England by way of to Six Nations ultimate

Italy: (3) 3
Pen: Sillari
England: (17) 67
Tries: Scarratt, Fleetwood, Dow 2, Millar-Mills, Rowland, B Cleall, MacDonald, Davies; Pens: Rowland, Scarratt; Cons: Scarratt 8
Protection: Rewatch the match in full on BBC iPlayer

England secured their place within the Ladies’s Six Nations ultimate as a flurry of late scores helped them to a nine-try victory in Italy.

In a gradual begin for the Purple Roses, Emily Scarratt and Vicky Fleetwood benefited from Italian errors for the aspect’s solely first-half tries.

England improved when replacements got here on after the break and scored 4 tries in seven minutes, with Abby Dow crossing twice in Parma.

The ultimate is on BBC Two on 24 April.

England is not going to be taught their opponents for that match till Eire face France subsequent weekend, however Les Bleues are the favourites to prime Pool B.

Earlier than the sport each side paid tribute to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who died on Friday aged 99.

The English flag was flown at half-mast through the match and a two-minute silence was noticed earlier than kick-off, with England gamers and UK officers carrying black armbands.

England battle for early momentum

England got here into the match as heavy favourites, however it was Italy who dominated possession from the outset.

Head coach Simon Middleton had rotated his Purple Roses aspect after final weekend’s 52-10 defeat of Scotland and the ten modifications he made appeared to have despatched England backwards initially.

They struggled to seek out their move and as a substitute needed to accept factors earned by way of Italian errors. Scarratt bought the guests on the scoreboard when she picked up a dropped ball to cowl half the pitch, earlier than changing her personal attempt.

Italy weren’t deterred and continued to launch spirited assaults however once more ball-handling was the Azzurre’s undoing as Meg Jones grabbed a unfastened cross and located Fleetwood, who scored.

Middleton condemned repeated inaccuracies towards Scotland final weekend and England struggled to tighten up a few of these errors.

Returning captain Sarah Hunter introduced an assault to a halt with a knock-on and Scarratt was sin-binned for a excessive deal with on wing Maria Magatti.

Italy’s Michela Sillari took the possibility to attain three factors, earlier than England’s Helena Rowland claimed a penalty of her personal to take the Purple Roses in with a 13-point lead on the break.

England discover kind in final 30

Initially, England nonetheless couldn’t discover their move within the second half as Rowland, who was given a second likelihood to start out in her audition to interchange Katy Daley-Mclean as fly-half, mishit a cross-field kick.

After Scarratt earned three factors from the tee, Italy’s ill-discipline mounted and scrum-half Sara Barattin paid the value of a yellow card for coming in together with the maul.

Poppy Cleall, the participant of the match towards Scotland, then got here on to interchange captain Hunter. Together with her assist, the forwards punched a gap within the Italian defence and Leanne Riley despatched the ball left for Dow to attain her first.

England began to choose up as replacements continued to come back on and a formidable scything run from flanker Alex Matthews arrange a attempt for Harriet Millar-Mills.

Minutes later Rowland noticed a niche in Italy’s defence and darted by way of, earlier than quantity eight Cleall confirmed her tempo to interrupt away and discover Dow, who sprinted down the left wing to attain once more.

England must wait eight minutes for his or her subsequent attempt, scored by Bryony Cleall in a driving maul.

Replacements Claudia MacDonald and Lark Davies crossed to carry the tally as much as 9, however the Purple Roses could not be capable of get away with such a gradual begin ought to they face France in two weeks’ time.

Participant of the match – Meg Jones

Meg Jones greater than earned her place as England’s beginning 12 together with her fast considering repeatedly sparking the Purple Roses’ assault

‘A few of our tries had been excellent’ – what they mentioned

England head coach Simon Middleton mentioned: “We had a very good first half final week and a very good second half this week. We weren’t bodily sufficient across the breakdown and credit score to Italy, their intent was good and we did not have any ball.

“We’ve got had a variety of prep going into this match, and I noticed the depth within the second half.”

England captain Sarah Hunter mentioned: “We most likely did not come out with the depth we must always have within the first half.

“I feel the second half was extra like what we’ve got been engaged on. We needed to wind Italy down a bit bit and when you might have a bench like we did, a number of the tries we scored had been excellent.”


Italy: Furlan (capt); Muzzo, Sillari, Rigoni, Magatti; Madia, Barattin; Skofca, Cammarano, Gai, Fedrighi, Duca, Arrighetti, Franco, Giordano,

Replacements: Bettoni, Maris, Seye, Locatelli, Veronese, Sgorbini, Stegan, D’Inca.

England: Kildunne; Breach, Scarratt (vice-capt), Jones, Dow; Rowland, Riley; Cornborough, Cokayne, Brown, Aldcroft, O’Donnell, Matthews, Fleetwood, Hunter (capt).

Replacements: Davies, Botterman, B Cleall, Millar-Mills, P Cleall, MacDonald, Harrison, McKenna.

Referee: Aurelie Groizeleau

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