Six Nations: Italy 7 England Women 42

PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 February 2018

Saracens Womens' Poppy Cleall (pic Paul Harding/PA)

Saracens Womens' Poppy Cleall (pic Paul Harding/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

Saracens Poppy Cleall was among the try scorers as England Women opened their 2018 Six Nations campaign with a bonus-point win against Italy in Reggio Emilia/

Sarah Bern crossed off the back of an impressive driving maul for England to open the scoring after six minutes, but Italy were level just before half-time when Valentina Ruzza went over from close range.

England pulled away after the break with fly half Katy Daley-Mclean’s simple penalty starting the scoring as the Red Roses regained the lead.

Captain Sarah Hunter was at the back of another maul and collapsed over the line, before Cleall finished a flowing move on the right for England’s third.

Abigail Dow scored her sixth try in three caps for the bonus-point score, while Hunter’s second came off a powerful short run and Ellie Kildunne burst through for the sixth.

Hunter completed her hat-trick off the back of a disrupted scrum and head coach Simon Middleton said: “It wasn’t the start we wanted, we were ill disciplined in certain areas of the game and we forced play, we made too many errors and didn’t really establish any continuity.

“We changed it at half time, it didn’t take a lot, it was just getting the team to understand that we had to look after the ball better and create continuity to break Italy’s defence up.

“We needed to be patient and be more clinical in their 22 when we got there and we did- we were fantastic in the second half.

“There are some really good lessons from that game as a team and individuals. It showed us what can happen if you don’t get your accuracies and discipline right.”

England host Wales at Twickenham Stoop on Saturday (February 10, 12.15pm).

England: 15. Ellie Kildunne (Gloucester-Hartpury, 4 caps); 14. Abigail Dow (Wasps FC Ladies, 3 caps); 13. Lauren Cattell (Saracens Women, 21 caps); 12. Rachael Burford (Harlequins Ladies, 76 caps); 11. Danielle Waterman (Wasps FC Ladies, 78 caps); 10. Katy Daley-Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 95 caps); 9. Leanne Riley (Harlequins Ladies, 17 caps); 1. Rochelle Clark (Wasps FC Ladies, 133 caps); 2. Lark Davies (Worcester Valkyries, 7 caps); 3. Sarah Bern (Gloucester-Hartpury, 16 caps); 4. Abbie Scott (Harlequins Ladies, 25 caps); 5. Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, 112 caps); 6. Poppy Cleall (Saracens Women, 18 caps); 7. Marlie Packer (Saracens Women, 55 caps); 8. Sarah Hunter (Loughborough Lightning, 102 caps). Replacements: 16. Amy Cokayne (Wasps FC Ladies, 37 caps); 17. Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins Ladies, 35 caps); 18. Justine Lucas (Wasps FC Ladies, 29 caps); 19. Rowena Burnfield (Richmond FC, 44 caps); 20. Izzy Noel-Smith (Bristol Ladies, 39 caps); 21. Caity Mattinson (Bristol Ladies, 4 caps); 22. Zoe Harrison (Saracens Women, 4 caps); 23. Charlotte Pearce (Loughborough Lightning, 1 cap).

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Middlesex’s talented 19-year-old bowler – and former North Middlesex paceman – Ethan Bamber made his first class debut against Northants on Sunday during day one of their County Championship clash. Read Layth Yousif’s morning session report from Wantage Road on Sunday.

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has been speaking after Chelsea beat the Gunners 3-2 in a frenetic London derby. Read on to learn waht he said about Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka in his post-match press conference – and much more.

Arsenal centre-half Sokratis has said his side made it ‘too easy’ for Chelsea during the Gunners 3-2 defeat in the London derby at Chelsea on Saturday. Read on for what he had to say.

Yesterday, 19:25

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino was pleased with his players in their 3-1 victory against Fulham but believes there is still plenty to improve on despite winning both of their Premier League matches so far.

Chelsea beat Arsenal 3-2 in a breathless London derby after an 80th minute winner from Marcos Alonso sealed the victory for Maurizio Sarri’s Blues as Unai Emery suffered his second league defeat in two matches.

Arsenal travelled to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea in a hectic London derby. Read on for Layth Yousif’s PLAYER RATINGS

Yesterday, 17:25

Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur 3 Fulham 1

Fri, 17:00

The Shepherd’s Cot club are on the verge of being relegated after losing to Brondesbury last time out


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now