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'Although I was boogying and smiling away I just felt empty'

Rosie Galligan at Twickenham during the Women's Six Nations. Credit: RFU/Rosie Galligan

Writing this column isn’t easy… One because I still don’t think I’ve fully processed how I feel about Saturday and two, because I have a broken thumb so I am having to type with one hand.

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For over 48,000 people, Saturday was mesmerising. From Bugs Bunny hopping around the stadium, to Sophie Ellis-Bextor performing ‘It’s Murder on the Dancefloor’ in a silver sequin dress, Twickenham came alive!

Not to mention the phenomenal display from the Red Roses scoring 14 tries against a developing Irish side with stand-out performances from Ellie Kildunne and Zoe Aldcroft.

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My memory of the day is slightly different as I was ruled out after the warm-up. I managed to dislocate and break my thumb in a tackle drill and unfortunately, our team doctor couldn’t make it stable enough to play. Hearing the words “we are pulling you from the game” was heartbreaking.

Not only was I devastated as I’d worked so hard to get into that shirt, I felt so much guilt for letting my teammates down last minute and felt so bad for all my family and friends who had made the effort to come and watch me.

I spent the first half of the game in the medical room getting X-rays and getting a cast made. I am massively grateful for my teammate Zoe Harrison who stayed with me the whole time as I went through moments of crying hysterically followed by fits of giggles induced by gas and air! We managed to get out at half-time to watch the half-time act and although I was boogying and smiling away I just felt empty.

The girls were incredible. All week we trained well – there was a real positive energy floating around and we looked slick on the pitch. Everything clicked for them and it was an exciting style of rugby to watch.

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This week will be our biggest test… France away is never easy but we perform well under pressure. As a group, we love being challenged so I can imagine all the players are up for it and want to finish on a high in Bordeaux. Winning is one thing, but winning a Grand Slam is an even better feeling.

Fixture
Womens Six Nations
France Women's
21 - 42
Full-time
England Women's
All Stats and Data

France have a few different threats to their game. They like to play fast rugby taking the quick tap options when they can as well as utilising their pacey back line to take the edge. I think England have a real opportunity to put their marker down as the best set-piece team in this tournament and disrupt/control momentum.

As for me, I will be cheering the girls on from home with a newly attached thumb! I would do anything to be out there playing but I know the girls will get the job done and bring home the trophy!

Don’t miss ‘Super Saturday’ this weekend, with three amazing matches going on throughout the day. The big one, the Grand Slam decider, kicks off at 16:45 BST. Coverage starts at 16:20 on BBC One – make sure you tune in to watch it and hopefully, you’ll see England win another Grand Slam!

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Abe 1 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

Not a fan of your picks. McReight is good at club level but he is too small for international level and has consistently disappointed there. Better to go for larger guys. Kemeney, Valentini, Hooper, Leota, Samu, Swinton, etc. Aalatoa and Nonga are woeful scrummagers and don’t offer much around the field. Wallabies will not win if the scrum falls to pieces. The fact that Faamissli hasn’t been developed is a tragedy. Need a scrum that doesn’t give away penalties. So looks like a Talakai maybe instead. Best scrummagers need to be selected. McDermott runs the ball too much and doesn’t fit into a structured attack like Schmidts. Gets isolated too often. Ok off the bench late but not for 60 mins. Goal kicking has to be one of the top 3 points for a 10 so that does in Gordon and O’Connor. Be better off going for lynagh on that front. Donaldson and Noah seem to be doing best of the established names. QC a better mentor type guy than OConnor as well if he’s playing. Daugunu has been the most consistent 13 and breaks the line a lot so must be in the squad. Joost has also been good. Richie Arnold playing well for Toulouse and is a preeminent lineout jumper so needs to be in. Latu also playing well for La Rochelle and is better scrummager than the Aussie choices so should be in. The big guy at the Tahs Amataroso I think it is needs to be developed as well. Otherwise the team will be too small. Hodge is a better choice at fullback than Wright. Latter makes too many mistakes. Not sure if Hodge available.

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T
Turlough 6 hours ago
Four Leinster talking points after latest Champions Cup final loss

First of all: hats off to Toulouse an outstanding performance. Duponts kicking was phenomenal. Twice he challenged Keenan with amazing clearances from his 22 in extra time. Result was territory deep in Leinster half in the early part of extra time which lead to 2 penalties and the game. Remember also his two 50:22s? Now to Willis/Dupont. ANY slight isolation by a Leinster player resulted in a turnover penalty. How many turnovers in the Toulouse 22? Leinster’s defense was immense, they had opportunities in attack but they honestly looked like they had not spent enough time passing the ball in the training in the weeks preceding the final. Game management was poor. Toulouse’s scrum had crumbled. At 15-15 Leinster had a scrum advantage in a position that would be kickable for a scrum penalty. Leinster played on and missed a long range drop goal. You MUST take the scrum surely? Win penalty and its a shot at goal to win with time up. No penalty and you can attack and drop goal whatever. The distance from sideline penalties from Byrne was shocking. If you are kicking the line you must get close to that 5 metre line. How many times were Leinster forced to maul from 10-15 metres? Toulouse KNEW Leinster was going to kick and maul and clearly spent considerable training time neutralizing thuis threat. The maul was starting too far out, Toulouse were able to stop the heart of the drive. You must change tack and start kicking for goals. That said it always felt like Toulouse were the potent team on the day with Leinster under pressure and chasing. Even with their backline completely disrupted, Toulouse found a way. 9 Wins in their last 9 finals. Leinster will be there next year. But so will Toulouse/Northhampton etc. A great era of club rugby.

17 Go to comments
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FEATURE Toulouse must go the distance to slam door on Leinster's five-star tilt Toulouse must go the distance to slam door on Leinster's five-star tilt
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