England 10-6 France: Red Roses win Women’s Six Nations for third year in a row

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Number eight Poppy Cleall scored Englands only tryEngland: (7) 10Try: P Cleall; Con: Scarratt; Pen: ScarrattFrance: (0) 6Pens: Drouin 2England won the Womens Six Nations for the 3rd year in a row with a hard-fought last win versus France.Both sides were kept scoreless for many of what was nonetheless a thrilling first half, prior to Poppy Clealls shot put England ahead at the break.Caroline Drouin cut Englands lead to one with 2 penalties and France kept up ruthless, heavy pressure.The Red Roses defence held firm and they were rewarded with an Emily Scarratt charge to seal the title.Few ratings, however no lack of entertainmentIt was a speculative day for the Womens Six Nations with the tournaments very first ever final, played outside the shadow of the maless occasion and a thrilling first half may well have actually caught the attention of new fans.The champion was moved from its typical February and March slot, offering warm conditions for England and Frances excellent attacks to shine, however it was the defences who stole the limelight as both sides had a hard time to make an impact in the opposition 22. She was replaced by Lagi Tuima but the substitution was reversed after Scarratt passed the test around 10 minutes later.England consistently stopped working to take advantage of attacking chances and France looked much more harmful, with slick offloads nearly leading to a shot for Emilie Boulard but the rating was ruled out since of a forward pass.Fly-half Caroline Drouin missed an opportunity at 3 points, recommending the strong breeze was affecting both sides kickers.Finally, with the clock in the red, Poppy Cleall broke away from a scrum to bring England to within metres of the tryline, and she then selected up the ball from the base of a ruck and dived over the line.This time, Scarratt was effective from the tee to put England 7 points up at the break.England hold on with gritty defenceThe Red Roses had a hard time to develop on the score in the second half and rather offered Drouin 2 chances to cut their lead. Drouin missed the very first however made no error with the second.England handled to make it into Frances 22, but provided away a penalty and Les Bleues battled back momentum again.Captain Sarah Hunter took to the field and ought to have used England a boost along with replacement hooker Amy Cokayne.France continued and had various ideas to apply pressure, requiring mistakes from their challengers and very first scrum-half Leanne Riley then full-back Sarah McKenna dropped high balls to offer the visitors prime attacking opportunities.Nerves continued to reveal as England fly-half Helena Rowland, whose boot had actually been perfect in the very first half, missed a kick to touch and McKenna kicked the ball out on the full.Errors may have been the Red Roses undoing in attack but they showed gritty decision in defence to hold back duplicated French efforts.Cleall left the field nursing an injury to her left arm simply as England were required to protect what could have been an essential 10m line-out for France.The visitors knocked the ball on but England immediately offered away a charge in front of the posts which Drouin transformed to reduce the deficit to one point with seven minutes remaining.But the Red Roses revealed the kind of professionalism and composure that might prove important at next years postponed World Cup, keeping the ball and running the clock down, eventually winning a charge that Scarratt slotted over to seal their eighth win a row versus France.Player of the match – Zoe AldcroftZoe Aldcrofts essential work throughout Englands campaign has typically gone undetected however the flankers team-high 15 deals with were important as the Red Roses held on for the winWe had to dig in – what they saidEngland captain Emily Scarratt stated on BBC Two: « It does not require to be big flamboyant scorelines every week.