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England 88-10 Ireland: Women’s Six Nations – as it happened
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England 88-10 Ireland: Women’s Six Nations – as it happened

Sarah Rendell’s match report is right here:

And that is the lot for today. England march on to a shot at the grand slam against France next week. Au revoir for now.

Louis Deacon, the forwards coach, says they want to sell out Twickenham before the next World Cup.

He also says: “I’m a maul fan. We used our maul to suck their defence in.”

Maggie Alphonsi asks Deacon if a lack of competitiveness in these games is a problem. His answer isn’t very complimentary to their rivals.

“We get our competitiveness in training … the girls really go at each other in training,” Deacon replies.

“That’s where our competitiveness is, in training, to be honest with you.”

Scott Bemand, the Ireland head coach, speaks: “The Irish girls are quite a young group … coming into an occasion like this … the girls have to handle the occasion. I think we looked quite young. After half time the girls showed something after a reasonably bruising first half.

“Ireland haven’t scored a point against England for three years I think [not since 2019, in fact] … so it’s a small win … We’ll take our learnings from this … the great thing about sport is you get to go again.”

“We’ve got some really good players coming through. It’s learning to put it out there on these occasions.

“We’ve got to keep being positive. England played really well, fair credit to them … we’ll keep going after stuff, we want to fire some shots in these big games, and we’ll keep going after it.”

Abby Dow, another England hat-trick heroine, has a chat: “We always want to do more … it’s incredible to be a part of. We had Meg [Jones] go to 10, Holly [Aitchison] go to nine … hopefully it’s great to watch.

“[It’s about] taking the easy option, which sometimes isn’t that easy … We showed up as one, we played as one … credit to Ireland, they tried to play their gameplan … but we found some channels that were maybe a bit weaker.

“John Mitchell has given us new questions … How good can we be?”

Megan Jones chips in: “We’re all outstanding rugby players … Our connections are getting stronger.”

Kildunne speaks to the BBC. What is it like being her, asks Sonja McLaughlan: “It’s like any of the other girls. We’re so happy to play in front of this crowd.

“No disrespect to Ireland but we really turned it on, it became running rugby, and it was enjoyable.

“We talk a lot about taking the handbrake off … keep trying new things … he [Mitchell] gives us bags of confidence and belief and we just do our thing.

“A game like today … we don’t think too far ahead. Let’s take in what’s just happened. 48,000 people came to watch us play and next week it’ll probably be 48,000 French fans. We’ll just take it as it comes.

The England players look pretty thrilled with that. In terms of the ruthlessness with which they took their opportunities that was impressive.

On the downside, Ireland were falling off tackles from very early on, and were never able to exert much pressure in terms of disrupting England’s ball.

The Red Roses ultimately score 14 tries. Complete dominance and a very fun day out for the fans. England will go to Bordeaux next week looking to defeat France and complete another grand slam.

79 min: Ellie Kildunne is named player of the match. Fair.

Aldcroft, Scarratt and Breach are all involved and Maddie Feaunati scores her first England try on the left after the ball is offered up to her in space. That was another sensational score with a rampaging run by Aldcroft and another brilliant bit of distribution by Scarratt.

77 min: Today’s official attendance is 48,778. Decent!

Hat-trick for Kildunne. A sensational kick from hand by Scarratt, off the side of her right boot, again sees her making all the difference, again showing composure in contact. The ball bounces into the space identified by Scarratt behind the Irish defensive line, and Kildunne nabs the ball and runs over for her hat-trick. Aitchison misses the conversion.

Penalty for England. They attack down the right wing, gobbling up the territory like women possessed. There are some tired bodies in that Irish defensive line, although they continue to compete as best they can.

Anyway, Breach scores on the left wing after a smart little kick over the top from Aitchison. Aitchison converts.

A seriously classy offload in contact by the replacement centre Scarratt creates the space for Kildunne to streak over the line for her second try. That’s liquid rugby. And the conversion goes over too.

68 min: Sydney Gregson on now as John Mitchell’s bench-emptying continues.

England have made 1,060metres in attack against 400-odd for Ireland.

The elusive England right wing is released in space and she scorches beyond the Irish cover and over the try line for her hat-trick. Extras added. Ten tries for England.

63 min: Emily Scarratt comes on for Heard. Maddie Feaunati is also on.

Molony, O’Dowd, McGrath, Ikahihifo, Scuffil-McCabe are on for Ireland.

“I’m not too thrilled about that,” John Mitchell says on the BBC of the penalty try. “It’s good to learn from something like that.

“The back line is really starting to show some cohesion … there is some subtle familiarisation between them and there is always somebody in space … that’s where we want to be.”

A brilliant jinking run by Jones from within the Irish 22 and she skips in for the ninth try of the afternoon for England. Jones has been excellent and certainly one of England’s better performers, along with Kildunne, but I make Heard player of the match thus far.

That is a superb piece of collective work from Ireland. The scrum-half Lucy Packer, only just on the field as a replacement, is sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes for collapsing the driving maul which was threatening the English line.

55 min: Ireland construct an excellent driving maul to within a metre or so of the England line … and the TMO and the referee have a look at the replay after it collapses.

55 min: Muir and Hunt have gone off for England with Clifford and Lucy Packer on.

54 min: Rosie Galligan, who was meant to start was injured in the warm-up, is pictured with her left arm in a sling or a brace of some sort. Unfortunate for her.

52 min: Ireland find themselves in the unfamiliar position of being in the England 22 with the ball in hand. They try to work the ball from left to right, searching for an opening, but the English tackling is too strong and the Irish are gradually driven back about 15 metres having been in a promising position. There is a massive hit from Heard in there, and she smiles as she watches the replay on the big screen. It’s a moment that sums up England’s dominance all round.

A meaty carry by Packer takes England to within a couple of metres. Kabeya stretches for the line under the posts and although the referee initially rules out a try, a TMO review shows a clear grounding on the line. That is eight tries for England. Aitchison converts for the half-century for England.

48 min: Botterman has gone off for Mackenzie Carson, for England.

Now Kabeya looks to have powered on to the tryline for England’s latest five-pointer, their eighth …

O’Brien spills a ball in midfield and England ruthlessly exploit the turnover possession. Dalton rushes up in defence on the right edge for Ireland, but England ship it out to the wing and Breach has the pace to punish the visitors with a long-range finish. Aitchison misses the conversion narrowly after Breach indulges in what appears to be an equestrian-themed celebration.

Breen and Deely are on for Ireland, with Higgins and Delany off.

41 min: Kildunne and Hunt both go for a garryowen in the England half. It looks like a mix-up but Hunt claims it anyway.

Let’s get back out there.

“We need to put the foot on the throat now,” says Lou Meadows, the England attack coach.

But will it be Murder on the Rugby Field after half time? It certainly looks like it.

Sophie Ellis Bextor is entertaining the crowd with “Murder on the Dancefloor” right now.

“As featured in Saltburn”, it says on YouTube.

Zoe Aldcroft is on the scoresheet. Sarah Rendell spoke to her during the buildup:

Meg Jones is over the tryline again … but the referee rules it out for a forward pass. And that’s the half. A painful one for Ireland but England have played some lovely stuff. Six tries and 80 carries and tonnes of missed tackles from the visitors.

40 min: Aitchison feeds Heard in midfield with a whippy, flat pass. England probe down their right, then down their left. They win a penalty and will have time for another big driving maul before half time …

Source: theguardian.com