England 60-0 Wales: Lacey Owen scores on debut as clinical hosts run in 11 tries

England v Wales

England: (20) 60

Tries: Hardcastle 2, Stanley 2, Hoyle, Beevers, Owen, Roche, Renouf, Bennett, Rudge Goals: Stanley 8

Wales: (0) 0

Lacey Owen enjoyed a dream debut as England ran in 11 tries against Wales at Headingley.

England, playing only their second match since losing in the World Cup semi-final to New Zealand last year, dominated the game, Amy Hardcastle and Tara Stanley scoring twice.

It was a special day for Owen, who scored moments after coming on as a second-half interchange.

The match was played as a double-header with England men's Test against Tonga.

England opened the scoring after nine minutes from their first decent move of the match, working the ball left where Hardcastle scored in acres of space.

Hardcastle, who was one of England's most impressive players in their run to the semi-finals of last year's World Cup on home soil, was in similarly vibrant form and doubled the hosts' advantage.

Georgia Roche evaded the Wales defence and set up the left centre perfectly to score.

The third try came from Shona Hoyle, barrelling over between the posts after good play by captain Jodie Cunningham who was earning her 30th cap.

Wales were unfortunate, defending on the fifth tackle when the ball ricocheted off the shoulder of Hoyle. The referee deemed that a knock-on from the Welsh, and England took advantage.

England were reduced to 14 players when Vicky Molyneux was sin-binned for a high tackle, but after withstanding Welsh pressure they scored a fourth try before half-time - and again it was largely down to Hardcastle.

She broke away and ran almost the whole length of the Headingley pitch, only to be tackled at the last, Georgia Beevers picking up the loose ball to score.

Tara Stanley, who converted seven of the tries, got a score of her own shortly after the restart - before Owen was introduced for her big moment, diving over from Stanley's cut-out pass.

The seventh try was arguably the best of the bunch, Roche selling a wonderful dummy and slaloming through beleaguered Wales defenders, before Stanley, Tamzin Renouf, Keara Bennett and Emily Rudge added to a successful afternoon for England.

England quality trumps Wales' effort

This victory, as comfortable as expected for England, ensures coach Stuart Barrow maintains his 100% winning record since taking charge following the World Cup.

After seeing off France 64-0 in April's mid-season international, they were similarly dominant here against a Wales team playing only their ninth full international.

Wales battled hard but were too open defensively and not clinical enough in attack, with handling errors twice costing them try-scoring opportunities late in the first half after Molyneux's yellow card.

It was a bruising lesson for Wales in more ways than one - in the scoreline and course of play.

They were forced into two concussion replacements in the first half, firstly to captain Shaunni Davies after a tackle from Hardcastle which was later upped to a permanent interchange.

Brogan Evans, who had come off the bench, was also forced off for assessment after Molyneux's high and hefty challenge.

Ultimately, Wales' effort was no match for England's quality. Scrum-half Roche, part of the Newcastle Knights side which secured back-to-back NRLW titles in Australia, ran the game in midfield.

One disappointment was the size of the crowd, the hope being that by playing this immediately before the final men's Test a larger audience would be attracted.

Last year there was a record crowd at Headingley for the World Cup opener against Brazil of 8,621. The lower status of this game, combined with grey and freezing weather in Leeds, meant the attendance was nowhere near that until the second half when spectators arrived to watch the men's match.


England: Stanley, Partington, Renouf, Hardcastle, Beevers, Jones, Roche, Hoyle, Bennett, Wood, Molyneux, Rudge, Cunningham

Interchanges: Peach, Whitfield, Hornby, Owen

18th player: Davies

Wales: Burnell, Michael, Norkett-Morgan, Salter, Taylor, Marsh, Parker, S Jones, Reardon, Carr, H Jones, Mundy, Davies

Interchanges: Price, Evans, Jenkins, Gibbons

18th player: Boaler

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