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Women's 6N round-up: Bern scores for rampant England, Wales beaten

Eleven Bears Women players were in international duty in round four of the TikTok Six Nations over the weekend.

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England ran in 11 tries at Welford Road to down Ireland 69-0 in the TikTok Women's Six Nations.

Simon Middleton's charges are now unbeaten in 22 consecutive matches, and will play France in a Grand Slam decider next weekend, at Stade Jean Dauger, Bayonne.

The Red Roses took little time to get things going against Ireland, crossing inside the opening two minutes, Lark Davis dotting down off the back of a trademark rolling maul. Their second came on the 17-minute mark, in the same circumstances and corner as the first, though Sarah Bern was the benefactor. 

Ireland looked frustrated, as Nicole Cronin's missed penalty kick in front of the posts symbolised their first half in attack, though their defence was commendable, thwarting multiple Red Roses' chances and forcing turnovers or penalties on their own line. Due to that effort, Greg McWilliams' side went in at the break just 10-0 down.

England enjoyed 59% possession in the opening half, and made 228 more metres, 26 more carries and 46 more passes whilst beating 11 more defenders than their counterparts. However, Ireland boasted more success at set piece, winning more scrums and lineouts, and forced five more turnovers than the hosts.

 

The Red Roses started the second half as they did the first, scoring inside the opening two minutes. After a succession of carries, the ball was spread through the hands to Marlie Packer on the wing, and the flanker powered past Michelle Claffey to go over. Emily Scarratt, making her 100th Test appearance, added the extras to make it 17-0.

Moments later Ireland flanker Dorothy Wall was shown a yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Jess Breach, who was subsequently replaced by Ellie Kildunne, and England took immediate advantage of the extra player as Davis bagged her second of the match - securing the bonus point. Scarratt's successful conversion extended England's lead to 24 points.

Lydia Thompson bagged the game's best score; a set piece move off a line out saw Holly Aitchison lift a pass behind the hard running line of Scarratt and into the path of Helena Rowland. The full back ate up space in front of her before committing the Irish line and fizzing a 15 metre pass into Thompson's hands for an easy try.

Replacement Poppy Cleall wrestled over from close range for England's sixth try on 56 minutes, and Leanne Infante - on her 50th cap - was replaced by Natasha Hunt just before Hannah Botterman claimed try number seven. Scarratt successfully converted both to make it 43-0, as the hour mark passed.

Cleall scored another on 65 minutes, off the base of a dominant five metre scrum, followed by a jinxing Kildunne try moments later. Both were converted - one by Scarratt and the other courtesy of Zoe Harrisson. Outside centre Sene Naoupu was shown a red card for a head clash with Scarratt, as the last 10 minutes of the Test saw second scores from Kildunne and Thompson, confirming a comprehensive win.

The match, attended by 15,836 fans, was the Red Roses' second clean sheet of the tournament.


Wales over powered by France

France remain on course for a coveted Grand Slam after beating Wales 5-33 at Cardiff Arms Park in the TikTok Women’s Six Nations.

The visitors claimed a bonus point before halftime and led 26-0 at the break with Wales left with a mountaint to climb. But to their credit Wales restricted France to just one try via Jessy Tremouliere in the second half and finished strongly themselves with Sioned Harries powering over in the dying moments of the game.

A tough opening quarter for Wales left them struggling to gain territory outside their own half. With France on the attack in the Welsh 22, France looked for their first score but solid defence from Wales turned over the ball to deny them the score.

But a lineout for France made way for a robust attack to send Laure Sansus over the line for the opening try, Jessy Trémoulière converting.

Moments later, a pass out wide to Caroline Boujard saw the wing tap down over the line with the TMO called in to confirm. Trémoulière adding the extras.

France added to their score moments later after a Welsh mistake found the hands of Chloé Jacquet who broke free to score.

Sansus scored her second of the game just shy of the half hour mark to keep the score ticking over for the French with Trémoulière converting again.

Wales had their chances in the closing stages of the opening half with a break from Hannah Jones setting up the attack in France’s 22. Coming within inches of the try line, Wales looked for the try but a pass out wide struggled to find the hands of Niamh Terry to score.

Running out for the second half, Wales started off strongly conjuring up another attack in France’s half to gain the territory.

Wales looked to take their chances but a resilient French defence kept them at bay.

Pressure from France eventually paid off with Trémoulière breaking through to score and convert her own try to extend their lead.

Wales tried to answer back after gaining possession in France’s half but a kick to touch going dead denied Wales the attacking opportunity.

Despite the score not sitting in their favour, Wales kept digging deep to try and gain a foothold on the game.

Securing a penalty off the back of a French scrum, Wales looked to take it quickly but pressure from France kept the hosts clear of the scoreboard and back in their own half.

Wales’ efforts eventually paid off with a series of penalties in their favour in the closing stages of the match. Building up the phases a huge drive sent Sioned Harries crashing over the line for the try as the game came to an end.

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