On Saturday, England booked their place in the Women’s Six Nations 2021 final with a 67-3 victory against Italy in Parma, while Ireland kept their title hopes alive after outplaying Wales to win 45-0 in Cardiff.
The Red Roses will now face the winner of next weekend’s match between Ireland and France, with a number of players putting their hands up for selection for the big games that lay ahead.
Meg Jones may not have got on the scoresheet but that was the only thing missing from a stellar performance in the number 12 jersey as England piled on the points in Parma.
In just over an hour, Cardiff-born Jones made 140 metres from her 11 carries and broke through nine tackles and was deservedly named player of the match.
England dominated territory and possession but when the Azzurre did have the ball, Vicky Fleetwood did her best to make sure they did not get very far. The tireless openside made 13 of the Red Roses’ 92 tackles.
Meanwhile, Red Roses speedster Abby Dow (pictured) marked her first appearance of this year’s Championship with a couple of tries. The Wasps star was a constant threat for Simon Middleton’s side, gaining 134 metres and breaking six tackles in her 11 carries.
On the rare occasions that Italy did have the ball, captain Manuela Furlan was normally in the thick of the action. The full-back clocked up three figures in terms of metres ran, with an average gain of just over 11 metres per carry.
Crisp performance from Tyrrell
An all-action display from Hannah Tyrrell played a major role in Ireland brushing aside Wales.
Tyrrell kicked five of her seven attempts at goal in addition to scoring a try for a personal tally of 15 points. But the 30-year-old fly-half did plenty asides from score points, running 97 metres and distributing the ball to team-mates no fewer than 23 times. A beautifully weighted cross-field kick also set up Beibhinn Parsons’ second try.
Parsons ran for 173 metres – more than any other player in round two – and was joined in scoring a brace of tries by Eimear Considine.
Captain Siwan Lillicrap was valiant in a losing cause for Wales, making more metres (57), more carries (10) and tackles (14) than anyone else in a red jersey. Sadly for Wales and Robyn Wilkins, especially, her 50th cap was one to forget.