- England Women thump Scotland in Aberdeen
- Prop Claire Purdy scores first try on 40th England appearance
Scotland Women 0 England Women 63
England Women put their Six Nations title ambitions back on track in Aberdeen with a dominant 11-victory over Scotland in the second round.
Wounded after an opening championship 18-6 defeat to France last week, Gary Street’s side overcame a heavy pitch and a buoyant Scotland side to secure a commanding win.
The victory now sets up England for a significant clash against reigning Grand Slam champions Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on February 22 after England Men take on Ireland.
England Head Coach Street said: “I’m pleased with the win overall. Scotland is a difficult place to come but some of our play today was fantastic including the play between our backs and forwards. We made mistakes too, and that is partly because I made lots of changes to the team, but we know if we can keep playing with that sort of intensity we can still be a threat in this championship.
“Certainly losing to France rallied us on this week. It was a painful result but we have made amends today to an extent with this comprehensive result. Now this victory sets up a big clash against Ireland in two weeks’ time. Our entire World Cup training squad has now had an opportunity to show what they can do so selection for Ireland will be interesting.”
England dominated from the first whistle with Wasps lock Joanne McGilchrist, returning from injury for the first time this season, driving over to score after much pressure on the Scotland try line. Skipper Katy Mclean could not add the conversion.
Scotland showed spirit with Stephanie Johnson going close but she hit an England wall, and instead the visitors turned the momentum with Mclean making a good break in the mid-field before hooker Vicky Fleetwood moved ball on to centre Amber Reed who scored with ease.
Scotland had a chance at some points with a penalty but Louise Dalgliesh could not convert and instead on 24 minutes Lydia Thompson scored. The wing broke loose and then dummied her way through Scotland’s defence. She was brought down but the ball was recycled eventually back out to Thompson once again and she finished off the move.
Wasps prop Claire Purdy banked try number four for England – her first ever international try on her 40th appearance – before flanker Sarah Hunter also muscled her way over. Mclean converted both tries making the score 29-0 at half time.
Mclean opened England’s account after the break with a 49th minute try. Hannah Gallagher made a good break after Scotland were penalised before Purdy and then Mclean showed strength to barge her way over the try-line.
England tested Scotland further when they made a host of substitutions and it showed in some powerful scrums and drives which the hosts could not handle. The results came with Emily Scarratt and Maggie Alphonsi both scoring from some good work by the forwards.
Claire Allan, Sophie Hemming and Gallagher then rounded off proceedings as Scotland no longer could cope with this much improved England side.
England: 15 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield), 14 Lydia Thompson (Worcester), 13 Amber Reed (Bristol), 12 Rachael Burford (Thurrock), 11 Claire Allan (Richmond), 10 Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks) C, 9 La Toya Mason (Wasps), 1 Claire Purdy (Wasps), 2 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield), 3 Laura Keates (Worcester), 4 Rebecca Essex (Richmond), 5 Joanne McGilchrist (Wasps), 6 Hannah Gallagher (Saracens), 7 Marlie Packer (Wasps), 8 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield) VC. Replacements: 16 Mercedes Foy (Thurrock), 17 Sophie Hemming (Bristol), 18 Sasha Acheson (Bristol), 19 Emily Braund (Lichfield), 20 Margaret Alphonsi (Saracens), 21 Georgina Gulliver (Lichfield), 22 Ceri Large (Worcester), 23 Kay Wilson (Bristol)
Tries: McGilchrist, Reed, Thompson, Purdy, Hunter, Mclean, Scarratt, Alphonsi, Allan, Hemming, Gallagher
Conversions: Mclean (4)
Substitutions: Foy for Fleetwood, Large for Burford, Wilson for Thompson (all HT), Braund for Hunter, Alphonsi for Packer, Hemming for Keates, Acheson for Purdy, Gulliver for Toya (all 54)
Scotland: 15 Stephanie Johnston (Worcester), 14 Annabel Sergeant (Richmond), 13 Gillian Inglis (Melrose), 12 Laura Steven (Murrayfield Wanderers), 11 Megan Gaffney (Hillhead-Jordanhill), 10 Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers), 9 Louise Dalgliesh, (RHC Cougars) 1Heather Lockhart (Hillhead-Jordanhill), 2 Sarah Quick (Murrayfield Wanderers), 3 Tracy Balmer (Worcester) (c), 4 Jade Konkel (Hillhead-Jordanhill), 5 Deborah McCormack (Richmond), 6 Ruth Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers), 7 Tess Forsberg (Richmond), 8 Lindsay Wheeler (Saracens). Replacements: 16 Nikki McLeod (Stirling County), 17 Lindsey Smith (Hillhead-Jordanhill), 18 Lisa Robertson (Murrayfield Wanderers), 19 Emma Wassel (Murrayfield Wanderers), 20 Anna Stodter (Loughborough University), 21 Sarah Law (Murrayfield Wanderers), 22 Tanya Griffith (RHC Cougars), 23 Katy Green (Darlington Mowden Park)
Referee: Christine Bigaran
Assistant Referees: Alex Pratt & Don McPherson
England’s Six Nations Fixtures:
Saturday, Feb 1 - France 18 England 6, Stade des Alpes
Sunday, Feb 9 - Scotland 0 England 63, Aberdeen Grammar, Aberdeen
Saturday, Feb 22 - England v Ireland, Twickenham Stadium, KO 6:20pm, live on the BBC Red Button & BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra. Free entry to Twickenham Stadium after England v Ireland.
Friday, March 7 - England v Wales, Twickenham Stoop, KO 7:30pm, live on www.rfu.com/englandwomenlive Tickets available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk (0844 847 2492) and www.quins.co.uk (0208 410 6000).
Sunday, March 16 - Italy v England, Stadio Giulio Rovato, KO 2pm GMT