In front of a huge Kingsholm crowd (beautifully re-named Queensholm by a commentator), England sent out a message to World rugby organisers.
Don’t wait to totally professionalise women’s rugby otherwise a two, maybe 3 tier system will develop where some teams are just too powerful – and the games will become uncompetitive.
England 58 v Wales 5
England were far too strong for Wales, more powerful, more skilful, typified by their ability to pass accurately left to right, and completely organised in all aspects of play. There is an awareness across the team of where they are on the field and the options available.
The line-out catch and drive is executed immaculately.
Their scrum solid and stable.
If I oversaw women’s rugby in France, I would be considering moving the Round 5 fixture between France and England from Bordeaux to the Stade de France in Paris. The revenue from a big crowd would be considerable, and they would get a big crowd. So many would travel from England, I’m sure.
England look as though they could enter a B team in this competition and be competitive.
The most memorable comment from this game – “You can’t stop the Bristol bruiser.”
The commentator has a job for life!
Ireland 29 v Italy 8
Italy started well and executed practised patterns well, with neat second man plays but sadly no penetration. Even so ambition and confidence, maybe because of Italy’s men’s side winning in Cardiff, was evident in Italy’s play
Ireland made four changes for this game and determination was imprinted on the forward’s faces. Italy’s early domination of possession eroded away, and Irelands powerful forwards began to take control. The score at half time was only 10-3 but Italy were reeling under the pressure.
Irelands catch and drive at the lineout proved hard to stop as did their scrum and tries followed.
Italy did get a consolation try late in the game but without any X factor players they were mostly on the back foot.
29-8 a true reflection of Irelands dominance.
Scotland 8 v France 28
France scored a four try bonus point win against a spirited Scotland side.
To paint an accurate picture of This French side, look no further than scrum half Sansus who, in technical terms is a mirror image of the men’s National side captain and scrum half Antoine Dupont. Her ruck pass is quick and accurate, she darts around the pitch, getting to the breakdown very quickly, which enables her to exploit any early opportunities. She is instinctive and full of energy.
This women’s side play in the traditional French way. Off-loading and close support a feature of their play. Once they have you on the back foot, they are a delight to watch. At 3-28 The game was over at half time.
Scotland, again in the traditions of Scottish rugby rucked hard and vigorously, never gave up, and kept France scoreless in the second half.
Both winless sides, Italy and Scotland, meet in Palma in Round 4.
Wales have an opportunity to turn the competition upside down when they entertain the French.
Ireland will be shown no mercy when they meet the English juggernaut fronted by the Bristol Bruiser.
My view…All roads lead to Bordeaux on April 30th and an English win. Au revoir.