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Women’s Six Nations: England beat Scotland 53-0 in freezing conditions

Women’s Six Nations: Abby Dow tries in treacherous Murrayfield conditions
Women’s Six Nations: Scotland v England
Scotland (0) 0
England (22) 53
Tries: Bern, Breach, Dow 2, Scott 2, Hunter, MacDonald Pens: Scarratt Cons: Scarratt 5

Champions England beat Scotland in freezing conditions to go top of the Women’s Six Nations standings.

The match was switched to Murrayfield on Monday because of Storm Ciara but conditions were still difficult as snow left players struggling to keep warm.

Sarah Bern, Jess Breach and Abby Dow, who sprinted 50 metres for a superb try, put England 22-0 up at half-time.

Emily Scott (two), Dow, Sarah Hunter and Claudia MacDonald scored after the break in deteriorating conditions.

Centre Emily Scarratt kicked 13 points in the swirling wind to overtake team-mate Katy Daley-McLean as England Women’s leading points scorer of all time with 539.

The heavy snow made for difficult conditions in the second half

The match was scheduled to take place in Glasgow but because of Sunday’s extreme weather was moved to Edinburgh on Monday, where it was played behind closed doors at the national stadium.

England have never lost a Women’s Six Nations match to Scotland, with Simon Middleton’s professional side scoring 12 tries in an 80-0 win last season.

The visitors did not quite match that scoreline this year but having beaten France in the opening weekend, remain on course to defend their Grand Slam title.

Player of the match Scott said: “It was really difficult. It’s not often you play in the snow like this and it got icy towards the end as well.

“We handled the postponement well. We kept our heads switched on and knew we had to perform. We had hot water in drinks bottles to keep our hands warm which was a dream.”

England will host Ireland in their next match on 23 February, while Scotland will seek a first win of the tournament when they travel to Italy.

Dow try lights up first half

England made five changes from last weekend’s win in France, bringing in an entirely different front row, and one of those players, prop forward Bern, powered over from close range for the opening try in the third minute.

Fly-half Zoe Harrison dropped the ball three times as England struggled to find their rhythm as snow started to fall.

But that changed when Breach found space to score in the corner and then her fellow wing Dow ran half the length of the pitch, fending off three tackles, for a superb solo score.

Five England tries as conditions worsen

Amber Reed tries to keep her hands warm

As the weather worsened in the second half, England did well to hold on to the slippery ball and set up full-back Scott for the bonus-point fourth try.

With Scotland tiring after their first-half efforts, Scott scored again when she pounced on a loose ball following a high kick, and then turned provider to set Dow up for her second try.

Players took the chance to collect bottles of hot water to try to keep their hands warm but there was still time for two more tries.

A more traditional pack move produced the next score for number eight Hunter and then replacement scrum-half MacDonald kicked forward and dived down for the final try.

Emily Scarratt kicked 13 points at Murrayfield

‘A gulf in class’ – What they said

Scotland coach Philip Doyle: “It was a very hard day at the office. In the first half our scrum was excellent. Unfortunately our line-outs let us down and we paid the price.

“You are looking at a professional side and we’re not but we’ve at least closed the gap on them. That’s all I asked today. It’s a gulf in class. It’s hard to take but we’ll look forward to Italy now. That is a side we can definitely challenge a lot closer.”

Scotland captain Rachel Malcolm: “Though the scoreline doesn’t show it, we’ve taken a step forward compared to Twickenham last year.

“Playing against England is an amazing opportunity. Playing one of the best teams in the world, they’re going to expose your weaknesses and it was great to learn as a team.”

England coach Simon Middleton: “It’s a seven out of 10. It was a pretty good performance bearing in mind the conditions. We’re pleased with the score and particularly with keeping Scotland to nil because they’ve got dangerous players.

“We’ve played two games away against two very good sides in totally contrasting conditions. I’m thrilled and we’ve got plenty to build on. The most important thing is we can see progression in the side. There’s a great buzz in the changing room.”


Scotland: Rollie; Lloyd, Thomson, Nelson, Tonkin; Law, McDonald; Bartlett, Skeldon, Forsyth, Wassell, Bonar, Malcolm, McLachlan, Konkel.

Replacements: Wright, Muzambe, Cockburn, Cattigan, McMillan, Law, Sergeant, Wallace.

England: Scott; Dow, Scarratt, Reed, Breach; Harrison, Hunt; Cornborough, Davies, Bern, Cleall, Aldcroft, Beckett, Fleetwood, Hunter.

Replacements: Cokayne, Botterman, Brown, Millar-Mills, Harper, MacDonald, Daley-Mclean, McKenna.

Article courtesy of BBC Sport
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