- Three out of three for England Women in Six Nations
- Staniford double means England remain unbeaten at Twickenham
England Women’s Six Nations title ambitions remain firmly on track after the reigning champions inflicted a 33-0 defeat on Home Nation rivals Wales and maintained their winning record at Twickenham Stadium.
Although England’s performance was far from slick Gary Street’s side ran in six tries on route to the victory with Wasps wing Michaela Staniford adding a brace. There were also tries for Emily Scarratt, Kay Wilson, Sarah Hunter and Rowena Burnfield, who was named Player of the Match.
Street, whose side have also defeated Scotland 47-0 and Italy 43-3 in the Six Nations so far, said: "I am really pleased with this performance. Wales made us work hard for this victory, bringing passion and determination to the game and they tried very hard to stop our players in their tracks.
"At half-time when we were leading 13-0 we spoke about improving our discipline, to stop giving away so many penalties and to be more patience. When we started to do that the points came.
"We have now got two weeks to prepare for our penultimate game against France and really look at ourselves and analyse the French. With both teams unbeaten this is going to be a titanic battle but we are going to make sure we are ready for that challenge."
With Street once again ringing the changes for this fixture, 11 in total from the side that started against Italy, England still managed to find their stride early on and scored within two minutes to put down a threatening marker.
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Skipper Katy McLean made a good break to give England space while centre Rachel Burford carried the ball on. England were awarded a penalty which led to an attacking line-out deep in Wales’ 22. England drove forward and when they couldn’t get over they recycled the ball out-wide through the hands of McLean, Burford and Natasha Hunt before wing Staniford got on the end of it and scored her fourth try of the tournament.
Wales battled back though and kept England at bay, with their forwards putting England under pressure, but the pressure couldn’t amount to points even when England lost prop Laura Keates to the sin-bin for stamping.
England in fact seemed unruffled being a player down and McLean soon stroked England into a 8-0 lead with a 32nd minute penalty before a lovely decoy run saw the fly half then set-up centre Burford with a break.
The centre made some good space before off-loading to her fellow centre Scarratt who raced 45 metres up-field to score on the left wing. McLean couldn’t make the conversion, and Wales too had their chance at the posts with a 38th minute penalty but couldn’t make the score, leaving England 13-0 up at half-time.
England called upon some of their experienced charges for the second half with No. 8 Sarah Hunter and flanker Margaret Alphonsi coming on to the field. They immediately added some impetus but it was Player of the Match Burnfield who took the first score of the second half with a well-deserved 46th minute touchdown.
Photo: Getty Images
Lock Burnfield, whose work-rate was impressive throughout, took a nice high pass from Burford after England had hammered Wales’ try line on the right wing. The ball was recycled through midfield before Burford set-up a deserving Burnfield.
Try number four came England’s way just minutes later with wing Kay Wilson taking the spoils after some good work by Hunter in the corner, quickly followed by Staniford’s second with Scarratt and Hunt at the heart of the action taking England into a commanding 28-0 lead as they headed into the final quarter.
Wales’, however, kept on battling and they regrouped to produce some more solid defensive work to stop England scoring for the next quarter despite some serious pressure.
In the end Wales’ defence could hold no more and a quick tap penalty by Hunter caught Wales on the back foot and she dived over the line with ease. McLean couldn’t make the conversion but England eased over the line with a 33-0 victory.
England Women v Wales Women teams
England:15 Natasha Hunt (Lichfield), 14 Kay Wilson (Bristol), 13 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), 12 Rachael Burford (Richmond), 11 Michaela Staniford (Wasps), 10 Katy McLean (c) (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 9 La Toya Mason (Wasps), 1 Laura Keates(Worcester), 2 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield), 3 Sophie Hemming (Bristol), 4 Rowena Burnfield (Richmond), 5 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 6 Hannah Gallagher (Saracens), 7 Marlie Packer (Bristol), 8 Harriet Millar-Mils (Lichfield).
Replacements: 16 Amy Turner (Richmond), 17 Rochelle Clark (Worcester), 18 Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens), 19 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield), 20 Georgina Rozario (Lichfield), 21 Ceri Large (Worcester), 22 Kimberley Oliver (Bristol).
Tries: Staniford (2), Scarratt, Burnfield, Wilson, Hunter
Substitutions: Clark for Gallagher (36), Gallagher for Clark (39), Alphonsi for Gallagher, Hunter for Millar Mills (both HT), Turner for Packer, Oliver for Burford (51), Mason for Rozario (58), Keates for Clark (59), Large for McLean (69)
Wales:15 Rosie Fletcher (Neath Athletic/Ospreys), 14 Charlie Murray (Cross Keys), 13 Adi Taviner (Neath Athletic), 12 Rebecca De Filippo (Neath Athletic/Scarlets), 11 Caryl James (Cardiff Quins), 10 Naomi Thomas (Cross Keys), 9 Amy Day (Cross Keys), 1 Caryl Thomas (Bath Ladies),2 Rhian Bowden (Cross Keys/Dragons), 3 Jenny Davies (Waterloo), 4 Vicky Owens (UWIC), 5 Shona Powell-Hughes (Neath Athletic), 6 Sioned Harries (UWIC), 7 Rachel Taylor (Capt) (Cardiff Quins), 8 Jamie Kift (Cross Keys).
Replacements: 16 Lowri Harries (UWIC), 17 Megan York (Bleanau Gwent/Dragons), 18 Clare Flowers (Bristol), 19 Lisa Newton (UWIC), 20 Laura Prosser (Pontyclun), 21 Mared Evans (UWIC), 22 Phillippa Tuttiett (Cardiff Quins).
England’s Six Nations Fixtures/Results
February 5; 2012, Scotland v England, Lasswade, Edinburgh, WON 47-0
February 12: 2012, Italy v England, Recco, Nr Genoa, WON 43-3
February 25: 2012, England v Wales, Twickenham Stadium, WON 33-0
March 11: 2012, France v England, Stade Charlety, Paris, KO 1245pm GMT
(Live on Sky Sport HD2 Red Button)
March 17; 2012 England v Ireland, Esher RFC, KO 2pm.
Live on www.rfu.com/englandwomenlive.com. Tickets can be purchased on game day on the gate or online at http://www.esherrugby.com/ticket_sales.html, priced £10 for adults, £5 for Under 16s.