Winger Abby Dow scored four tries as England continued their strong start to the Women’s Six Nations with a 68-5 win over Italy at Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton.
Fellow back Jess Breach scored a hat-trick of her own while Marlie Packer and Claudia MacDonald’s braces added to the points total – Tatyana Heard scored the other of England’s 12 tries.
Nearly 13,000 turned out in the East Midlands to watch England dominate in all aspects of the match with Sara Tounesi’s try the first Italy have scored against England since 2018.
England on a roll
The result puts England top of the Women’s Six Nations table level on 10 points with Wales after two rounds, albeit England’s points difference betters Wales’s by over 70.
The two sides clash in round three on 15 April with Italy hosting Ireland and Scotland travelling to France.
“That’s why we call her Abby Wow,” said Red Roses captain Packer of Dow. “It’s really exciting to watch, I shouldn’t but when I get up from the breakdown I like to watch what they are doing on the wing.”
On the win, Packer added: “Super happy with that performance. Just how the backs are lighting up, the forwards are carrying hard. It’s really good to be playing out there at the moment.
“We want to play with more freedom. In the first half we weren’t patient but we were brave. It is a really good brand we are trying to play at the moment.”
England head coach Simon Middleton, who is leaving the role following this year’s campaign, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled.
“We talked at half time how we could improve things and we did. Some of the skill was fantastic in the second half, and the invention in the play.
“We’ve got some great players, the quality of the passing and the lines we ran. We’ve had some great performances over the years but this is up there for sure.”