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Weekend Wrap: Coaches and players react to Round 2 action

Weekend Wrap: Coaches and players react to Round 2 action
  • France head coach happy with response after opening day defeat
  • Adam Griggs hails Irish commitment in training after second straight win
  • Player of the match Emily Scott happy with England's focus against Scotland

France and Italy got the action underway on Saturday evening in Limoges, and the hosts responded to their opening weekend defeat to England in the best possible style with a 45-10 victory.

Sunday saw Wales travel to Dublin to face Ireland, and amid treacherous conditions Adam Griggs’ side continued their unbeaten start to the competition with a 31-12 victory.

After Storm Ciara saw Scotland’s clash with England postponed on Sunday, the two sides finally met in a rescheduled match at BT Murrayfield a day later.

More adverse weather conditions, which saw the game end in heavy snow, could not prevent England from coming out on top as they powered to a 53-0 triumph.

France 45-10 Italy

France helped themselves to their first victory of this year’s Women’s Six Nations as they ran in six tries against Italy.

Audrey Forlani got the scoring underway after just five minutes for the hosts, before Cyrielle Banet grabbed herself a double before the break, including a superb length-of-the-field effort.

Three more tries after the break sealed a comprehensive bonus-point victory for Annick Hayraud’s side, with Julie Annery and Laure Sansus going over, as well as the award of a penalty try.

The France head coach was pleased with the response of her side after the setback of the England defeat, and believes Les Bleues were back to their best.

“We wanted to show a good image of ourselves. We were very disappointed with last week’s game so it was a good opportunity to make up for that,” Hayraud said.

“Our first half was very good. They are a good team, they are improving and beat us last year. We have realised that we lack consistency but here we produced a good performance so it’s good.”

France captain Safi N’Diaye was similarly pleased with her side’s endeavours in Limoges, as the Italian side were blown away at the set-piece throughout the contest.

The skipper said: “We spoke a lot this week about our commitment, where we struggled last week against England. There was no question of a repeat.”

Ireland 31-12 Wales

Ireland are still unbeaten after securing a 31-12 victory over Wales on a sodden day in Dublin.

Last week’s match winner against Scotland Beibhinn Parsons got her side’s first points of the weekend with her first touch of the match 16 minutes in, before Cliodhna Moloney added a second ten minutes later.

Lauren Delany weaved her magic as she left the Wales defence for dead to get the third try on the board, before Linda Djougang went over to wrap up the bonus point.

Wales replied through Lauren Smyth and Siwan Lillicrap either side of half-time, but a late penalty try for Ireland wrapped up the bonus-point victory.

The win left Adam Griggs delighted as his side managed the dire conditions brilliantly throughout.

“I think that was probably one of the better games that I’ve seen us manage, when those conditions came in during the second half,” Griggs said.

 “Obviously the ball was slippery for both teams, but I thought the way we controlled it was really impressive.

 “It shows in the way we’re playing. That’s the outcome you get from better training as well.”

Scotland 0-53 England

It took less than three minutes for England to get their first try after Sarah Bern drove over from close range in a second successive win for England.

Their second try arrived in the 31st minute when a miss-pass allowed Jess Breach to go over in the corner for her 21st England try.

England added a third try through Abigail Dow to make it 21-0 and all but kill the tie as a contest before the interval.

The sizable cushion allowed the Red Rose to play with freedom after the break and a further try for Dow added to an Emily Scott double and tries from Sarah Hunter and Claudia MacDonald.

Emily Scarratt chipped in with 13 points to become England Women’s all-time leading scorer.

Given the resounding result, it was little surprise that player of the match Scott was delighted with England’s display.

“It was really difficult, and it is not often you play in snow as heavy as it was towards the end,” the full-back said. “We kept our heads and switched on and we knew we had to perform.

“There is still a bit of a way to go [to win the Grand Slam] but we have done a good job so far.”

Scotland head coach Philip Doyle was pleased with his side’s performance in spite of the painful result.

He said: “You are looking at a professional side in England and we are not, but we at least closed the gap.

“There is a gulf in class and it is hard to take for sure. We will look forward to Italy now and that is a game where we can challenge a lot closer and improve.”