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Irish come up short as English turn on style to take big prize

Ireland 7 England 34

By Angela James

England completed a Women's Six Nations Grand Slam by beating a physical Ireland 34-7 at rainy Donnybrook.

Amy Wilson Hardy went over in the corner as England scored from their only chance in the first half.

Ireland could not breach England's solid defence and were made to pay as the world champions ran in four tries.

Forwards Laura Keates and Amy Cokayne extended the visitors' lead before backs Emily Scarratt and Lydia Thompson rounded off the win with fine tries.

Ireland head coach Tom Tierney commented: "Unfortunately we lost to a very, very good English team. We can have no complaints but we didn't perform tonight.

"5-0 down at half-time playing into the wind was very pleasing, we weathered the storm and put in a lot of big tackles and that unfortunately took its toll in the second half.

"We're down about it but we'll pick ourselves up. England are a good bit ahead of us on tonight's performance."

With the Under-20 men's side winning a Grand Slam earlier yesterday, England's men will look to complete a hat-trick of Grand Slams by beating Ireland in Dublin this evening.

The women, who have won their past four meetings with Ireland, lifted their first Six Nations title since 2012.

Bristol wing Wilson Hardy converted a fine England move to go over in the 16th minute, but then Ireland dominated play for the rest of the half.

Ireland centre Sene Naoupu came within a metre of going over the line but was stopped by a superb tackle from flanker Marlie Packer, and home captain Paula Fitzpatrick was prevented from touching down by a posse of England players.

England regrouped after half-time and extended their lead when replacement prop Keates drove over the line from two metres out.

Ireland hooker Leah Lyons powered over to give the home side hope.

But centre Scarratt finished off an excellent England move to put the result beyond doubt and then winger Thompson showed her pace to score England's fifth try.

• Two Chloe Rollie tries ensured Scotland Women ended their RBS 6 Nations campaign on a victorious note against Italy.

Having won their first game since 2010 earlier in the tournament in a come-from-behind victory over Wales last month, the Scots finished with two wins thanks to a 14-12 success over the Italians.

The hosts, for whom Heather Lockhart made a Six Nations record 59th appearance, had to do it the hard way at Broadwood Stadium in Cumbernauld having fallen 12-0 behind when Melissa Bettoni crossed twice before Rollie replied with a pair of tries herself.

Crucially Lana Skeldon made two difficult conversions while the extras were missed after Bettoni's tries and a scoreless second period was enough to see Scotland claim the win over the battling Italians.

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