drives and then Catherine O'Donnell went over in the corner for England's seventh. 

But Romane Menager crossed in the final play of the game to secure a losing bonus-point

England head coach Simon Middleton: “That was a massive win for us and I was really pleased with how we came out and attacked and kept our discipline. We let France in during the second half but that only shows what a world-class side they are.

“We are not the finished article yet and there is plenty still for us to work on. Tonight we will let ourselves celebrate a great win but there is no place for complacency.”


Elinor Snowsill came off the bench to make her fiftieth appearance for Wales but her side were denied what could have been a famous victory in Lecce as the TMO ruled out a 72nd minute wonder-try from Jasmine Joyce.

Robyn Wilkins gave Wales a deserved lead after 37 minutes with a straightforward penalty and the visitor's held onto their lead until Michaela Sillari levelled things up on the hour mark.

Then the controversy, Olympic sevens star Joyce received an overhead pass from Elinor Snowsill just outside the Welsh twenty-two and raced to the posts for a score.

But no sooner had she touched down behind the posts than the referee consulted the TMO about the original pass, which was judged to be forward and they ruled out the try. 

Wales head coach Rowland Phillips: ”There is a lot of disappointment that we didn't win, but as far as guts, determination and discipline are concerned, I thought they were outstanding.”

"To show the character we did in the last five or 10 minutes to keep them out was unbelievable and the real positive was how we defended our try line. We kept them out under massive pressure, and they are a big side."