There were wins for England and France as expected in round four of the women’s Six Nations, but it was Scotland’s first win in 12 games which was surely the highlight of the weekend
England 48 Ireland 0
As expected, England were far too good for Ireland in Cork, but the Irish will be able to take some encouragement from their performance, holding England to their lowest points tally of the Championship so far, and looking far more organised and resilient defensively.
England scored within a minute and it looked ominous for the Irish, but despite leading 27-0 at the break, the visitors struggled to push on and didn’t score again till there was just ten minutes or so left on the clock.
Sarah Beckett was outstanding for England, while Neve Jones, despite struggling at the lineout, made a remarkable 28 tackles in just 65 minutes on the field.
Ireland’s game against Scotland is now a massive encounter – as both sides aiim to avoid finishing both bottom and only managing a place in WXV 3.
England will be sweating on the fitness of several players including the captain Marlie Packer who hobbled off.
Scotland 29 Italy 21
Scotland’s victory was greeted by wild and well-deserved celebrations after their first win in 12 games.
Braces from Leah Bartlett and Lana Skeldon as well as a try from Louise McMillan saw Bryan Easson's side get the much needed win at home and set up an exciting game against Ireland next weekend.
Giada Franco, Sara Tounesi and Vittoria Vecchini clinched tries for Italy in a rallying second half but they eventually fell short.
Scotland had to dig deep to win it, having raced out to a 24-7 lead before Italy made it 24-21 with well taken scores.
In the end their momentum was killed by a red card for substitute Sara Seye for a high shot on Jade Konkel-Roberts, who was the eventual player of the match.
France were too good in front of close to 20,000 fans in Grenoble but Wales made them work hard for it thanks to an excellent second half effort.
France had eased to a 29-0 lead with some brilliant attacking rugby, in a game which saw Jessy Tremouliere play her final home game before retirement.
Among the excellent French performers was former captain Gaelle Hermet who surely did enough to start next weekend against England, as Wales looked stunned as the French ran rings around them.
But as the weather worsened, and the half time break gave Wales some reprieve, the visitors stepped up.
Georgia Evans grabbed one try and then the Welsh bench made an impact for a second. The momentum swung back in favour of France though with prop Rose Bernadou crashing over after Gabrielle Vernier broke the line.
France will head to Twickenham with some confidence and with the pressure firmly on the hosts, while Wales need a point from their last game against Italy to secure third.