England overcame France 10-5 in their opening game of the 2016 Autumn internationals
Amy Cokayne’s unconverted try gave the Red Roses a 5-0 lead at halftime
Christelle Le Duff’s try levelled the scores before Marlie Packer won it for England
England women got their new professional era off to the best possible start as they edged to victory against France at the Twickenham Stoop on Wednesday night.
The women wearing white dominated early on and eventually opened the scoring when Amy Cokayne peeled off the back of a lineout drive to touch down her fourth test try after 21 minutes. Katy Mclean was unable to add the extra two points and that’s how the score stayed heading into halftime, 5-0.
After the break, France rallied but couldn’t get past a resilient English defence despite being camped in their 22 for long periods. World Cup winner Rochelle Clark MBE (or Rocky to pretty much everyone who knows her) then came on to win her record-breaking 114th England cap.
Christelle Le Duff’s interception try then eventually brought France level before Marlie Packer won it for England with two minutes remaining after yet another perfectly executed lineout drive. Mclean against couldn’t add the extras from the tee.
The Red Roses found out earlier in the day that they’ll face USA, Italy and either Scotland or Spain in their pool at next year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
England: Danielle Waterman
England Women: 15 Danielle Waterman, 14 Kay Wilson, 13 Claire Allan, 12 Rachael Burford, 11 Fiona Pocock, 10 Katy Mclean, 9 Natasha Hunt; 1, Vickii Cornborough, 2 Amy Cokayne, 3 Laura Keates, 4 Tamara Taylor, 5 Emily Braund, 6 Alex Matthews, 7 Marlie Packer, 8 Sarah Hunter.
Replacements: 16 Vicky Fleetwood, 17 Rochelle Clark, 18 Sarah Bern, 19 Harriet Millar- Mills, 20 Izzy Noel-Smith, 21 La Toya Mason, 22 Emily Scott, 23 Ceri Large.
France Women: 15 Caroline Landagnous, 14 Camille Grassineau, 13 Rose Thomas, 12 Lucille Godiveau, 11 Elodie Guiglion, 10 Christelle Le Duff, 9 Yanna Rivoalen; 1 Lise Arricastre, 2 Manon Bigot, 3 Patricia Carricaburu, 4 Celine Ferer, 5 Manon Andre, 6 Pauline Rayssac, 7 Laetitia Grand, 8 Safi N’diaye.
Replacements: 16 Gaelle Mignot, 17 Annaelle Deshayes, 18 Lenaig Corson, 19 Gaelle Hermet, 20 Romane Menager, 21 Camille Cabalou, 22 Carla Neisen, 23 Julie Duval