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Red Roses win with eight tries against a scoreless Scotland

By Matt Merritt
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - APRIL 13: Amy Cokayne of England. goes over for the first try during the Guinness Women's Six Nations 2024 match between Scotland and England at Hive Stadium - Edinburgh Rugby Stadium on April 13, 2024 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Jan Kruger - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images )

England ran in eight tries in Edinburgh to win 46-0 against Scotland in round three of the Women’s Six Nations.

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First-half tries from Amy Cokayne, Abby Dow, and Ellie Kildunne gave the visitors a 17-0 lead at the break. A further five tries followed in the second half from Sadia Kabeya, a brace from Jess Breach, a second for Kildunne, and Marlie Packer.

For the second time in the tournament, England were reduced to 14 players due to a red card, as try-scorer Cokayne was shown two yellows and sent off for the remainder of the match in the 55th minute.

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With Scottish Rugby proudly announcing they had sold out the Hive for England’s visit and the game starting on a typically dreich Edinburgh afternoon the home team were hopeful of keeping up the form that saw them beat Wales in round one and stay within ten points of France a week later.

The relentless Red Roses juggernaut would not be denied though, and despite the home team continuing their trend of reducing the scoreline against the Red Roses year on year, it was still a relatively straightforward win for the team in white.

The weather itself seemed to be firmly in Scotland’s corner, the wet conditions leading to a number of fumbled balls for the Red Roses, including from captain Zoe Aldcroft after benefitting from a rampaging Hannah Botterman run that put her into space in sight of the try line. It was a perfect encapsulation of the opening five minutes of the game as England’s passing game was defeated time and again by Edinburgh’s soggy conditions.

The returning Cokayne showed once again why she’s world-class, shrugging off a Lana Skeldon tackle to open England’s account with barely any rust despite being out for nearly a year.

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With 11 minutes on the clock, they added a second, eagle-eyed Kabeya stretching the Scotland defence and delaying her pass a split second to provide Dow space with barely two yards between her and the line. Dow did what Dow always does and England were up by ten points.

Fixture
Womens Six Nations
Scotland Women's
0 - 46
Full-time
England Women's
All Stats and Data

As the first quarter came to an end, Scotland threatened, winning a scrum penalty and benefitting from a knock-on that put them firmly in the Roses’ half, a second scrum would be lost, but another knock-on presented their best opportunity yet and a series of passes looked like leading to something until Botterman stepped in to intercept and kick the ball away.

A knock-on in the 25th minute denied Breach a try, but Scotland held firm and earned a penalty to kick the ball away. It would take England a few more minutes of plugging away before Maud Muir scored what England thought was their third try, though Cokayne found herself yellow carded on review due to a tackle in the build-up and the score was disallowed.

Meg Jones, finding space in the 33rd minute, let loose a dribbling grubber kick and Kildunne scooped it up, twisting to touch down between the posts to score the Red Roses’ elusive third try of the game, and her fifth of the tournament. Holly Aitchison slotted the conversion, conquering the swirling winds that had denied her previous kicks.

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Half-time couldn’t come soon enough for the home team who had struggled to put together more than four phases without losing possession. As the teams left the field the sun broke through the clouds giving hope that the second half would bring better opportunities.

First blood of the second half would come to England though as their scrum drove Scotland’s forwards over their own line, allowing Kabeya to grab the ball and drop over the try line herself. Scotland, playing against the wind in the second half, continued to struggle to retain possession despite some glimmers of the game they were trying to stitch together.

A scrum in the 51st minute saw Scotland penalised and the Red Roses, loosening up with the knowledge they could always roll back and try again, played the ball through hands, releasing Breach to soar down the left wing.

Cokayne showed her skill again, ripping the ball at the ruck inside her own half and brought down just shy of the line by Emma Orr. However, TMO intervention showed that Cokayne had led with the shoulder in the tackle and a second yellow card saw her sent from the field. Scotland had 25 minutes to make their numbers advantage count.

With a scrum penalty in their favour Scotland, confusingly, chose to kick the ball away at a ruck, landing it comfortably in Breach’s hands. The Harlequins winger danced through navy blue shirts for her second. Kildunne would add her own second a scant few minutes later to put them seven tries clear with 15 minutes still to play.

A huge tackle from Lisa Thomson denied Kildunne a third and was greeted with a roar from the home crowd. Regular Red Roses captain Packer, forced to spend most of the game on the substitutes bench, made the most of her late addition to the field with a try in the 72nd minute.

As the clock ticked down Flower of Scotland rang out from the raised voices of 6000 fans in the stands. Scotland clung on to the possibility of keeping their deficit against England under 50 points for the first time since 2018. A penalty with seconds to go allowed them to regroup, take a breath, and kick the ball into the stands with the Red Roses forced to accept a 46-point victory.

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Abe 2 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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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.

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FEATURE Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt
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