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Eight-try England dominate in bonus-point victory over Wales

Megan Wellens

Digital Sports Journalist @MegWellensX

Tries from Maud Muir, Zoe Aldcroft, Hannah Botterman and Lark Atkin-Davies against Wales gave England the bonus point by half-time; the Red Roses are on the hunt for a third successive Six Nations Grand Slam and sixth Women’s Six Nations win

Last Updated: 30/03/24 6:55pm

England had the bonus-point wrapped up after the first 40 minutes at Ashton Gate

England had the bonus-point wrapped up after the first 40 minutes at Ashton Gate

England showed their attacking prowess in a dominant 46-10 victory over Wales in the Women’s Six Nations.

In front of an 18,000-strong crowd at Ashton Gate in Bristol, the Red Roses took control in the first half as they took a 19-3 lead, short-range tries from Hannah Botterman, Maud Muir and Zoe Aldcroft – on her 50th Test appearance – coming from some sublime pace and teamwork from Abby Dow and Ellie Kildunne in the backs.

The bonus point was then wrapped up with the clock in the red, Lark Atkin-Davies finishing off the maul push to put England 24-3 in front with 40 minutes still left to play.

Two tries for Kildunne, plus scores from Dow and Rosie Galligan put England further ahead in the second half, as Holly Aitchison added three conversions from the boot.

Wales hit back as Keira Bevan went over for a converted effort from a quick tap penalty but it was the only opportunity used by the visitors, England taking the full five points to move top of the Six Nations table.

Red Roses go through the gears as Wales rue missed opportunities

Wales showed their intent early on against England and, after two penalties, finally went for the points, Lleucu George slotting over from right in front to put the visitors 3-0 up.

Abby Dow was key for England as she created metres with her powerful speed

Abby Dow was key for England as she created metres with her powerful speed

It did not take long for England to hit back as they sent it through hands for Dow to break downfield, Muir powering over from close range for a 5-3 lead.

England continued to be dangerous down the right edge and, with quick ball off the lineout, Aldcroft powered over after just 15 minutes, Aitchison adding the extras as the Red Roses went 12-3 in front.

Wales could not turn their possession into points

Wales could not turn their possession into points

After a controversial turnover of possession as Marlie Packer looked to play at scrum-half Sian Jones, the Red Roses did what they do best as Meg Jones broke downfield and sent the grubber kick to Jess Breach, Botterman barrelling over a few phases later for a converted effort.

Hannah Botterman was a menace at the breakdown for the Red Roses

Hannah Botterman was a menace at the breakdown for the Red Roses

Wales then had a number of opportunities but could not turn them into points and England secured their bonus point with the clock in the red, Atkin-Davies finishing off the Red Roses’ signature maul to give them a 24-3 lead at the break.

It was the perfect start to the second half as current Six Nations leading try scorer Kildunne went over in the corner in the 43rd minute, Dow then diving over on the other edge just three minutes later.

Score Summary: England 46-10 Wales

England: Tries: Maud Muir (8), Zoe Aldcroft (15), Hannah Botterman (24), Lark Atkin-Davies (40+2), Ellie Kildunne (43, 62), Abby Dow (46), Rosie Galligan (58); Conversions: Holly Aitchison (16, 25, 59)

Wales: Tries: Keira Bevan (54); Conversions: Lleucu George (6, 55)

However, Wales hit back through experienced replacement Bevan, taking the quick tap penalty and stepping over from close range with George adding the extras to bring the score to 34-10.

After the Wales try, it was not long until England were over the tryline once again as Galligan saw the gap and fired through, with Kildunne then using her strength for a sensational finish to put her side 46-10 up with just over 15 minutes to play.

Wales then put together probably their best segment of attacking play in the whole contest but were held up over the line, the Red Roses standing strong for the win, leaving Wales questioning if they could have had more.

What they said

Red Roses captain Marlie Packer…

“It was absolutely incredible, this crowd is just unreal. All the girls are absolutely loving it.

“There are a few things to fix up, but we will fix them up in the week and come out strong against Scotland.

“Our soft errors, our handling errors. We talk about that we want to let off the handbrake, so those errors are going to come in, but it is just about how we react to them.

“We have so much intent in what we are trying to do.”

What’s next?

England have a trip to face Scotland next on their Six Nations calendar on Saturday April 13, with kick-off at 2.15pm.

Meanwhile, Wales travel to face Ireland, also on Saturday April 13, with kick-off at 4.45pm.

Sky News
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