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England 46-10 Wales: Women’s Six Nations 2024 – as it happened
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England 46-10 Wales: Women’s Six Nations 2024 – as it happened

So England rack up a 46-10 victory to maintain their perfect start: two bonus-point wins from two games. But Wales more than played their part and could have scored more their one try.

Daniel Gallan was at Ashton Gate and he’s sent his report covering all the action of an eventful afternoon. Thanks for enjoying it with me.

Ioan Cunningham is on the telly and he’s rightly lauding the effort of the Wales team he coaches.

I’m extremely proud … to show that fight at the end was outstanding. We’ve got to be more clinical. The girls give so much into the jersey but to go to the next level, we’ve got to take those opportunities – because we see England; they take them.

That Wales try. Quick thinking and indeed play from Keira Bevan. Wales will rue the fact that they did not score more tries, given the possession they had, but at least they did not lose heart at any point.

“We left a lot of tries out there and overplayed a bit in the first half,” reckons Sarah Hunter. “We’ve made line breaks but how do we’ve got to work on how we finish those chances off.” The England defence coach is pleased with their performance, but the biggest room in the house is the room for improvement. (I said that, not Sarah, she’d never be reduced to such woeful cliches.)

Ellie Kildunne’s second try. Arguably the most impressive of England’s eight. What strength to get this down with Wales players crawling all over her.

Marlie Packer talks to the TV and she looks delighted, with the atmosphere as much as England’s victory.

Absolutely incredible – this crowd is just unreal. Over 19,000. This place has been rocking today … all the girls are loving it.

There are a few fix-ups we want to make. Our soft errors; our handling errors. We want to let off the handbrake – but our timing all has to be perfect. We knew Wales were going to bring it to us and improve after the Scotland game. But we got our gameplan right.

Worth saying that Wales lost this fixture 59-3 last year – and that was in Cardiff. England have made a habit of putting 50+ points on Wales and today they did not do that. Wales played with heart and no little skill.

That might sound like faint praise for the underdogs but they improved massively on the Scotland display. The final score does not reflect their all-round contribution, but credit the Red Roses’ defence for that, too. They would not let Wales past in the first half.

England earn a comfortable victory, touching down with eight tries. Ellie Kildunne got two of them and has four for the Six Nations overall. As against Italy, they displayed more of their expansive play in the second half.

Wales really contributed to this game though. They’ll wonder how they didn’t score a try in the first half when they had so much of the ball. At least they got 10 points on the board and Kiera Bevan got a well-deserved try.

79 min: Wales still trying to power their way through for a second try. Callender, however, who has been absolutely superb today, knocks the ball on. You can forgive her that.

77 min: Rosie Galligan is named player of the match by Auntie Beeb. She’s been very good, as have, for England, Botterman (especially first half), Kildunne (especially second) and Dow.

75 min: The Wales pack are powering over the line and a try looks almost certain but England hold them up and somehow stop the score. The Red Roses players applaud their own defensive effort.

74 min: Wales play the ball around nicely. They win a penalty for a high tackle on Bevan. They want another try.

72 min: Kayleigh Powell is on for Lleucu George. Molly Reardon comes on for her Welsh debut as well. They will need the extra energy in the closing minutes.

69 min: Apparently England must always have a Packer on the pitch: Lucy is on. Connie Powell breaks through the Wales defence again. Ominous for the visitors.

67 min: Wales’s turn to chuck the ball around in expansive style. Courtney Keight breaks impressively.

66 min: Almost 20,000 at Ashton Gate. Impressive. They’re playing Hey Jude at a tremendous volume and the fans are enjoying it. More of a Revolution 9 fan myself.

65 min: It’s a more open second half. England have a lineout in Welsh territory and they’re spreading play. Dow attempts to wriggle through the Wales defence. They’re looking to fling the ball around here.

Ellie Kildunne with her second try and it’s a remarkable finish. She had two Wales players hanging on her and powers her way towards the tryline with an incredible show of force and desire. She dives over. Aitchison sends a difficult conversion wide.

60 min: Changes coming thick and fast for both sides now. The England captain, Packer, who’s been at the heart of England’s generally magnificent defence is off. In news Wales will less like to hear: Abbie Ward is on.

Rosie Galligan powers over the line for England seventh try. She’s deserved that for her all-round play so far today. A clean conversion.

56 min: Wales back on defence now, have they riled the Red Roses by scoring the first try they have conceded in this Six Nations? A scrum near the Welsh line.

Wales pressure finally pays off! Keira Bevan shows her guile and agility to pierce the England defence, at last, and that’s a deserved try. George kicks the extras.

50 min: A short lineout works for Wales. They are on the attack in front of the England posts but Kate Williams drops the ball forward – once more, momentum is lost.

48 min: Keira Bevan is on for Wales, they need her experience at scrum half. She’s getting the ball in hand immediately as Wales regroup.

The most fluent England try yet. Heard with a brilliant run, Mo Hunt’s pass and Dow touches down. This is superb play from the hosts. Another conversion goes wide though.

45 min: Wales keep trying that long lineout throw and it is not working. At all. England gain possession back again, they are looking rampant now.

England have come out flying in the second half and Ellie Kildunne wriggles over the line. That’s her third try, she’s leading the Six Nations on that score. Aitchison’s conversion hits the post! The second times that’s happened.

41 min: Connie Powell is on for England, Atkin-Davies going off, and she breaks through the Welsh line but Wales halt the attack. George’s kick does not find touch, however.

The second half begins! Can Wales stop knocking on the door and get over? Will England begin dominating play as they would wish to? Let’s see. England kick-off.

Sarah Hunter, England legend, is talking to the TV at half-time: she praises the resolute defensive effort of her former side. But the defence coach admits Wales have caused a few sticky moments.

The Red Roses have displayed their power, what we might call game management and were supremely clinical in attack. Hannah Botterman was the standout player. John Mitchell will be pleased with the scoreline but might want to see some more of the promised slick, attacking play. They improved in the second half in Parma; same again in Bristol?

Ioan Cunningham will be reminding Wales of all the good things they did in that first half, hoping heads don’t drop. They had almost 50% possession and real opportunities to narrow the score midway through that half but are now staring at a 21-point deficit.

That scoreline does not reflect Wales’s contribution to the first half. They had plenty of the ball but could not find the breakthrough to score a try.

England’s defence was strong and the key fact is when they had pressure at the Welsh line, they maximised it and got over. They were excellent on the break, particularly Abby Dow with one terrific run. However it was interesting to see England playing on the break a lot rather than dominating the ball.

England get the bonus-point try just before the half-time whistle. It was a maul, a melee of bodies and Lark Atkin-Davies finally gets the ball down. Aitchison misses a difficult conversion chance, skewing it well wide.

Source: theguardian.com