Triple Crown secured in dominant performance but England left sweating about Grand Slam dreams

PUBLISHED: 11:49 08 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:49 08 March 2020

England's Hannah Botterman during the Women's Six Nations match at Twickenham Stoop, London. Picture: DAVID DAVIES/PA

England's Hannah Botterman during the Women's Six Nations match at Twickenham Stoop, London. Picture: DAVID DAVIES/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

England claimed the Triple Crown with a 66-7 victory over Wales but a second successive Women’s Six Nations Grand Slam sits in the laps of the gods.

England's players celebrate a try during the Women's Six Nations match at Twickenham Stoop, London. Picture: ADAM DAVY/PAEngland's players celebrate a try during the Women's Six Nations match at Twickenham Stoop, London. Picture: ADAM DAVY/PA

Former Datchworth and Welwyn junior Hannah Botterman came off the bench to score at the Twickenham Stoop, with Harpenden's Sarah McKenna also crossing the whitewash for her second try in two games.

It made it four wins from four in this campaign, and 19 successive victories on home soil, and was watched by a crowd of 10,974, a record attendance for an England home game outside of a Rugby World Cup.

England's Poppy Cleall is tackled by Wales Geenllian Pyrs during the Women's Six Nations match at Twickenham Stoop, London. Picture: DAVID DAVIES/PAEngland's Poppy Cleall is tackled by Wales Geenllian Pyrs during the Women's Six Nations match at Twickenham Stoop, London. Picture: DAVID DAVIES/PA

But their Grand Slam dreams may be curtailed with their final match in Italy having being postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak and no news of a rearranged date.

If this is to be the end of the road for this year's competition then a 10-try mauling of the Welsh in a dominant performance will still be a fairly fitting conclusion.

England's Katy Daley-Mclean breaks to score a try during the Women's Six Nations match at Twickenham Stoop, London. Picture: DAVID DAVIES/PAEngland's Katy Daley-Mclean breaks to score a try during the Women's Six Nations match at Twickenham Stoop, London. Picture: DAVID DAVIES/PA

Poppy Cleall started things off in the seventh minute and added a second shortly after, both showing her power as she drove over close to the posts.

A wonderful individual score from fly-half Katy Daley-Mclean as she broke the defensive line and rounded the full-back brought try number three and the bonus point was secured courtesy of Vicky Fleetwood before half-time.

England's Vicky Fleetwood is tackled by Wales Robyn Wilkins during the Women's Six Nations match at Twickenham Stoop, London. Picture: DAVID DAVIES/PAEngland's Vicky Fleetwood is tackled by Wales Robyn Wilkins during the Women's Six Nations match at Twickenham Stoop, London. Picture: DAVID DAVIES/PA

A hat-trick for Cleall followed a Harriet Millar-Mills score and Amy Cokayne got in on the fun to on her 50th appearance.

Wales solitary reply came through a penalty try, a moment which also saw a yellow card for Natasha Hunt, but despite having 14 players England still score twice more through Zoe Aldcroft and Botterman.

Emily Scarratt converte that, as she did with seven others, and McKenna wrapped things up with her 10th England try.

Head coach Simon Middleton said: "Seeing just under 11,000 people here makes you immensely proud. It was a great atmosphere. I was pleased we could put on a good performance for the crowd and want to thank everyone for their support.

"Zoe Aldcroft was sensational again, as she has been all tournament. She's an old head on young shoulders and Poppy Cleall was superb. Her hat-trick is a fitting way for her to finish up this part of the tournament.

"She's a real team player, has great skills but works tirelessly."


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