Scotland v England

A record crowd enjoyed a fixture bathed in sunshine throughout at DAM Health Stadium as the 2022 TikTok Women’s Six Nations campaign began.

Scotland started the brighter and looked encouraged by a crowd that were right behind them. In the 5th minute, an offside in midfield gave Helen Nelson a shot at goal from 35 metres in front of the posts, but the ball edged just right of the target.

But England scored the first try four minutes later. A quick tap penalty got the Red Roses up to the try line, and a phase later Rosie Galligan forced her way over.

And they had a second in the 13th minute. A driving maul off the back of a lineout took England close before an offload found Poppy Cleall in space to dive over from two yards.

The home side were determined to fight their way back in, and a penalty for not rolling away was kicked into the right corner by Lisa Thomson. A few phases worked the ball to the left and Hannah Smith wonderfully offloaded to Chloe Rollie for Scotland’s first try.

England regained their two-try advantage in the 22nd minute. The footwork of Helena Rowland on the right-hand side attracted the Scotland defenders, and she was able to get the ball away to Heather Cowell who scored in the corner.

The visitors scored a fourth in the 26th minute. A quick tap free kick was worked wide, and Abby Dow raced down the wing before cutting inside and scoring.

After half an hour a driving maul from the away side led to Marlie Packer touching down in the left corner.

England grabbed a sixth with the last play of the half, as Marlie Packer gathered an offload to score her second.

Half time: Scotland 5 England 38

Scotland again started the half the better and thought they had grabbed their second try in the 49th minute. A lineout was stolen by England on their five-metre line but the ball bounced loose, and Rachel McLachlan was first to react and dived over. But the TMO adjudged that the ball had been knocked on by the hosts in the lineout and the score was chalked off.

It was England who eventually scored the first try of the half in the 53rd minute. After two driving mauls in quick succession, Rowland chipped over the top and Holly Aitchison gathered the ball under the posts.

The away side’s driving maul was causing significant problems for Scotland, and it led to a try in the 63rd minute as Connie Powell rumbled over.

And England found the try line again three minutes later, as Marlie Packer wrestled off the attempts to hold her up and grabbed a hat-trick.

Scotland battled hard and were camped on the England line in the 70th minute, but a knock on gave England the chance to relieve the pressure.

The raucous record crowd were right behind the team for the whole game, and gave Scotland debutant Meryl Smith a rousing welcome as she came on for her first cap with two minutes to go.

Scotland fought to the end, showing their grit by working their way down the pitch after the clock was red, but England won it back and kicked out for victory.

Full time: Scotland 5 England 57

Player of the match: Marlie Packer

Attendance: 4000

Scotland: 15. Chloe Rollie 14. Rhona Lloyd 13. Hannah Smith 12. Lisa Thomson 11. Megan Gaffney 10. Helen Nelson 9. Jenny Maxwell 1. Leah Bartlett 2. Lana Skeldon 3. Christine Belisle 4. Emma Wassell 5. Louise McMillan 6. Rachel Malcolm CAPTAIN 7. Rachel McLachlan 8. Jade Konkel

Replacements: 16. Molly Wright 17. Lisa Cockburn 18. Katie Dougan 19. Lyndsay O’Donnell 20. Eva Donaldson 21. Sarah Law 22. Meryl Smith 23. Shona Campbell

England: 15. Ellie Kildunne, 14. Heather Cowell, 13 Emily Scarratt, 12 Holly Aitchison, 11 Abby Dow, 10 Helena Rowland, 9 Leanne Infante, 1 Maud Muir, 2 Lark Davies, 3 Sarah Bern, 4 Rosie Galligan, 5 Abbie Ward, 6 Poppy Cleall, 7 Marlie Packer, 8 Sarah Hunter CAPTAIN

Replacements: 16 Connie Powell, 17 Vickii Cornborough, 18 Bryony Cleall, 19 Sarah Beckett, 20 Alex Matthews, 21 Lucy Packer, 22 Amber Reed, 23 Emma Sing

live commentary 12:00 PM Saturday 26 Mar 2022

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