England Women 34-0 Italy Women

Highlights: England Women thrash Italy

Ireland Women were crowned Six Nations champions after England comprehensively beat Italy at Esher's Molesey Road.

With a host of senior players absent, England saw their quest for an eighth successive title all but ended by defeats against Ireland and France.

But they raced into a 29-0 lead at the break against Italy courtesy of tries from Joanna McGilchrist, Roz Crowley (2), Sarah Hunter and Sally Tuson.

Emily Scott crossed in the second half to complete an emphatic English win.

England women's captain Sarah Hunter said: "We have struggled in the last two games and to get a win today is absolutely fabulous and a performance to be proud of.

"We knew the Italians would come at us in the second half after coming out all guns blazing in the first. All credit to the Italians and they tested us until the end.

"We have talked over the last few weeks about having the belief to perform and things were not going our way but today we addressed the issues we had and it is a positive stepping stone for the Wales match.

"We know that second is the highest we can come now and we won't be taking our foot off the pedal. We want to finish on a high and I have every confidence in the girls."

England women's head coach Gary Street added: "I was so pleased with the response of the players after the last couple of defeats. We made errors but the way we played was very pleasing.

"This was a potential banana skin. It is the best Italian side that has ever been and if you gave me 34-0 before kick-off, I would have bitten your hand off.

"We still have young players playing out of position and they are still learning. We want the side to stay brave. You will make errors if you play with width and expansion.

"If we can come out second which did not look possible a few weeks ago, then it will not be too bad for us."

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