England remain on course for back-to-back Grand Slams after beating Ireland 27-0

Women’s Six Nations 2020 Round Three

England remain on course for back-to-back Grand Slams in the Women’s Six Nations after an emphatic 27-0 win over Ireland in Doncaster.

England are three points clear of France in the table with matches against Wales and Italy to come in the final rounds – both fixtures for which they are overwhelming favourites.

The Irish arrived at a sellout Castle Park with Slam ambitions of their own having beaten Scotland and Wales in their opening matches, but they were firmly extinguished by England, who didn’t concede a point for the second successive match.

England ran in five tries in all. Captain Sarah Hunter kicked things off in the opening minutes as England’s scrum drove Ireland back close to their own line and the No 8 showed great control at the base to guide the ball over and touch down.

Wings Abby Dow and Jess Breach also crossed in the first half, as did Vicky Fleetwood. There were only five points scored in the second half, full-back Sarah McKenna going over.

Emily Scarratt had little opportunity to build on her points record for England Women, converting only the first of those five tries. Yet she had a decent excuse given the windy conditions in Doncaster – just watch this attempt…

England head coach Simon Middleton said: “In the first half we played some great rugby, we attacked well and in different ways and gave ourselves a good platform to kick on from.

“We didn’t execute our attacking game plan in the second half which is disappointing. That said, it’s a great win for us.”

France thumped Wales 50-0 in the other round three match, scoring eight tries at Cardiff Arms Park.

Cyrielle Banet and Laure Sansus both crossed for braces in the Welsh capital as the visitors dominated. Safi N’Diaye, Marine Menager, Julie Annery and Camille Boudaud all also crossed, while 2018 World Player of the Year Jessy Tremouliere added five conversions.

Women’s Six Nations 2020 Round Three

Double up: Cyrielle Banet scores her second try against Wales (Getty Images)

The final match of round three, due to take place between Italy and Scotland at Stadio Giovanni Mari, was postponed due to concerns over the coronavirus. An increased number of Covid-19 cases in the Milan area led to Italian authorities cancelling all sporting events in the region.

A date for the rescheduled match to take place has not yet been confirmed.

The March issue of Rugby World magazine – a Six Nations special – is one sale now.

Follow Rugby World magazine on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.