Women's Six Nations: England 42-13 Scotland
|England (20) 42|
|Tries: Laybourn 3, Taylor, Lucas, Clark, Pocock, Thompson Con: Reed|
|Scotland (6) 13|
|Try: Sinclair Con: Martin Pens: Deans 2|
Ruth Laybourn ran in a hat-trick as world champions England got their Six Nations campaign back on track with a thumping win over bottom side Scotland.
Tries from Laybourn and Tamara Taylor gave England an early lead, but Scotland kept in touch with two Nuala Deans penalties.
The hosts made it 20-6 through Justine Lucas and Rochelle Clark tries.
And although Eilidh Sinclair scored for Scotland, Fiona Pocock, Lydia Thompson and Laybourn added further home tries.
England have been well short of the excellence they produced last summer on their way to winning the World Cup in this Six Nations, with injuries and sevens commitments not helping their cause.
But there was plenty on show at Darlington Mowden Park's Northern Echo Arena on Friday night to suggest they are starting to find some form once again.
They were far from perfect - just one conversion from eight attempts shared between Katy Mclean and Amber Reed tells its own story - and there were plenty of errors too, particularly in a mistake-ridden second quarter after they had started in explosive fashion.
But with their pack out-powering Scotland up front the backs, well marshalled by captain Mclean, who plays for the host club, were able to put their superior pace and fitness to good use.
Laybourn, another of the Darlington Mowden Park contingent, got things under way after crisp passing sent her clear in the right hand corner and Mclean was soon pulling the strings to send lock Taylor over in the same corner.
Mclean was off target with both tricky conversions but Deans made no mistake with two penalties to ensure Scotland were right in the mix in the early stages.
However, tries for Lucas and Clark - the prop going over for her 21st in England colours on her 99th cap - shortly before the break meant England looked set fair at half-time.
Scotland needed to score first in the second half but England full-back Pocock marked her first cap since 2013 with a simple finish, and although Sinclair picked up a loose English pass to secure a converted score to briefly reignite Scottish hopes, the hosts looked increasingly dominant.
Laybourn scored her second and, after Thompson had weaved her way over for a fine solo score, it was Darlington winger Laybourn who had the final word.
In amongst all the action replacement kicker Reed even managed to land a conversion, and if the world champions had managed more than just one in eight attempts, the scoreline would have looked considerably worse for the outclassed Scots.
England: Fiona Pocock (Richmond); Ruth Laybourn (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Abigail Brown (Bristol), Ceri Large (Worcester), Lydia Thompson (Worcester); Katy Mclean (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Bianca Blackburn (Worcester); Rochelle Clark (Worcester), Victoria Fleetwood (Saracens), Justine Lucas (Lichfield), Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Rowena Burnfield (Richmond), Alexandra Matthews (Richmond), Hannah Field (Richmond), Harriet Millar-Mills (Waterloo).
Replacements: Amy Cokayne (Lichfield), Victoria Cornborough (Richmond), Heather Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Abbie Scott (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Hannah Gallagher (Saracens), Fiona Davidson (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Amber Reed (Bristol), Lauren Cattell (Saracens)
Scotland: Chloe Rollie (Melrose); Eilidh Sinclair (Murrayfield Wanderers), Hannah Smith (Hillhead Jordanhill), Nuala Deans (Wasps), Abi Evans (Northumbria University), Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers), Sarah Law (Murrayfield Wanderers), Lisa Robertson (Murrayfield Wanderers), Lana Skeldon (Melrose), Tracy Balmer (Worcester), Deborah McCormack (Richmond), Emma Wassell (Murrayfield Wanderers), Rachael Cook (Murrayfield Wanderers), Karen Dunbar (RHC Cougars), Jade Konkel (Hillhead Jordanhill).
Replacements: Lindsey Smith (Hillhead Jordanhill), Heather Lockhart (Hillhead Jordanhill), Katie Dougan (RHC Cougars), Fiona Sim (Saracens), Lyndsay O'Donnell (Worcester), Mhairi Grieve (RHC Cougars), Claire Bain (RHC Cougars), Jenny Maxwell (Lichfield).