Action from the penultimate week. England are on course for the Grand Slam, but they take on a rejuvenated Scotland side who claimed their first win in seven years against Wales.
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A huge sense of anticipation from huge support here. Across the
continent there has been a surge of interest in the women's game.
It's been a thrilling tournament so far, England and Ireland lead the
way and both sides know victory in their respective
matches this weekend will set up a championship showdown in Dublin on
St Patrick's Day. But that is a week away and a week is a long time in
international rugby. Welcome to the Twickenham stoop for the fourth
round of the women's six Nations championship. Here is what's your
way. The penultimate weekend of competition and it is the red Roses
topping the table unbeaten with a vastly superior points difference.
Scotland with new-found self belief out of their brilliant last-gasp win
over Wales in round three. In Cardiff Ireland arrived undefeated
and in contention for the title. They needed to win to keep their own
grand slam dreams alive. Wales who beat the Irish in a friendly in July
have had a tough month on and off the field and were looking to get
their season back on track. Italy hosted the reigning six Nations
champions, France, whose title hopes may have faded, but they definitely
didn't want to experience defeat against an Italian team yet to
register a win in 2017. On Friday night our cameras had exclusive
behind-the-scenes access to the England team hotel as they handed
out the jerseys for this match against Scotland. This England group
have such experience and depth, they can make five changes and their
match day squad still contains 987 international caps. The 121st cap
for prop Rocky Clark and Tamara Taylor gets her jersey for the 102nd
time. Katy McLean's three match suspension means England are without
their star playmaker so Emily Scott gets her hands on the number ten
jersey. A return for Danielle Waterman who will wear 15. Home
advantage and they are clear favourites to win this one. A
massive day for Scotland is gone through a real transformation under
their coach, Munro. COMMENTATOR: Healthy crowd at the Twickenham
stoop, this is the England team for this contest this afternoon. Five
changes. Amy Wilson hardly the leading try scorer so far of the
championship. Kay Wilson and just the taking their places. Daniel was
and Lydia Thompson who missed the third round win over Italy return to
the starting 15. Here is the Scotland team appointed. Four
changes. Keep an eye on the dangerous runner
Chloe Roddy at England being played advantage here
by referee Sean Gallagher. Again the timing of the past, England bouncing
off the tackles. Alex Matthews five metres out. Mason. England queueing
up for the ball on this left-hand side. It's all about the execution
for England. And the first drive. Kay Wilson doing what you did
against Italy two weeks ago. England on the scoreboard inside three
minutes. Lloyd. This is looking ominous for the Scots. It's all
about the past. Wilson... She looks good. Try number two for England and
China but two for Kay Wilson. -- and try number two. Two brilliant
tackles that time from Louise McMillan for Scotland. But the
penalty is still to come. It's a yellow card. A yellow card for Gemma
Forsyth. Disappointing for Scotland, they'll have to work extra hard with
14. England with the line-out five metres from the try line. Scotland
is not even competing here. Waiting, searching. Cokayne to score. England
have three tries in 11 minutes. Scotland appear to be slow to
complete that maul. Taylor. The fourth try looks as though it's only
seconds away. The referee Sean Gallagher is going to take a look at
this one, I think. Possibly does touch down, the point of the ball. I
have the decision, the ball has been grounded by the white player.
Scott, nice inside ball to Sarah Hunter. England a meter out. Mason.
Rocky Clark. Mason, Scarratt. Scarratt to Waterman.
Wilson going to have a go at a hat-trick. Doesn't need any
invitation. The referee gives it. The scrum-half, Sarah Law. Not the
cleanest passes to Lisa Thompson. England can try and make hay with
this. A wide pass to Scarratt. Scarratt to Wilson and this will be
try number four. I'm pleased for Kay Wilson, to have missed the first
couple of games and commands do this. An out and out finisher.
This could be the last element. Hugely disappointing for Scotland.
Couldn't do the basics well enough. The exit strategy fell to pieces.
Any cocaine goes in for another try, England's eighth in this first half.
