Scotland Women’s rugby players will have to get their heads up quickly this week ahead of a visit from Italy on Sunday following a thumping 76-0 loss to their English counterparts in Surrey on Saturday.
The RBS Six Nations opener at Esher’s ground was always going to a tough one for a Scots’ side without a victory in the event since 2010, but heading in to the contest there was a quiet sense of optimism that this new-look group could contain the seemingly unbeatable English.
Scotland head coach Karen Findlay said: “The first 20 minutes were really pleasing because the team actually did the things we’d been practising on the training field. We had England on the back foot and that was through good, positive rugby being played.
“You’ve got to maintain that consistency in international rugby and it doesn’t matter what your attacking shape is like you’ve first and foremost got to defend and the players in the team did not do defensively what we’d talked about.”
England took nearly 20 minutes to get the first points on the board, No 8 Sarah Hunter going over for the try. Three more tries came before the break from Hannah Gallagher, Amber Reed and Kay Wilson.
After the break eight more tries were posted, one from Hunter, two from Ceri Large, two from Sally Tuson, two from Abigail Chamberlain and one from Rochelle Clark.
Teenagers Sarah Law and Jade Konkel and Becca Parker all came off the bench to make their debuts for Scotland.
Scorers: England Women – Tries: Hunter 2, Gallagher, Reed, Wilson, Chamberlain 2, Large 2, Tuson 2, Clark. Cons: Reed 8.
England Women: L Cattell; L Thompson, A Chamberlain, A Reed, K Wilson; C Large, G Gulliver; K Newton, E Croker, R Crowley, T Taylor, E Braund, J McGilchrist, S Hunter, H Gallagher. Subs used: V Fleetwood, L Keates, R Clark, R Essex, H Millar-Mills, LT Mason, S Tuson, F Pocock.
Scotland Women: S Johnston; A Sergeant, L Harris, L Ritchie, M Gaffney; T Griffith, L Dalgliesh; H Lockhart, S Quick, T Balmer, L Wheeler, B Millar-Mills, M Lafaiki, S Brown, T Forsberg. Subs used: B Dickens, S McKerlie-Hex, L Smith, B Parker, J Konkel, S Law, L Neary, L Steven.