by Jack Robert Stacey
With the Women’s Six Nations Championship underway, here is a rundown of all of the action, plays and results from the fantastic matches that we’ve seen over the past few weeks.
The inaugural match for the 2020 Women’s Six Nations championship saw the dominant forces of France and England clash at the Stade du Hameau to thunderous cheering. An early try by the indomitable Emily Scarratt saw England take a narrow victory against France who, although they had a regardless series of advances in the second-half, proved to be the more dominant team from the off with the final score 19-13 to England.
Scotland and Ireland met for their first match of the championship with a good back-and-forth series of attacks from both sides. Beibhinn Parsibs, at wing for Ireland, almost ran the entire length of the field to score a brilliant try that proved the decisive play of the game, ending the relatively uneventful match with the Irish victorious in an 18-14 contest.
In an equally close game that finished off Round One, Wales took on a well-prepared Italy at home. Italy saw a massive 70% possession over the course of the match but often made brash and risky plays; Wales, in comparison, played very conservatively with close passes and slow, methodical play that capitalised on Italy’s very rigid defensive structure and slow reactionary movements. This opener finished with Italy securing a slight victory with 19 points over Wales’ respectable 15.
Kicking off Round Two, France secured a decisive victory at home against Italy. The fluid and extremely unpredictable movement of France, brought to fruition from their speed-oriented training scheme enabled them to remain in Italy’s backline, spending 70.4% of their play within the opposition’s half of the field. Although Italy had a respectable comeback due to a successive try and conversion from Sara Barrattin, it proved too difficult to halt France’s progress after their incredible first-half, ending the match with a comprehensive 45-10 win.
When Ireland brought Wales over to Energia Park for their match of Round Two, they didn’t just have to face Wales’ defensively focused force but also atrocious weather conditions in the second-half. The match’s soggy conclusion saw Ireland come out on top with 31 points to Wales’ 12. Ireland’s key plays came from Lauren Delaney, who managed to secure Ireland’s victory through masterful footwork that drove a try home through three Welsh forwards.
In their Round Two, Scotland registered an underwhelming performance against the reigning champions England. Although the position between the two sides was fairly even (43% and 57% respectively) and England had multiple handling errors, Scotland were unable to effectively capitalise on their time and were consistently pushed back by England’s notoriously offensive playstyle. Due to Scotland being constantly on the backfoot, they made half as much total ground as England and failed to score any points, leaving the final score an embarrassing 53-0.