10-try England beat Wales in front of record crowd


England: (19) 58
Tries: Davies 2, Ward, Breach 2, Bern, Matthews, Brown, Scarratt, Hunter Cons: Harrison 4
Wales: (0) 5
Try: Jones

England thrashed a determined Wales to claim another dominant Women’s Six Nations bonus-point win in front of a record crowd at Kingsholm.

Wales at first put up a stern challenge but, after Abby Dow went off with what looked like a World Cup-threatening injury, Lark Davies opened the scoring.

Wales’ Kelsey Jones went over in the second half, but England were clinical as ever as they racked up 10 tries.

The crowd of 14,689 is a record for an England ticketed home game.

It surpasses the previous mark of 13,253, set at the Twickenham Stoop for the 2010 World Cup final.

England eventually escape Welsh stranglehold

With England three years further along the path of professionalism than Wales – who recently awarded 12 full-time contracts for the first time – few would dare to predict a Welsh win in Gloucester.

But the visitors stifled their opposition in the first half as England squandered attacking line-outs and were repeatedly beaten at the breakdown.

The Welsh intensity was reflected in a tackle by number eight Sioned Harries – making her first Wales start since 2019 – on Marlie Packer as the England flanker was slammed to the floor.

Rather than repeating the slick offloads that helped them rack up 21 tries in their opening two games, England seemed determined to make use of their kicking game.

It did not initially pay dividends as Wales full-back Kayleigh Powell ran back at the white wall and sliced past Jess Breach and through Packer towards England’s 22.

Then the Kingsholm crowd was quieted as full-back Dow – one of England’s standout performers in recent years – went down in an awkward tackle and was taken off on a stretcher before being driven to hospital after receiving lengthy treatment on the pitch.

It looked like a leg injury potentially serious enough to keep her out of October’s World Cup – a devastating blow for Dow and England.

Perhaps galvanised by a desire to perform for their team-mate and friend, once play eventually restarted England immediately hauled a maul over the tryline for Davies’ opening score.

Having taken no longer than eight minutes to score in their opening two games, that it took 16 to get over is testament to Wales’ defensive efforts.

With Wales still challenging at the breakdown, England managed to cross again as Abbie Ward dived over from short range.

Eventually England made use of their backs too and after a series of swift offloads Jess Breach stepped round Powell to score.

More to follow.

Line-ups

Wales: Powell; Neumann, Jones, Lake, Joyce; Wilkins, Lewis; Pyrs, Phillips, Rose, Tuipulotu, Crabb, Lillicrap (capt), Butchers, Harries.

Replacements: Jones, Hope, Hale, Callender, Lewis, Bevan, Snowsill, John.

England: Dow; Breach, Scarratt, Rowland, McKenna; Harrison, L Packer; Cornborough, Davies, Bern, Cleall, Ward, Matthews, M Packer, Hunter (capt).

Replacements: Powell, Muir, Brown, Galligan, Fleetwood, Hunt, Reed, Kildunne.



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