-- Amy Cokayne. A lovely pass. Emily Scarratt lifting up her knees. It is
try number five for Kay Wilson. She probably can't believe her luck. In
comes Nelson, gets the past. Nice blitz ball from the skipper Lisa
Martin. Good kick by Nelson. This is going to cause problems for England.
I think she's done it! A little bit of ingenuity that time from
Scotland. I haven't got a view of the grounding. It's all about
whether she got the hands on the ball and grounded it, Rollie. They
get another shot. She trampled all over her opponent.
Gemma Forsyth. Blackburn, Scarratt. Lovely pass from Scarratt to Wilson
for try number six. Unbelievable. Hat-trick for Kay Wilson. A six
Nations record for Kay Wilson. It comes Matthews, Alex Matthews
through the gap. Emily Scarratt to score. Much closer to the post. She
can hopefully convert her own try. Lucky attempt at number 11 for Emily
Scarratt. England running with real purpose now. Efficient rugby. It's
clinical. Looking for try number 12. You've got to be kidding me, not
another one! You can't write it, you can't write it. Seven tries for Kay
Wilson. In her wildest dreams she would never have thought this was
possible. Full time here at the stoop. A
consummate performance. England ripping Scotland apart and making a
real statement of intent as they go in search of their first grand slam
since 2012. Seven tries on the night, a new six Nations record, how
much fun? So much fun. As a team we wanted to build on what we did last
week against Italy. We're happy with our performance. We went in the game
trying to be clinical. We did our basics well. It paid off and we're
looking forward to Ireland. Our windows have been fantastic in this
competition. Kay had great service today. When you're playing outside
some of the backs we've got, what you have to do is be good as your
job. A world-class player, K. When at her best she takes a lot of
handling, she's great. Second half we definitely improved, but England
under pressure. It's just us being able to retain the ball, making
quality decisions. We were unlucky to score in the corner, we've got an
exciting backline, we have to use them. Looking forward to going to
Italy next week. If putting a rugby girl band together, this is the
ultimate girl band you would want, what a group, cat, Donna and Amber.
What a wonderful match. We've heard from Kay Wilson. What a first half.
I think we tried to play patient rugby, didn't want to get the ball
wide to early. Scotland have good defence, we knew it would take a
little to get them down. Use our big carriers, straight through the
middle, then release the pace we've got out wide. We know how starved of
ball Scotland were in the first half, when they got it in a second
break try to do something but the try wasn't allowed. That was what
cost them in the first half, not getting hands on the ball. Credit to
England they had most of the territory and possession. Played
very good patient rugby. It wasn't fancy rugby, just simple rugby
through the hands, working it through the forwards, through the
phases. And the tries came. What impressed UN commentary? What Amber
said, they need to earn the right to go wide and they did that. There
were ten faces at first, forward, floating through the middle, then
when they tied the Scottish in that was when they have the execution and
skill set to get it wide to players with such pace. Like Kay Wilson. Is
it some you drill down on through the week? Coming off the back of the
Italy game we were frustrated with the errors we made and it cost us
the momentum of the game. We like to play with momentum, be on the front
foot, because it gives us space. A big focus going into this week,
earned the right to go wide, build phases, then we can use the pace
we've got. There is a big weekend coming up next weekend but looking
further ahead, it's a World Cup year. How confident is this group of
players? We definitely need to build on our confidence but we are taking
it one step at a time. We've got a big challenge next week against
Ireland, or to play for next week. We look ahead to summer tour, then
we have our eyes on the World Cup. Let's turn our attention is to
Ireland, who have also 100% unbeaten record so far. They travelled to
Wales to take on a side still coming to terms with such a tragic loss.
Two weeks ago the rugby world was stunned by the News the 20-year-old
Welsh international Celine Orchid had died in a road accident. --
Norkett. She was an extremely talented hard
running three quarters. She was the youngest player at the 2014 Rugby
World Cup, won five caps for the senior side and played club rugby
for the ospreys. Tributes flowed in from across the rugby world and last
Friday any's University team-mates paid their own tribute by retiring
the number 12 and 14 jerseys for the rest of the season. Every player
laid down a rose before their quarterfinal match. Her team won
84-0 and jazz Joyce crossed the line for six tries. A fitting tribute.
