14-woman England dominate Italy

Despite an early red for Sarah Beckett, England were too powerful for Italy, with a six-try second half giving them a 48-0 victory

Published by Six Nations, March 24th, 2024

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14-woman England dominate Italy

England had a difficult start to the game on a cloudless day in Parma. There was no score in an even first few minutes, but after 10 minutes Sarah Beckett (England) was shown a yellow card after 10m, soon upgraded to red for a crocodile roll- described by the referee as one delivered with "high danger and no mitigation".

Then less than a minute after England were told they were down to 14, Abbie Ward appeared to have scored by the posts, only for the try to be ruled out for a double movement.

England spent much of the next 10 minutes inside the Italian half, but solid Italian defence ensured that they failed to get on the scoreboard.

Italy briefly escaped but were soon overturned, and England were back inside the Italian 22.

Finally just after the half-hour England were rewarded for constant pressure, Hannah Botterman finding a gap in the line to score.

A second try soon followed, Ward being credited after a mazy run by Hannah Rowland had sliced through the Italian defence. Zoe Harrison's conversion attempt again slipped wide.

As a result England went into the break 10-0 ahead. Despite defending well, when they did have the ball Italy were slow and failing to take advantage of the extra woman.

Italy started with more enterprise, but as soon as England won a penalty they were able to set up a line out and maul, and Marlie Packer added a third score. England were 15-0 ahead after 44 minutes.

Five minute later Ellie Kildunne added a fourth try, catching an Italian kick just inside the Italian half, side-stepping her way through the Italian line, and springing away to score. With the conversion on target England had a bonus point 22-0 lead.

England were now fully in charge, and Helena Rowland soon added a fifth try, scything through the Italian line. 29-0, after 54 minutes.

Both sides brought their benches into play, but it made little difference to the pattern of play and in the 61st minute Mackenzie Carson added a sixth try - 36-0 to England.

In the 68th minute England received another yellow card, this time for Rowland for a shoulder to head contact coming into a ruck on the Italian line, going down to 13 players.

Yet, despite that England did not hold back and three minutes later Kildunne added her second try and England's seventh, taking the score to 41-0.

From the final play a great break by Connie Powell almost saw her over the line, but from the resulting penalty and line out, it was Powell at the back of the maul scoring an eighth try for England's 48-0 win.

ITALY 1 Gaia Maris; 2 Silvia Turani; 3 Sara Seye; 4 Valeria Fedrighi; 5 Sara Tounesi; 6 Isabella Locatelli; 7 Francesca Sgorbini; 8 Giulia Cavina; 9 Sofia Stefan; 10 Veronica Madia; 11 Alyssa D'Inca; 12 Beatrice Rigoni; 13 Michela Sillari; 14 Aura Muzzo; 15 Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi

Substitutes; 16 Laura Gurioli; 17 Emanuela Stecca; 18 Lucia Gai; 19 Alessia Pilani; 20 Giordana Duca; 21 Alessandra Frangipani; 22 Emma Stevanin; 23 Francesca Granzotto

ENGLAND 1 Hannah Botterman; 2 Lark Atkin-Davies; 3 Kelsey Clifford; 4 Zoe Aldcroft; 5 Abbie Ward; 6 Sadia Kabeya; 7 Marlie Packer; 8 Sarah Beckett; 9 Lucy Packer; 10 Zoe Harrison; 11 Jess Breach; 12 Emily Scarratt; 13 Helena Rowland; 14 Abby Dow; 15 Ellie Kildunne

Substitutes; 16 Connie Powell; 17 Mackenzie Carson; 18 Maud Muir; 19 Maddie Feaunati; 20 Alex Matthews; 21 Natasha Hunt; 22 Holly Aitchison; 23 Megan Jones;