Close Calls in Women's Six Nations, Round 1
Three matches, three close results – a summary of a good round of Women’s Six Nations rugby to start 2020.
The points’ differences were four, four, six with two away wins – for Italy and England, the titleholders.
It augurs well for a great competition with England looking likely to win yet again.
Women’s Six Nations
From a gentle start, the Women’s Six Nations has grown into a worthy rugby competition in its own right.
The Women’s Six Nations started out as the Four Nations, the Home Nations, in 1996 and in 1999 it started growing. When first it became a Six Nations, the sixth nation was Spain, whose women were then stronger than the Italian women. In fact the Spanish women ended third in the Six Nations three times, but then in 2007, the women did what the men were doing and incorporated Italy.
The competition has been dominated by England who are the holders of a title they have won 15 times in all. France are next best with six wins, followed by Ireland with two wins and Scotland with one. The best Italy have done is come second, which they did last year.
The 2020 Women’s Six Nations kicks off with what is historically the top match – France vs England in the university town of Pau in southwest France where rugby thrives.
France, who won the tournament last in 2018, were third in 2019.
England vs France, 41-26
England’s vs Ireland, 51-7
England vs Italy, 55-0
England vs Scotland, 80-0
England vs Wales, 51-12
Italy vs France, 31-12
Italy vs Ireland 29-27
Italy vs Scotland 28-7
Italy vs Wales, 3-3
France vs Ireland, 47-17
France vs Scotland, 41-10
France vs Wales, 52-3
Wales vs Ireland, 24-5
Wales vs Scotland, 17-15
Ireland vs Scotland, 22-5
2020 Women’s Six Nations, Round 1
Ireland vs Scotland at Energia Park, Donnybrook, Dublin, Ireland
Ireland built up a 13-0 lead but Scotland scored in the dying seconds of the first half to make the score 13-7 at half-time.
Late in the second half Ireland’s Leah Lyons earned a yellow card and soon after her departure As Scotland battered at the Irish line, Emma Wassell scored in the corner to make the final score 18-14
Tries: Cliodhna Moloney, Sene Naoupu, Beibhinn Parsons
Pen: Ellen Murphy
Tries: Lisa Thomson, Emma Wassell
Cons: Helen Nelson, Lana Skeldon
Ireland: 15 Lauren Delany, 14 Aoife Doyle, 13 Sene Naoupu, 12 Michelle Claffey, 11 Beibhinn Parsons, 10 Ellen Murphy, 9 Kathryn Dane, 8 Anna Caplice, 7 Edel McMahon, 6 Ciara Griffin (captain),5 Nichola Fryday, 4 Aoife McDermott, 3 Linda Djougang,2 Cliodhna Moloney, 1 Lindsay Peat
Replacements: 16 Victoria Dabanovich-O’Mahony, 17 Laura Feely, 18 Leah Lyons, 19 Ciara Cooney, 20 Dorothy Wall, 21 Nicole Cronin, 22 Claire Keohane, 23. Laura Sheehan
Scotland: 15 Chloe Rollie, 14 Rhona Lloyd, 13 Hannah Smith, 12 Lisa Thomson, 11 Megan Gaffney, 10 Helen Nelson, 9. Mairi McDonald, 8 Jade Konkel, 7 Rachel McLachlan , 6 Rachel Malcolm (captain), 5 Sarah Bonar, 4 Emma Wassell, 3 Mairi Forsyth , 2 Lana Skeldon, 1 Leah Bartlett
Replacements: 16 Molly Wright, 17 Panashe Muzambe, 18 Lisa Cockburn, 19 Siobhan Cattigan, 20 Louise McMillan, 21 Sarah Law, 22 Evie Tonkin, 23 Alex Wallace
Referee: Aurélie Groizeleau (France)
Assistant referees: Clara Munarini (Italy), Maria Giovanna Pacifico (Italy)
Television match official: Éric Gauzins (France)
Citing commissioner: Danae Zamboulis (England)
Wales vs Italy at Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff, Wales
Italy withstood a concerted Welsh attack in the dying minutes to come away with their four-point, three-tries-to-two victory.
Throughout the match, the teams took turns to attack. In the first half Wales had the strong wind and lead 10-5 at half-time.
With the wind in the second half, Italy built up a 19-10 lead till Wales scored from a peel around the front of the lineout.
