Jump to main content
  • Men' Six Nations
  • Womens
  • U20 Six Nations

Reaction: England secure bonus-point win in Ireland to put down early marker

Reaction: England secure bonus-point win in Ireland to put down early marker
  • England sent out an early message to their Women's Six Nations rivals by beating Ireland 51-7 at Donnybrook
  • Katy Daley-Mclean notched 16 points as last year's runners-up got their campaign up and running in fine styl
  • Italy also secured a bonus-point win, beating Scotland 28-7 at Scotstoun

England head coach Simon Middleton refused to get carried away despite watching his side get their Women’s Six Nations campaign up and running in perfect fashion.

Runners-up last season behind France, the Red Roses sent out an early message to their title rivals by securing a 51-7 bonus-point win against Ireland in Donnybrook.

Fly-half Katy Daley-Mclean was the architect of the victory, notching 16 points in a clinical offensive performance.

But speaking after the game, head coach Middleton claimed there was plenty of scope for improvement.

He said: “There’s lots and lots to work on especially with our execution, but both defensively and offensively I thought we’d taken some of the stuff we’ve been working in training on, so really pleased with that.

“In the second half it was about getting some of the girls off the bench and into international rugby, and getting as many minutes into them as possible.

“We’ll celebrate tonight for sure because it is a massive win for us, then tomorrow we’ll recover and let everyone mentally switch off and we’ll be back on it with all of our focus on France in Doncaster.”

Ireland, for their part, were left to rue a series of missed opportunities as they failed to turn their early territorial dominance into points.

But head coach Adam Griggs remained philosophical in defeat, while also praising the intensity of their opponents’ play.

“We put together some good phases but ultimately we couldn’t break down the English,” Griggs said.

“They’re a great side, they put you under a horrendous amount of pressure and when that happens with their physicality, it’s bound to wear you down.

“You can’t fault the commitment that the players showed. We wanted to play attacking rugby and we definitely did that. We definitely created some chances – we just need to make sure we capitalise on those.”

In the evening’s other clash, Italy joined England in securing an opening weekend bonus-point win, triumphing 28-7 over Scotland.

After a tight opening period at a lively Scotstoun, the visitors ran in three scores in the second to seal the extra point and put gloss on the scoreboard.

And coach Andrea Di Giandomenico was happy with the way his side stepped it up in difficult circumstances after the break.

“From November, it’s a different game because of the pressure in this fantastic stadium,” he said.

“We knew it was a good challenge. It’s a good answer for the moment and we look forward to the rest.

“It’s important to start well in the tournament. We are happy. I hope we can learn from this and manage the game better in future.”

Di Giandomenico’s Scottish counterpart Shade Munro, meanwhile, hailed his side’s defensive resolve before they eventually succumbed to the powerful Italians.

“There were lots of positives,” he claimed. “We defended very, very well in the first-half. We weathered the storm on our own line for 10 or 15 minutes and going in 7-7 at half-time against a side like Italy, I was pleased with that.

“There were a lot of aspects we didn’t necessarily improve on in the second-half. We played too much rugby in our own half, made mistakes and ultimately the fitness and physicality told in the end.”