Red Roses make it two wins from two in the 2021 Women’s Six Nations, as they plunder nine tries and 67 points past Italy at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in Parma. The victory confirms their place in the final and follows on from the defeat of Scotland Women 52-10 in Round 1 last week.
Last Updated: 10/04/21 4:34pm
The Red Roses booked a place in the Women’s Six Nations final after registering a bonus-point 67-3 win over Italy in Parma.
Simon Middleton’s side crossed nine times at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi to top Pool A, having already defeated Scotland 52-10 last weekend.
Italy started positively, showing early attacking promise by spreading the ball wide and probing threatening kicks deep into English territory. The hosts were disruptive in defence too, scuppering multiple meaningful Red Roses plays inside the opening quarter.
Though Italy had a greater share of possession, England scored first. On the 22-minute mark, Emily Scarratt scooped up a wayward Italian pass on the halfway line and sprinted unopposed under the sticks, before converting her own effort.
Eight minutes later and England’s second score mimicked their first. Against the run of play, Meg Jones intercepted an inaccurate pass before cantering toward the Italian line. She was brought down short, but calmly lifted an offload into the path of Vicky Fleetwood, who duly dotted down. Scarratt’s extras giving her side a 14-point cushion.
Moments after that conversion Scarratt was shown a yellow card for a high tackle, which allowed Italy to claim their first points of the Test via the boot of outside centre Michela Sillari.
But fly-half Helena Rowland kept the scoreboard ticking over and answered the Italian effort with a penalty of her own to make it 3-17 at the break.
Italy started the second half with the same ferocity they did in the first, and looked sure to score early on, only for a smart Ellie Kildunne intercept to thwart their expansive play.
Back on the field, and seven minutes into the resumption, Scarratt nailed a straightforward penalty in front of the sticks to see England hit the 20-point mark.
Italy scrum-half Sara Barattin was sin binned for a cynical infringement at a promising England rolling maul, and the visitors took immediate advantage, breaking blind off the back of another rolling maul and sending Abby Dow over in the corner. Scarratt’s conversion made 3-27.
Harriett Millar-Mills banked England’s bonus-point try, finishing off the neat run of Alex Matthews, before Rowland crossed on the hour mark for her second try in as many games. Scarratt converted both.
England opened Italy up in the final quarter, rounding off a comprehensive victory with further tries from Dow, Bryony Cleall, Claudia MacDonald and Lark Davies. The performance marked England’s 22nd consecutive win against Italy, and stretched their winning run in the Six Nations to 13 matches.