Match Report: England 58-7 Scotland

Match Report: England 58-7 Scotland

A clinical England proved too strong for spirited Scotland in a ten-try victory at Kingston Park in Newcastle on the opening weekend of the 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations.

The final score was a well-deserved one, but Scotland showed signs of what their young squad could well be capable of.

Both sides displayed moments of nervousness in the opening exchanges, with Scotland’s propensity to offload when in possession a clear sign of the intent they wish to play with this campaign.

England’s dominance in the pack was evident at the first scrum, an enormous shove earning a penalty, although Scotland rallied at the set piece as the half continued.

It took the home side ten minutes to grab their first try of the afternoon, the prolific Claudia MacDonald finishing a slick inside pass from Amber Reed to glide over. Inside centre Reed converted but was soon replaced after sustaining a leg injury.

Scotland roared back and went close to parity when Emma Orr cut a delightful line to break the gain line and then some, powering into the England 22 before offloading, and then falling centimetres short a couple of phases later.

Having withstood that onslaught, England showed why they are seen by many as the best side in the world, hooker Amy Cokayne waiting dutifully out wide to finish a multi-phase effort.

Five minutes later, MacDonald scored her second try, her searing pace taking her clear from deep to complete her brace. Lagi Tuima converted and when replacement Tatyana Heard scrambled over shortly after, England had their fourth try and with it, a bonus point.

Cokayne added her own second from a rumbling maul after a penalty found touch for handy line-out position, and although debutant winger Francesca McGhie threatened to score a fantastic try in response, darting her way around her opposite number inside the hosts’ 22, England got to the break with a comfortable lead.


England came out flying in the second half as Poppy Cleall barged over from close range, before Sadia Kabaya showed similar belligerence to finish an excellent support line to cross.

Scotland, shorn of a number of established players through injury and unavailability, were up against it with mightily impressive opponents, but the likes of McGhie and substitute Beth Blacklock gave glimpses of their undoubted potential.

Sarah Hunter was subject of a standing ovation in her final match at the end of a stellar 141-cap international career, just after Marlie Packer scored what would be the first of a three-try personal haul as England continued in unrelenting style.

Scotland rallied to the last and were rewarded for such spirit when Chloe Rollie darted through the home defence and slalomed her way to the line for a 16th international try, converted by Helen Nelson.

Rollie then almost scored a try for the ages, her 50m gallop just running out of steam, with England able to turn over and clear.

Scotland now turn their attentions to their three home matches in the 2023 TikTok Women’s Six Nations, with Wales the visitors to the DAM Health Stadium next Saturday 1 April.



England: 15. Abby Dow 14. Jess Breach 13. Lagi Tuima 12. Amber Reed 11. Claudia MacDonald 10. Holly Aitchison 9. Lucy Packer; 1. Mackenzie Carson 2. Amy Cokayne 3. Sarah Bern 4. Zoe Aldcroft 5. Poppy Cleall 6. Sadia Kabeya 7. Marlie Packer (co-captain) 8. Sarah Hunter (co-captain)


16. Lark Davies 17. Liz Crake 18. Kelsey Clifford 19. Catherine O’Donnell 20. Sarah Beckett 21. Ella Wyrwas 22. Tatyana Heard 23. Emma Sing


Scotland: 15. Chloe Rollie (Loughborough Lightning) 14. Coreen Grant (Saracens) 13. Emma Orr (Heriot’s Rugby/Biggar) 12. Meryl Smith (University of Edinburgh) 11. Francesca McGhie (Watsonians); 10. Helen Nelson VICE-CAPTAIN (Loughborough Lightning) 9. Caity Mattinson (Worcester Warriors); 1. Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning) 2. Lana Skeldon (Worcester Warriors) 3. Christine Belisle (Loughborough Lightning) 4. Lyndsay O’Donnell (Bristol Bears)
5. Louise McMillan (Saracens) 6. Rachel Malcolm CAPTAIN (Loughborough Lightning) 7. Rachel McLachlan (Sale Sharks) 8. Evie Gallagher (Worcester Warriors)


16. Jodie Rettie (Saracens) (for Skeldon, 54 mins) 17. Anne Young (Sale Sharks) (for Bartlett, 68 mins) 18. Elliann Clarke (University of Edinburgh) (for Beslisle, 52 mins)19. Eva Donaldson (University of Edinburgh) (for O’Donnell, 72 mins) 20. Eilidh Sinclair (Exeter Chiefs) (for McLachlan, 64 mins) 21. Mairi McDonald (Exeter Chiefs) (for Mattinson, 54 mins) 22. Beth Blacklock (Harlequins) (for Smith, 63 mins) 23. Liz Musgrove (Wasps) (for Grant, 52 mins)

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