Tries Melissa Bettoni, Maria Magatti, Sophia Stefan
Cons: Michela Sillari 2
Tries: Hannah Jones, Kelsey Jones
Con: Robyn Wilkins
Pen: Robyn Wilkins
Wales: 15 Kayleigh Powell, 14 Jasmine Joyce, 13 Hannah Jones, 12 Kerin Lake, 11 Lisa Neumann, 10 Robyn Wilkins, 9 Keira Bevan, 8 Siwan Lillicrap (captain), 7 Bethan Lewis, 6 Alex Callender, 5 Gwen Crabb, 4 Natalia John, 3 Cerys Hale, 2 Kelsey Jones, 1 Gwenllian Pyrs
Replacements: 16 Molly Kelly, 17 Cara Hope, 18 Ruth Lewis, 19 Georgia Evans, 20 Alisha Butchers, 21 Manon Johnes, 22 Ffion Lewis, 23 Paige Randall
Italy: 15 Vittoria Ostuni Minuzzi, 14 Maria Magatti, 13 Michela Sillari, 12 Beatrice Capomaggi, 11 Sofia Stefan, 10 Beatrice Rigoni, 9 Sara Barattin, 8 Elisa Giordano (captain), 7 Giada Franco, 6 Ilaria Arrighetti, 5 Giordana Duca, 4 Valeria, 3 Lucia Gai, 2 Melissa Bettoni, 1 Silvia Turani
Replacements: 16 Giulia Cerato, 17 Erika Skofca, 18 Michela Merlo, 19 Sara Tounesi, 20 Lucia Cammarano, 21 Francesca Sgorbini, 22 Laura Paganini, 23 Benedetta Mancini
Referee: Sara Cox (England)
Assistant referees: Nikki O’Donnell (England), Laura Pettingale (England)
Television match official: David Grashoff (England)
France vs England at Stade du Hameau, Pau, France
It was a summery day at Stade du Hameau in Pau, if anything too sunny and warm for the time of the year. There was a good and noisy crowd and the match was thrilling by the closeness of the score. In the end it was England’s defence that contributed greatly to the victory.
Two early tries gave England a 12-0 lead after 20 minutes but then France fought back to 12-10, the half-time score.
The score stayed the same till half-way through the second half when Amber Reed gave a delicious little pass to Emily Scarratt who burst through in midfield and raced half the length of the field for a try at the posts.
England then led 19-10 and with five minutes to go France opted to take a penalty shot at goal to ensure a bonus point, the least that they deserved.
Final score: England 19 France 13
Tries: Abigail Dow, Vicky Fleetwood, Emily Scarratt
Cons: Emily Scarratt 2
Try: Laure Sansus
Con: Jessy Tremouliere
Pens: Jessy Tremouliere 2
France: 15 Jessy Tremouliere, 14 Caroline Boujard, 13 Camille Boudaud, 12 Cyrielle Banet, 11 Gabrielle Vernier, 10 Pauline Bourdon, 9 Laure Sansus, 8 Romane Ménager, 7 Gaëlle Hermet, 6 Céline Ferer, 5 Madoussou Fall, 4 Audrey Forlani, 3 Annaëlle Deshaye, 2 Agathe Sochat, 1 Lise Arricastre
Replacements: 16 Caroline Thomas, 17 Maïlys Traore, 18 Clara Joyeux, 19 Safi N’Diaye, 20 Julie Annery, 21 Morgane Peyronnet, 22 Nassira Konde, 23 Marine Ménager
England: 15 Sarah McKenna, 14 Abby Dow, 13 Emily Scarratt, 12 Zoe Harrison, 11 Jess Breach, 10 Katy Daley-McLean, 9 Natasha Hunt, 8 Sarah Hunter (captain), 7 Vicky Fleetwood, 6 Sarah Beckett, 5 Zoe Aldcroft, 4 Poppy Cleall, 3 Shaunagh Brown, 2 Amy Cokayne, 1 Hannah Botterman
Replacements: 16 Lark Davies, 17 Vickii Cornborough, 18 Sarah Bern, 19 Harriet Millar-Mills, 20 Amelia Harper, 21 Leanne Riley, 22 Amber Reed, 23 Emily Scott
Referee: Aimee Barrett-Theron (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Joy Neville (Ireland), Beatrice Benvenuti (Italy)
Television match official: Simon McDowell (Ireland)