Red Roses set up TikTok Six Nations Grand Slam decider vs France in Bayonne next Saturday with emphatic win over Ireland; England only 10-0 up at half-time but pull away in the second half to finish the game with 11 tries at Welford Road in Leicester
Last Updated: 24/04/22 2:56pm
England’s Red Roses scored nine second-half tries as they pulled away to claim a 69-0 victory over Ireland at Leicester’s Welford Road to set up a Women’s Six Nations Grand Slam decider against France next weekend.
Hooker Lark Davies (two), tighthead Sarah Bern, back-row Marlie Packer, wing Lydia Thompson (two), back-row Poppy Cleall (two), prop Hannah Botterman and replacement back Ellie Kildunne (two) scored England’s tries.
The Test was played out in front of 15,836 supporters at Welford Road – a new record for a women’s rugby match in England.
England, who gave Emily Scarratt a guard of honour as she took to the field for her 100th cap, scored the opening try inside two minutes by driving Davies over.
Abbie Ward had a try chalked off for a forward pass but Bern found a gap to break a depleted Ireland’s resistance for the second after 16 minutes.
Ireland should have got on the scoreboard midway through the first half but Nicole Cronin sliced a penalty horribly wide from in front of the posts.
England – Tries: Davies (2,45), Bern (17), Packer (42), Thompson (51, 78), Cleall (55, 63), Botterman (62), Kildunne (68, 73). Cons: Scarratt (42, 45, 56, 61, 65), Harrison (77).
Ireland – Tries: None. Yellow cards: Wall (45). Red cards: Naoupu (68).
It had been a scrappy first half from the hosts but they began the second eager to make amends with Packer showing her pace to score in the first minute.
Scarratt landed her first conversion and kicked her second after Davies bundled her way through again.
Ireland, who had Dorothy Wall in the sin-bin, were opened up again when Thompson finished off a flowing England move.
Cleall came off the bench to power through for try number six and another rolling maul sent fellow replacement Botterman over.
Cleall grabbed her second and Kildunne zigzagged her way across before Ireland were reduced to 14 when Sene Naoupu saw red for a dangerous tackle.
Kildunne evaded two Irish defenders to get the ball down one-handed for her second try and Thompson rounded off the scoring.
England finish their championship at Bayonne’s Stade Jean Dauger in Round 5 on Saturday, April 30 (2.15pm kick off GMT), up against a France side who are also four wins from four in the 2022 championship.
Ireland complete a disappointing 2022 at home to Scotland in Round 5, also on Saturday, April 30 (8pm kick off GMT), at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.