England women 37-15 Ireland women: Lydia Thompson scores Twickenham hat-trick

Lydia Thompson of England women
Lydia Thompson scored a hat-trick in front of over 10,000 supporters
Autumn internationals
England (15) 37
Tries: Kerr, Smith, Cornborough, Thompson (3), O'Donnell Cons: Daley-Mclean
Ireland (10) 15
Tries: Considine, Delany, Molloy

England withstood an Ireland fightback to finish their autumn international matches with three wins out of three.

Tries from Heather Kerr, Kelly Smith and Vickii Cornborough gave the hosts a 15-0 lead at Twickenham.

However, Eimear Considine got Ireland on the board and Lauren Delany's turn of pace made it 15-10 at half-time.

Lydia Thompson's second-half hat-trick was punctuated by a Claire Molloy try for Ireland, before Catherine O'Donnell got England's seventh and final try.

In a match played in front of more than 10,000 spectators after Eddie Jones' men's side had earlier beaten Australia, England coach Simon Middleton made six changes.

Three-try Thompson was one of those to be reintroduced, having been rested from the side that beat Canada 27-19 last weekend.

But it was Kerr, making a first start of the series at hooker, who opened the scoring by dotting down after a driven English maul.

Wing Smith extended the lead when she raced away after Tatyana Heard's break and England had two further tries ruled out by the TMO by the time of their third, from Cornborough, which was also the product of a driven maul.

In truth, the home side had looked good value for a 15-point advantage at the break, but Considine and Delany finished clinical attacks by the visitors to frustrate England.

Thompson scored twice in six minutes either side of the hour mark to reassert the 2014 World Cup winners' lead, only for Adam Griggs' Ireland to make it 25-15 when Molloy dived over.

Worcester Valkyries wing Thompson completed an 18-minute hat-trick when she plunged over late on, and replacement Catherine O'Donnell's try on the stroke of full-time was converted by Katy Daley-McLean to make victory look more comfortable.

The sides will meet again in their next Test fixture when Ireland host England in the opening match of the 2019 Six Nations at Energia Park, Dublin, on 1 February.

England score their first try against Ireland at Twickenham
England's maul drove over twice in the first half before Ireland's fightback at Twickenham

England captain Sarah Hunter said: "We all know that Ireland would give us a real Test match."

She added: "We know Lydia [Thompson] can do that when given the ball in space and she has come straight back from sevens and taken off where she left off."

England women's autumn internationals
9 NovemberBeat United States 57-5
18 NovemberBeat Canada 27-19
24 NovemberBeat Ireland 37-15

England women: McKenna (Saracens), Thompson (Worcester Valkyries), Williams (Loughborough Lightning), Heard (Gloucester-Hartpury), Smith (Gloucester-Hartpury), Harrison (Saracens), Riley (Harlequins); Cornborough (Harlequins), Kerr (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), Botterman (Saracens), Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury), Scott (Harlequins), Cleall (Saracens), Fleetwood (Saracens), Hunter (Loughborough Lightning).

Replacements: Davies (Worcester Valkyries), Perry (Saracens), Brown (Harlequins), O'Donnell (Loughborough Lightning), Packer (Saracens), Macdonald (Wasps FC Ladies), Daley-Mclean (Loughborough Lightning), Burford (Harlequins).

Ireland: Delany (Firwood Waterloo Ladies/IQ Rugby) Considine (UL Bohemians/Munster), Naoupu (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Claffey (Blackrock/Leinster), Sheehan (UL Bohemians/Munster); Caughey (Railway Union/Leinster), Cronin (UL Bohemians/Munster); Peat (Railway Union/Leinster), Hooban (St. Mary's/Leinster), Lyons (Harlequins), McDermott (Railway Union/Leinster), Fryday (Galwegians/Connacht), Deacon (Blackrock/Leinster), Molloy (Wasps), Short (Railway Union/Leinster).

Replacements: Mimnagh (Richmond/IQ Rugby), Feely (Galwegians/Connacht), Reidy (UL Bohemians/Munster), McLaughlin (Old Belvedere/Ulster), McMahon (Galwegians/Connacht), Hughes (Railway Union/Leinster), Murphy (Old Belvedere/Leinster), Parsons (Ballinasloe/Connacht).

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