Before the six Nations match in Cardiff there was another tribute. A
minute's applause for Elli Match commentary from Michael
Corcoran and Fiona. Commentary --
COMMENTATOR: That's the first one they've missed. Good work there by
the Irish back row and Paula Fitzpatrick. And a chance here now
for Mary Healey to get her hands on this. Jenny Murphy uses her strength
to go forwards with that one but a strong challenge there by Clay. It
is confusion in the centre of the pitch. Stapleton. On towards Alison
Miller, and she is the flyer as she makes it towards the 22, but a
strong challenge on her. The referee's whistle has gone. And a
good attacking position. Ireland go towards Sophie Spence. And they now
put pressure on Wales here again. The ball tucked under her right arm.
Lindsay Pete charging for the line and she is in for the try! It has
come in the concluding minutes of this game and Ireland know certainly
it might have taken them a while to hit top gear, but they did so on
that occasion. Again, good variety and a wonderful time to score a try.
Brilliant time to score a try. Time to get the players around, really
strongly formed ball with really good momentum. You can see them
getting control at the back. She spots a bit of a gap, she's so
powerful, and over she goes for a brilliant try, Lindsay. In the final
minute of first half. She pumps this one, kicks it towards the post. And
that is a terrific kick from Nora Stapleton.
It is well taken there by the Welsh full-back. She makes tremendous
ground towards the 22 metre line and eventually and she is pulled to the
ground by Hannah. Absolutely carved open there by the full-back. And the
whistle has gone. This could be a costly one from an Irish point of
view. A yellow card for Lindsay from the referee and Ireland just not
dealing with the runner. Basically running up. Wales, then, in a good
position here. REFEREE: Bind, set.
Strom Strong buy Ireland but Wales wheel it around. -- strong scrum by
Ireland. Again, as I said at the previous
couple of phases, if she can continue to give them the go forward
ball, that's what Wales need to be looking at. And it is Robin Wilkins,
then, with the conversion, and straight between the posts it goes.
Wales are now pumped back towards the full-back. She gets the kick
away and, well, can they prevent that ball going into touch? A
challenge there. By Amy Evans, the Welsh from forward. The referee is
going to have a look at that one. She clipped her ear. It was a high
tackle. I think she just slipped up as she made impact.
REFEREE: For me that is a high tackle, is dangerous. Please leave
the field. Very close to water line there. Griffin. Lindy charges
forward. What strength as she goes forward but doesn't seem to have
turned it over. -- Lindsay. She's been quite decisive, to be fair
about it. Mary Healey giving way. Smashed onto the ground. A good
challenge there. Ireland you feel have to come out of here with
something as they drive Wales back. Paula Fitzpatrick. Again, reaching
forward for that one. Has she been shunted over for a second time? I
think we may very well see a try for Ireland here.
REFEREE: Any reason not to award that try? Very, very close in there,
Paula Fitzpatrick. Hand underneath the ball.
REFEREE: No try. Held up. The scrum feed. Shunting Wales back
and Jenny Murphy has it. Hold onto the ground. Nora Stapleton moves it
on the far side. Taken by Hannah Tyrrell on the far side of the
pitch. Touches it down on the corner and it looked as if it was all in
slow motion. And Ireland with the try, a crucial score in a really,
really tight game. And the referee has blown the full-time whistle and
its four out of four for Ireland, as they've beaten Wales 12-7.
Definitely not pretty at times but overly emotional day for Wales.
Really feeling for them as we know how much it meant to them but
delighted with the win. Didn't look after the ball as much as we should
have and we were under pressure at times, especially later in the play
in the ruck area, so that kind of stopped us from gaining momentum and
it stopped our game plan, but thankfully we reverted them to a bit
of a kicking game, so we have the contrast between the two, and
thankfully for the last couple of minutes we weren't under too much
pressure. Proud of the girls and the effort they put in today, yes. Keep
making them proud and playing. Ronan Phillips made seven changes to
the Welsh side heading into this match. How unsettling is that for a
team? How necessary was it? Seven changes in any team is a big ask, I
think. It depends why he's made the changes. It could be through injury
or he could be looking ahead to the World Cup coming up, looking to key
players in certain positions, but seven changes is a big change. It
was all is going to be a big physical match but, my goodness, it
was, and right from the off? Definitely, Ireland have been very
physical and Wales of the back of their last two games needed to up
it, and they did, and that's why it was such a tough competition between
the two site. I don't think Wales need to concentrate on discipline.
