Try-fest for Harlequins stars as Red Roses claim record win
17th Apr 2023 | Rugby
Quins backs – Abby Dow, Lucy Packer and Ellie Kildunne – all scored tries as England claimed a record 3- 59 victory over Wales in the Tiktok Six Nations in Cardiff.
At the same time, Quins centre, Lagi Tuima, claimed four out of four kicks in a week when coach Simon Middleton made the bizarre suggestion that kicks in the female game should be moved in from the touchline to make them easier.
England have two games left in the tournament, first against Ireland and then a showdown against France at Twickenham on April 29. Tickets are still available for what is predicted to be a world record crowd of more than 50,000 for a women's international at the home of rugby.
On Saturday, the Red Roses scored nine tries in total, with other scores for player of the match Tatyana Heard, flying fly-half Holly Aitchison, winger Jess Breach, and the forwards Maud Muir, Hannah Botterman and Sarah Beckett.
The scale of the win was remarkable given that Wales started the game well with a particularly strong performance from their forwards.
It took a while for England to get on the scoreboard, but scrum half Packer bagged the opening try on 26 minutes as she spun her way through the Wales defensive line to plunge over the try line.
Aitchison, who had success in England 7s, provided Heard with a world class assist for England's second score 10 minutes later. Off the back of a dominant five-metre rolling maul, the fly half punched a well-weighted grubber behind the Welsh line, and Heard won the foot race to collect and dot down.
Dow summoned a world class finish from the halfway line on the stroke of half time, as she rounded full back Courtney Keight with a stiff hand off, before sprinting down the left flank and evading four defenders en route to the try line. Sing added the extras out wide for a 3-19 lead at the break.
Aitchison claimed the bonus-point try five minutes into the resumption, a neat wrap around with centre Lagi Tuima opened a hole for the fly half to attack.
The Red Roses began to show their attacking flair, as prop Sarah Bern broke away from half way before providing a fine offload into the path of the onrushing Breach, who cantered away unopposed to score England's fifth - the converted effort handed them a 3-31 lead.
Ellie Kildunne was on the pitch for just two minutes before she bagged the Red Roses' sixth, converted by Tuima, as May Campbell entered the game to make her international debut.
Wales replacement Kate Williams was shown a yellow card as the hour mark approached, for making head contact with England captain Marlie Packer, and England took immediate advantage of the extra player, as replacement Muir powered over from close range under the sticks - giving Tuima the easiest of conversions for a 3-45 lead - and Botterman's try on 64 minutes mirrored Muir's, as England extended their lead to 49 points.
The Red Roses went down to 13 players, as captain Packer and Campbell were both sent to the sin bin for dangerous tackles, with just twelve minutes left in the Test. But still England refused to let Wales into the match, with Beckett bagging the ninth try and Tuima's extras confirming a famous 3-59 win.
Middleton's side now sit top of the Six Nations Championship table, and will meet Ireland in round four of the competition next Saturday.
* Tickets for England v France https://www.twickenhamstadium.com/tiktok-womens-six-nations/tickets