BRISTOL’S BERN SCORES TWICE AS ENGLAND BEAT WALES


BRISTOL Bears’ Sarah Bern scored two tries as England Women continued their perfect start to the Women’s Six Nations with a 51-12 bonus-point win against Wales at Cardiff Arms Park.

The Red Roses made nine changes, two of which were positional, from the win over France, but the cohesion was there straight away as they opened the scoring in the second minute when Bern hit a powerful line off Katy Daley-Mclean’s inside ball and broke two tackles before rolling over and dotting down.

Jess Breach finished off a flowing move out wide, Marlie Packer crossed off the back of a driving maul, before some lovely footwork by Bern saw her cross for her second and the bonus-point inside half an hour.

Following some wonderful offloading by the backline, Breach added her second when she handed off and broke through before Wales wing Jess Kavanagh stepped off her wing for their first points, but England led 29-5 at the break.

In a much tighter second half, it took until the 60th minute for England to go over again as Catherine O’Donnell got low and powered over from the back of a ruck.

A break from deep by Daley-Mclean saw England work the ball to Abby Dow and the wing did superbly to beat three defenders and race in, before Sarah Beckett stepped inside the defensive live to sprint in under the posts.

Wales got a late consolation score from close range through Cerys Hale, then in the final play of the game Daley-Mclean side stepped from five metres out for England’s ninth try.

England have now won four games in a row against Wales in the Six Nations and move back top of the table on 15 points, three ahead of unbeaten Italy who they play in round four at Sandy Park, Exeter.

England Women head coach Simon Middleton said: “We’re really pleased with the result – to score 50 points in any game is impressive but to score 50 today is testament to some skilful play and to staying in the game and overcoming some frustration to finish strong.

“Wales were incredibly strong and when they had the ball it was so difficult to get it back off of them so we really had to work for it.

“We’ll celebrate a great win tonight and then we’ll relax and recover before moving our focus to Italy.”

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