England 58 – 7 Scotland Women

Claudia MacDonald (two), Amy Cokayne (two), Tatyana Heard, Poppy Cleall, Sadia Kabeya and Marlie Packer (hat-trick) scored tries as England secured the dominating Six Nations first round victory over England Scotland at Kingston Park in Newcastle; Sarah Hunter emotionally retreats to her own turf

Last update: 25/03/23 18:51

Red Roses winger Claudia MacDonald scored twice as England put Scotland to the sword in their Six Nations opener

England began their 2023 Women’s Six Nations campaign in dominant fashion as they proved far too strong for Scotland in a 58-7 victory in stalwart Sarah Hunter’s farewell test.

In a game played in Hunter’s home town of Newcastle at Kingston Park, England scored 10 tries through wing Claudia MacDonald (two), hooker Amy Cokayne (two), center Tatyana Heard, lock Poppy Cleall, openside Sadia Kabeya and blind Marlie Packer (hat-tip).

Red Roses – Tries: MacDonald (9, 24), Cokayne (18, 31), Heard (27), Cleall (42), Kabeya (50), Packer (58, 63, 67). Against: Reed (9), Tuima (28, 32, 51).

Scotland – Tries: Rollie (75). Against: Nelson (77).

Hunter retires with a record 141 caps to his name, having made his Six Nations debut in 2007, and is leaving the sport aged 37 after a highly decorated 16-year career.

Red Roses head coach Simon Middleton’s only negative that day was a serious leg injury suffered by Cleall, who had performed superbly in the closing stages.

Sarah Hunter retired after the test for an extremely emotional response

Sarah Hunter retired after the test for an extremely emotional response

After a nervous start in England led to avoidable ricochets and penalties on a day of huge emotions, they showed composure to finally score the opening try in the ninth minute, as winger MacDonald picked up a nice inside ball from Amber Reed, and afterward strikers Cleall and Packer had made crucial yards with the ball in hand.

Scotland almost evoked an immediate response, when a superb attack from the back line saw outside center Emma Orr smash the ball in from inches away, but the visitors had to pay for such debauchery when England hooker Cokayne stayed out to complete a smooth 18-minute passing streak. , marking his 32nd Test try in doing so.

Amy Cokayne scored England's second try

Amy Cokayne scored England’s second try

Five minutes later England scored a third down and MacDonald his second, displaying blistering pace in a stunning individual effort starting in their own half.

Substitute center Heard – in place of the injured Reed – then confirmed a bonus point for the hosts in the 27th minute, moving past poor Scotland into a tackle after prop Sarah Bern made a stunning first line break .

For England, Sarah Hunter started as captain in her last game before retirement, having made her first appearance in the 6N in 2007; England gave former Canadian prop Mackenzie Carson his debut; lock Rosie Galligan was out and will miss the entire tournament with a hamstring injury suffered in training; With Zoe Harrison and Helena Rowland both ruled out due to injury, 25-year-old Holly Aitchison was charged with pulling the strings at fly-half.

Bryan Easson has named a young Scotland XV, with his center and wing pairs boasting 11 caps between them. Francesca McGhie made her debut on the left wing, Saracens’ Coreen Grant started on the other wing for the first time. Rachel Malcolm led the team off the blind flank. Uncapped center Beth Blacklock was named to the bench.

After the half-hour England had a fifth try, as a characteristic rolling maul offered Cokayne the chance to cross the line and score, with quick and dynamic full-back Abby Dow making the first forays this time from within his own half.

At the other end, a fantastic tackle from Jess Breach kept Scotland debutant Francesca McGhie out late in the half.

Sadia Kabeya (pictured with ball in hand) recovered for another England try on 50 minutes

Sadia Kabeya (pictured with ball in hand) recovered for another England try on 50 minutes

Just over two minutes into the second half, England scored a sixth try as the exceptional Cleall ran another brilliant line before storming off, while 21-year-old flanker Kabeya s is forced for another 50-minute try, with Dow again key to creating it.

Packer then added England’s eighth try via a rolling maul just before Hunter left to great fanfare, and she quickly had her second just after the hour mark in almost identical fashion: grounded at the back of a rolling maul in the corner.

England's Marlie Packer scored a hat-trick on the day, scored in under 10 minutes, all on rolling mauls

England’s Marlie Packer scored a hat-trick on the day, scored in under 10 minutes, all on rolling mauls

It was more or less the same five minutes later as Packer again had a third down through the rolling maul, but Scotland made sure it wouldn’t be canceled on the day the full-back Chloe Rollie produced a superb weave run for a late recovery. .

And after?

England will host Italy at Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton on Sunday April 2 (kick off at 15:00 GMT), in the second leg of the Women’s Six Nations Tournament.

Scotland are in action next Saturday for the second round of the Championship, hosting Wales at the Dam Health Stadium in Edinburgh (kick-off 17:30 GMT).

Sky Sports

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