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Lark Davies claims hat-trick as Red Roses ease past Barbarians

Fiao'o Fa'amausili of Barbarians runs in to score her team's second try

England celebrated the staging of their historic first match against the Barbarians by cruising to a 40-14 victory at Twickenham.

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Hooker Lark Davies led the charge by scoring a hat-trick in front of an impressive crowd of 17,402, while wing Kelly Smith, flanker Poppy Cleall and prop Hannah Botterman also touched down.

The Red Roses led 28-0 at half-time but the Barbarians threatened a fightback through tries from Fiao’o Fa’amausili and Millie Wood until Davies and Smith put the result beyond doubt.

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England Women

Starters
15. Sarah McKenna (Saracens Women)
14. Lydia Thompson (Worcester Valkyries)
13. Lagi Tuima (Bristol Bears Women)
12. Amber Reed (Bristol Bears Women)
11. Kelly Smith (Gloucester-Hartbury Women’s RFC)
10. Zoe Harrison (Saracens Women)
9. Leanne Riley (Harlequins Ladies)

1. Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women)
2. Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries)
3. Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears Women)
4. Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury Women’s RFC)
5. Abbie Scott (Harlequins Ladies)
6. Poppy Cleall (Saracens Women)
7. Jo Brown (Loughborough Lightning)
8. Sarah Hunter (Captain) (Loughborough Lightning)

Finishers
16. Clara Nielson (Bristol Bears Women)
17. Ellena Perry (Saracens Women)
18. Chloe Edwards (Harlequins Ladies)
19. Rosie Galligan (Saracens Women)
20. Rowena Burnfield (Richmond FC)
21. Natasha Hunt (Gloucester-Hartbury Women’s RFC)
22. Tatyana Heard (Gloucester-Hartbury Women’s RFC)
23. Carys Williams (Loughborough Lightening)

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Flankly 9 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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