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Women’s Six Nations: England beat Scotland in awful conditions at Murrayfield

Women’s Six Nations: Scotland v EnglandScotland (0) 0England (22) 53Tries: Bern, Breach, Dow 2, Scott 2, Hunter, MacDonald Pens: Scarratt Cons: Scarratt 5Champions England beat Scotland in freezing conditions to go top of the Women’s Six Nations standings.The match was switched to Murrayfield on Monday because of Storm Ciara but conditions were still difficult as…

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Women’s Six Nations: Scotland v England
Scotland (0) 0
England (22) 53
Tries: Bern, Breach, Dow 2, Scott 2, Hunter, MacDonald Pens: Scarratt Cons: Scarratt 5

Champions England beat Scotland in freezing conditions to go top of the Women’s Six Nations standings.

The match was switched to Murrayfield on Monday because of Storm Ciara but conditions were still difficult as snow left players struggling to keep warm.

Sarah Bern, Jess Breach and Abby Dow, who sprinted 50 metres for a superb try, put England 22-0 up at half-time.

Emily Scott (two), Dow, Sarah Hunter and Claudia MacDonald after the break despite deteriorating conditions.

The match was scheduled to take place in Glasgow but because of the extreme weather on Sunday was moved to Edinburgh on Monday, where it was played behind closed doors at the national stadium.

England have never lost a Women’s Six Nations match to Scotland, with Simon Middleton’s professional side scoring 12 tries in an 80-0 win last season.

The visitors did not quite match that this year but that was partly because of the freezing weather, which made handling very difficult, and also Scotland’s determined first-half defence.

Having beaten France in the opening weekend, England remain on course to defend their Grand Slam title.

They will face Ireland in Doncaster on 23 February while Scotland will seek a first win of the tournament when they travel to Italy.

Dow try lights up first half

England made five changes from last weekend’s win in France, bringing in an entirely different front row, and one of those players, prop forward Bern, powered over from close range for the opening try in the third minute.

Fly-half Zoe Harrison dropped the ball three times as England struggled to find their rhythm in the snow.

But that changed when Breach found space to score in the corner and then her fellow wing Dow ran half the length of the pitch, fending off three tackles, for a superb solo score.

Five England tries as conditions worsen

As the weather worsened in the second half, England did well to hold on to the slippery ball and set up full-back Scott for the bonus-point fourth try.

With Scotland tiring after their first-half efforts, Scott scored again when she pounced on a loose ball following a high swirling kick, and then turned provider to set Dow up for her second try.

Players took the chance to collect bottles of hot water to try to keep their hands warm but there was still time for one two more tries.

A more traditional pack move then produced the next score for number eight Hunter and then replacement scrum-half MacDonald kicked forward and dived down for the final try.

Scarratt added the conversion to overtake team-mate Katy Daley-McLean as England Women’s leading points scorer of all time.

Line-ups

Scotland: Rollie; Lloyd, Thomson, Nelson, Tonkin; Law, McDonald; Bartlett, Skeldon, Forsyth, Wassell, Bonar, Malcolm, McLachlan, Konkel.

Replacements: Wright, Muzambe, Cockburn, Cattigan, McMillan, Law, Sergeant, Wallace.

England: Scott; Dow, Scarratt, Reed, Breach; Harrison, Hunt; Cornborough, Davies, Bern, Cleall, Aldcroft, Beckett, Fleetwood, Hunter.

Replacements: Cokayne, Botterman, Brown, Millar-Mills, Harper, MacDonald, Daley-Mclean, McKenna.

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