England celebrate Six Nations Grand Slam with victory in France

England claimed their sixth successive Women’s Six Nations title and completed a hat-trick of Grand Slams after toppling France 42-21 in Bordeaux.

The Red Roses led from the moment prop Maud Muir charged over in the fourth minute and they went on to score six tries, with number eight Alex Matthews crossing twice in front of a 28,000 full house.

France touched down three times, but they suffered the setback of losing Assia Khalfaoui to a yellow card for a dangerous clear-out of Morwenna Talling, with the offence upgraded to red on review.

It meant they had to complete the last 37 minutes of the Stade Chaban-Delmas showdown with only 14 players, yet they still played their best rugby in a second half that finished 7-7.

England have now won the Grand Slam for the last three years and their winning run in the tournament stands at 29 games, with their last defeat coming against France in 2018.

As expected, France provided the toughest test of the Six Nations, forcing the Red Roses to grind it out at times having blazed their way through the competition until this point.

England had to work far harder for their tries than in the previous four rounds – they ran in 14 against Ireland alone – but there were also flashes of the attacking enterprise introduced by head coach John Mitchell.

England captain Marlie Packer praised her side for facing down a hostile home crowd at Stade Chaban-Delmas.

“I’m super proud of the girls, not just for today but the seven or eight weeks leading up to it,” Packer told BBC One.

“We’ve been building as a group on and off the pitch and we’re well into the John Mitchell era in how we want to play. We want to keep growing as a group.

“We’ve just won a Grand Slam in Bordeaux in an amazing atmosphere. It’s been quite hostile – it’s a French crowd – but we know we can turn it up when we need to.

“We’ve got smiles on our faces but we’re not celebrating like we’ve just won a Grand Slam, that shows the toll of the last seven weeks. Lifting the trophy will mean everything.”

Sourse: breakingnews.ie

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