Simon Middleton’s England secured back-to-back Grand Slam successes in emphatic style at the weekend, concluding their 2020 Women’s Six Nations campaign with a 54-0 win against Italy.
The Red Rose travelled to Parma for their first match since their rousing 66-7 victory over Wales in Round 4, but displayed none of the rustiness perhaps expected of a team starved of match action for almost eight months.
Indeed, the visitors had the bonus point wrapped up before half-time, with Ellie Kildunne, Poppy Cleall, Emily Scarratt and Abbie Ward all crossing to put them 28 points to the good after 40 minutes.
And England continued to impress after the break, with further tries from Sarah Bern, Jess Breach, Leanne Riley and Marlie Packer sealing the team’s 15th Grand Slam, and sparking wild celebrations.
As the dust settles on Sunday’s eye-catching encounter, we’ve taken a look at some of the players’ reactions and have identified the best of social media:
England fly-half Zoe Harrison didn’t waste words as she simply summed up the mood of the England camp at full-time.
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Not a lot has changed in a year judging by back-rower Sarah Beckett’s Twitter post.
2019 Vs. 2020 pic.twitter.com/WpJZ6CnaQA
— Sarah Beckett (@SEBeckett) November 2, 2020
Centre Amber Reed played a pivotal role in the impressive win, and dedicated the Championship to everyone who couldn’t be at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.
— Amber Reed (@avreed12) November 1, 2020
Ward marked her first international appearance in little under a year with a try and a Player of the Match performance, and was understandably delighted to be back involved.
The support has been immense – thank you! It’s an amazing feeling to be back wearing the rose 🌹🙏🏼💛 https://t.co/ZchzPLj66e
— Abbie Ward (@AbbieWard93) November 1, 2020
After having an earlier score ruled out, Bern made sure she got on the scoresheet in the second half and later enjoyed the appreciation of her power.
Love the caption 😂 https://t.co/qGgXWgEZRH
— Sarah Bern (@SarahLily2468) November 1, 2020
Helena Rowland came off the bench to make her senior debut, and the 21-year-old reflected on a dream start to her England career.
And teammate Alex Matthews was overjoyed to see Rowland earn her first cap.
— Alex Matthews (@AlexMatthews03) November 2, 2020
England’s achievement didn’t go unnoticed in the rugby world, with former Red Rose internationals Rocky Clark and Danielle Waterman, and ex-men’s England star Brian Moore, all offering their congratulations.
Congratulations @EnglandRugby women’s team, grand slam back to back champs. Decent performance considering 7 months since playing. Well done to all #England #GrandslamChamps #Sixnations🌹❤️ pic.twitter.com/NIVvS2y2jB
— Rocky Clark MBE (@RockyClark_1) November 1, 2020
Awesome to see the @EnglandRugby girls get back to back #6Nations Grand Slams. Plenty of talent also at home that have played their part. Start of a big 12 months ahead 🙌🏼❤️🌹🏉🏆 pic.twitter.com/B80owbRH6b
— Danielle (Nolli) Waterman (@nolli15) November 1, 2020
Congratulations to the England Women’s team on their 2nd successive Grand Slam today.
— Brian Moore (@brianmoore666) November 1, 2020
And, despite tasting defeat on home soil, Italy flanker Giada Franco also spared a moment to wish the champions well.
— Giada Franco (@GiadaFranco6) November 2, 2020