venue: Parc Des Sports, Avignon
2nd July 2011
Full Match Report
WOMEN'S TEST MATCH
The England Women side secured victory in the first Test against their French counterparts in Avignon yesterday after a dominating performance saw them come away with a 40-6 triumph. This was the side's first game under the direction of new England Women head coach Anthony Sullivan and things got off to a bad start for the former St Helens player as he saw his side go six points down within the opening 10 minutes.
However the team, led by joint-captains Natalie Gilmour and Beth Sutcliffe, found their composure and finally got some points on the board when Loose Forward Emily Rudge crossed the line on the 20 minute mark. Gilmour added the extras and it wasn't long before she landed another conversion courtesy of Jo Watmore's try in the 30th minute. Neither side managed to capitalise on their opportunities during the remainder of the half and the game looked evenly poised as the sides went into the break at 12-6.
It was England who came out firing in the second half and it took only two minutes for number 9 Louis Forsell to grab another try for her side and get England on the scoreboard early in the half.
England began to up their level and the difference in class was evident as England dominated the remainder of the game. Jo Watmore sealed her selection as player of the match by adding two more tries, completing an impressive hat tick, in between scores from Kirsty Moroney and Danielle Titterington coming in the 51st and 67th minutes respectively.
Rudge then grabbed her second of the game with only there minutes left on the clock to seal and impressive victory for the tourists who will go into Wednesday's second test confident of securing a series whitewash.
"The team played well today," said Sullivan. "We've been working hard in practise for the past few months and it was great to see the things we have been working on come out on the field. "We're happy with the result but I feel confident that we can improve on this performance and hopefully the team can put in another good performance on Wednesday."
Miorin- Degas- Fauvelle- Guigue- Lopez- Ciria- Varela- Signoret- Labrunie- Pene- Calvo- Ben Choung- Benthley. Subs: Courteille- Pittana- Lloria- Mramboini
Rachel Twibill, Danielle Titterington, Jodie Cunningham, Natalie Gilmour (c), Hannah Bairstow, Joanne Watmore, Gemma Walsh, Emma Slowe, Lois Forsell, Amanda Donaldson, Beth Sutcliffe (c), Kim Field, Emily Rudge. Subs: Kirsty Moroney, Clare Robinson, Rebecca Williams, Holly Freestone