Wales Women suffered defeat to England as the hosts put us to the sword in the second half, following a competitive first 40 minutes.
The Welsh were first to put pressure on England in the early stages of the game. Last week, it was the ladies in red who were making the early errors, this time it was England. After giving away a penalty and a six-again, Wales drilled the England line, but the hosts survived the pressure.
However, it was England who scored the first try as they took advantage when Wales gave away a penalty. Jodie Cunningham found the gap for Amy Hardcastle to run in from 10 metres out. Tara Jane Stanley converted.
After Bethan Davies was ruled out due to an injury picked up against France last week, Shaunni Davies was captaining Wales for the first time since 2021. She had picked up a horrific injury that year and was told she’d never play again, but overcame all the odds to restart her rugby league career after two years on the sidelines.
Sadly, Shaunni lasted just 15 minutes before going off with a head injury and Brogan Evans, who replaced her, became the 50th player to turn out for the Wales Women’s side since its inception in 2019.
Not long after the restart, England added to their lead. Hardcastle the scorer again, this time with Georgia Roche creating. Stanley’s kick was wide but England were 10-0 up.
On 25 minutes, it was 16-0 from another good move where Jodie Cunningham set up Shona Hoyle to force her way through the Welsh line. Stanley converted.
Wales had a chance to get back into the game just after the half hour after being awarded a penalty for a high tackle. Vicky Molyneux was sent to the bin for the offense and Evans, after being on the pitch for just over 15 minutes, also had to go off for an HIA. Thankfully she returned in the second half.
Three times Wales attacked the England line as they looked to take advantage of the extra player. The first saw a pass to Georgia Taylor fly into touch, the second saw Wales win a repeat set following an England error, and the third was a handling error after a pass went too high.
Instead it was England who scored. Amy Hardcastle ran half the length of the pitch and was denied a try by Leanne Burnell, but from the next play Caitlin Beevers dived over and Wales went into the break 20-0 down.
Whilst the half-time score was over-inflated on England’s behalf, they made no doubt about their dominance after the break scoring a point a minute on average.
They struck early in the second half when Stanley grounded then converted. Lacey Owen, just four minutes into her England debut, added her side’s sixth, quickly followed by Georgia Roche. Stanley converted again and England were 36-0 up on 55 minutes.
On the hour, England had already doubled their first half lead as Stanley again added another six points to her tally with a try and goal. Tamsin Renouf was next on the board with Stanley again adding the conversion.
Keara Bennett sold a dummy to score England’s tenth try and bring up 50 points. Stanley easily converted in front of the sticks.
Emily Rudge scored their final try with seconds remaining with Stanley converting.