With the Six Nations beginning for the men, the women also kicked of their side of the competition. The first round saw some excellent rugby being played. Wales and Scotland were first up and put up a good performance with Hannah Bluck scoring along with Kerin Lake but Scotland fought back in with two tries from Chloe Rollie and in the last ten minutes a try from Jade Konkel. Wales were trying to avenge last years 15-14 defeat to Scotland and managed to do this with the final score being 18-17 to Wales. Carys Phillips, although pleased with her sides performance, said that Wales must be more ruthless, “When you look back at that game we probably gave away too much possession or we created chances that we didn’t take.”
Next to do battle were France and Ireland. France seemed to put in a convincing performance against Ireland with Jade Le Pesq scoring two tries and Cyreille Banet scoring one and Jessy Trémoulière leading to France gaining the bonus point win. The final score finished at 24-0 to France. The final game of round was England against Italy. After England’s successful campaign in the World Cup and in search of their first victory in defence of their Grand Slam they put in a convincing performance against Italy. The second half was were England dominated where they ran five more tries through the Italian defence, the final score was 24-7.
The second round of the competition saw Scotland face France. Scotland took an early lead in the game through a Sarah Law’s penalty but France were able to run through the Scottish defence with Agathe, Sochat, Banet, Boujard and Le Pesq all scoring for France. The final score was 26-3 to France. The Scottish head coach, Shade Munro said, “France are a very physical team, huge ability, number three in the world. We didn’t front up in the first half last week, we certainly did here. There are options that we should have taken but didn’t, but they put everything into the physicality side of the game. I was pleased with the performance.”
The next game of the weekend was Wales against England. After Wales’ narrow win over Scotland, they were looking to repeat their performance against a strong English side. However, the English side had secured a bonus point win within half an hour with Cleall, Dow, Riley and Kildunne all scoring before half time. Packer, Burford and a second score from Kildunne all added to the 52-0 score line at the final whistle. Head Coach, Simon Middleton said he “couldn’t be happier with the outcome of the game, to score over 50 points was terrific. Today we were a lot more physical than we were against Italy.We set our stall out at the beginning of the tournament, we want to win the Six Nations and we want to do it with good performances. Our forwards were terrific today, not perfect, but they’ll know that and that’s what drives them”.
The final game of round two was Ireland against Italy. Ireland worked hard for their two tries in the last 15 minutes of the game that sealed the victory. Italy managed to gain a consolation try through prop Eleonora Ricci but the final score finished 21-8 to Ireland. Ireland’s coach, Adam Griggs said,”we definitely wanted to get a result in front of the home fans. We certainly played some good rugby in what we wanted to try and do, but there is plenty to work on. I think the biggest thing is we’ve turned a corner in the way we want to play. We didn’t fall back into old habits, I suppose, and in patches there we put some pressure on the Italians. It was just a case of one more pass sticking and you never know, but we could have had another couple of tries there.” So far the Women’s Six Nations is proving to be a thrilling contest with England in pole position to retain their title but with France also sitting on two wins out of two. The contest looks set to heat up as it comes closer to the finale.