But it lacked again today. That will always cost them in points or
territory, and it is so key to keep possession in such a tight battle.
You both coach alongside each other at Worcester. How well did Shona
play? Fantastically. It is or is going to give the side the lift and
the goal forward that you need but it's always going to give the
players a roundabout on the left and she scored a fantastic try from the
scrum, so a quality player. What will Ireland take from that win
against Wales today? It will give them huge confidence because they
are going into a grand slam decider, obviously. But from my perspective,
they will need to update again because their points have been
really close and England point difference is huge, so it's going to
be a good game. We will talk about that later in the programme but
let's turn to France. They've had a real eclectic mix of results so far.
The current champions headed to Italy as favourites, but also in the
back of their mind knowing they've not won in Italy since 2011.
It's going to be France just short of the line but with numbers to the
right. Still have a massive overlap to the right-hand side.
Good work to give them some forward momentum. They hold onto the ball.
Unsuccessful with her first conversion. Successful with her
first penalty. Italy has been ordered off the ball. A very good
pass. Out to the wing, scrambled defence. By Italy. But France poised
to score their second try. And it's shot again, says the referee. The
drive. The try has been awarded. France counter. A long pass. Here
they come. She's going to go all the way on her own. She then feeds it
over and France are over for their third try. Good pick-up. France are
pressing, closing in on that try line, and it's a hat-trick of tries.
They have to go digging for it and France has the penalty. France's
lead grows. Italy not yet on the scoreboard. A try would go down so
well here. Huge drive by the Italian forwards. Has to be! It is! And the
applause. Ooh, there's a knock-on. Was it deliberate? No, it wasn't.
And the women of France have beaten Italy. 28-5.
Wins for England and Ireland mean it is still those two teams who occupy
the top spots with their records perfectly intact. The next match,
Scotland versus Italy and France versus Wales on St Patrick's Day.
What will England's we can look like in the build-up to this? I think
they are still in for a tough week because anything short of a grand
slam means they will have to re-evaluate the game, what went
well, but also the things they have to work on. They can't just go, that
was a great win, and then move on, they must adapt and take it to the
Irish. I'm going to ask your question to which I'm not sure
there's an answer! How does any team beat this English side? With
difficulty! That's the honest answer. Because they are so powerful
and they have everything coming through the forwards, the pace,
power out wide, so the only thing you can do is make sure you have
your defence structure and your shape, and you just have to shut
them down. You've got to starve them of space to play in, and if Ireland
can do that from a defensive structure, they are in the game. We
saw what England did to Wales on a forgery surface. Will they see it as
a strength? Absolutely. With the pace and power they have, they will
do well on that pitch, England, definitely.
Thank you so much for your input. We are in for an enthralling match next
week. It's hard to believe we are already coming up to the last round
of the women's Six Nations. We will have a full round-up view on BB 's
-- on the BBC on Sunday night, repeated on Monday, and it's on
iPlayer. A big night for Jose Mourinho on Monday as he takes
Manchester United to meet his former team, Chelsea. The quarterfinal of
the FA Cup, live on BBC One from 7:30pm.
That's it from us and all eyes are on Donnybrook, as England's red
roses had across the sea to take on Ireland in a championship showdown.
Lee McKenzie presents highlights from the penultimate week of the Women's Six Nations. Impressive England are still on course for the Grand Slam, but they take on a rejuvenated Scotland side who claimed their first win in seven years against Wales. Ireland are also unbeaten and they travel to Cardiff, keen to set up a St Patrick's Day showdown with England for the title.
Analysis and reaction from World Cup winner Kat Merchant and Scotland international Donna Kennedy.