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Home > News > England Women make it 3 from 3
Your News England Women make it 3 from 3

England 22 Ireland 5

England Women overcame horrendous rain soaked and muddy conditions at Esher RFC on Sunday to run in 22-5 winners against Ireland in the third round of the RBS 6 Nations.

The victory hands England their third win in the tournament and ensures that they stay on track to defend their Six Nations crown with games against Scotland and France still to go.

After a heavy night of rain and wind, and the pitch only deemed playable mid-morning, the conditions did inevitably dictate the run of play but England still managed to play their own game and ran in an impressive four tries.

England Head Coach Gary Street said: "This was our toughest match so far in the Six Nations, and certainly the conditions did affect both sides playing today. Even so we still managed to score some quality tries and that says a lot about the willingness of this side and how they want to play."

England Assistant Coach Graham Smith added: "Ireland seem to save everything they have to throw at us and that is what they did today. They were very difficult conditions but our scrum and line out were good and certainly the forwards, who enjoy these sorts of conditions, were beaming when they came off the pitch."

England made a powerful statement early on with the home side executing a line-out, catch and drive with ease, and then Saracen flanker Maggie Alphonsi muscling her way over the line with just four minutes gone.

McLean didn't make the conversion, but England soon powered into a 12 point lead when hard graft by the forwards saw flanker Heather Fisher turn over the ball. Her break in Ireland's 22 then saw 19-year-old centre Emily Scarratt find a great line and carve her way through Ireland's defence to touch down and claim her 14th try in 16 games. McLean this time made no mistake with the conversion and stroked the ball over to hand England a comfortable 12-0 lead after just six minutes.

Ireland's spirits didn't dip though and they fought back to just a seven point deficit at half time. Some good pressure from them in second quarter saw them dig deep in England's 22, and with the home side giving away needless penalties Ireland kept attacking. Finally, despite some excellent defending by England, a line out, catch and drive saw Ireland pile their way over the line with lock Kate O'Loughlin claiming the points. With full back Niamh Briggs missing the conversion England kept their seven point lead at the break.

Street rung the changes after the restart with Rachael Burford, Amy Turner and Jane Leonard getting their chance. All the players made an impact, and even though England had to be patient and wait for the next score, their efforts paid off just before the final quarter.

Some more good work by the forwards, with the pack gaining valuable space up field, then gave England's backs the chance to break and with the ball being recycled out through Turner, Katy McLean, Burford, full back Claire Allan was then able to make her break and strip down Ireland's defence and score England's third try.

Again patience proved crucial for England, and with just 11 minutes remaining England claimed their final try courtesy of scrum half Turner. Replacement flanker Leonard made a big impact in getting England possession from a ruck and with Burford and then Scarratt, showing an impressive turn of speed, Turner was in support and took the ball on to score, handing England the 22-5 victory.

England next face Scotland on March 13th at Meggatland Stadium, kick off 130pm.


15 Claire Allan (Richmond), 14 Katherine Merchant (Worcester), 13 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), 12 Alice Richardson (Richmond), 11 Michaela Staniford (Wasps), 10 Katy Mclean (VC) (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 9 La Toya Mason (Wasps),

1 Rochelle Clark (Team Northumbria), 2 Amy Garnett (Saracens), 3 Sophie Hemming (Bristol), 4 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 5 Joanna McGilchrist (Wasps), 6 Heather Fisher (Worcester), 7 Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens), 8 Catherine Spencer (C) (Bristol). Replacements: 16 Samantha Reeve (Worcester), 17 Claire Purdy (Wasps), 18 Rebecca Essex (Richmond), 19 Jane Leonard (Lichfield / Army), 20 Amy Turner (Richmond), 21 Rachael Burford (Richmond), 22 Fran Matthews (Richmond)

Tries: Alphonsi, Scarratt, Allan, Turner

Conversions: McLean


Substitutions: Burford for Richardson, Turner for Mason (both 45 mins), Leonard for Fisher (53), Reeve for Garnet, McGilchrist for Essex, Purdy for Clark, Matthews for Merchant (all 69).


15 Niamh Briggs (Clonmel/Munster), 14 Nora Stapleton (Old Belvedere/Leinster), 13 Joanne O'Sullivan (Richmond/Exile), 12 Shannon Houston (Blackrock/Leinster), 11 Amy Davis (Blackrock/Leinster), 10 Helen Brosnan (Highfield/Munster), 9 Tania Rosser (Blackrock/Leinster), 1 Fiona Coghlan (UL Bohemians/Leinster), 2 Chris Fanning (Highfield/Munster), 3 Lauren Day (Cooke/Ulster), 4 Kate O'Loughlin (Clonmel/Munster), 5 Marie Louise Reilly (Navan/Leinster), 6 Orla Brennan (Blackrock/Leinster), 7 Claire Molloy (Bristol/Connacht), 8 Joy Neville (UL Bohemians/Munster). Replacements: 16 Gillian Bourke (UL Bohemians/Munster), 17 Emer McManamly (Blackrock/Leinster), 18 Louise Austin (UL Bohemians/Munster), 19 Carol Staunton (Galwegians/ Connacht), 20 Louise Beamish (UL Bohemians/Munster), 21 Grace Davitt (Blackrock/Leinster), 22 Alison Miller (Portlaoise/Connacht).

Tries: O'Loughlin



Referee: Stefano Marrama (FIR)

Assistant Referees: Ken Morgan & Paul Stanley

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