Scotland 5-57 England: Women’s Six Nations 2022 – as it happened

Last modified: 02: 46 PM GMT+0

The defending champions made a dominant start to their campaign in Edinburgh with Marlie Packer scoring a hat-trick of tries

Time to close this blog down; Daniel Gallan’s match report will be online shortly. Thanks for joining me, and enjoy your weekends.

Across their last three meetings, England had beaten Scotland by an average of 55 points – and they kept up that consistent dominance with a 52-point margin of victory here. While England were always in control, it didn’t feel that one-sided a contest.

It’s worth remembering that England have improved in recent years, with the Premier 15s helping to build strength in depth. They’re the World Cup favourites, and outclassed New Zealand twice in the autumn – so by that measure, Scotland have got better too.

The key difference was that when England got deep into Scottish territory, they scored – while the hosts missed a few opportunities to make territory count, and saw one try harshly chalked off by the TMO.

Marlie Packer: “It’s nice to score but I couldn’t do it without the team behind me. My 80th cap as well, and it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow, so this is for [her son] Oliver ... I just love the game and the people I do it with. They lay their bodies on the line for me so I’ll do the same for them.”

England’s Marlie Packer shows off her player of the match award after talking to the media.
England’s Marlie Packer shows off her player of the match award after talking to the media. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho/Shutterstock


Full time! Scotland 5-57 England

England begin their Six Nations campaign in style, running in nine tries to secure their 19th consecutive victory. Scotland showed plenty of attacking intent, and deserved more than the five points they picked up – but England took their chances clinically.

Scotland and England players shake hands after the match.
Handshakes all-round after the final whistle. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters


82 mins: Another Scottish penalty from the lineout, and Smith bursts forward – England are back behind their own 10m line, but the relentless Marlie Packer forces the ball loose, and that will be that.

80 mins: Scotland have a scrum 10m inside their own half as the clock turns red – one last chance to get downfield, but the kick-through is collected by Sing. England form a maul 30 metres out, but fine work from Molly Wright sees Scotland win a penalty, kicked to the corner ...

78 mins: Campbell is found in space on the left but is isolated; Scotland work the ball back to the other wing, but the white wall is unbreakable. Meryl Smith, a student at Edinburgh University, comes on for her Scotland debut. She replaces Helen Nelson at fly-half.

77 mins: Marlie Packer, scorer of three tries and a constant menace on both sides of the ball, is named player of the match.

England’s Marlie Packer attempts to get past Emma Wassell of Scotland.
England’s Marlie Packer attempts to get past Emma Wassell of Scotland. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images


76 mins: They would love a second try to send fans home happy – and Shona Campbell is the latest player in navy blue to burst forward, but England hold up the attack on their 22m line.

The scoreboard shows the game.
The big screen shows the action on the pitch. Photograph: Malcolm Mackenzie/ProSports/Shutterstock


74 mins: Scotland looked to be out of steam after those two quick England tries, but they have rallied well and kept their opponents largely stationed in their own half.

70 mins: It’s agonising for Scotland, who have the numbers on the right flank – but the final ball out to Rhona Lloyd is a touch high, forcing her to take a step back and allowing England to cut off her route to the line.

Belisle knocks on from the restart, and England hold firm again – the prop is then replaced by Katie Dougan.

68 mins: Scotland gain territory with an inch-perfect 50:22 kick – can they get the score their second-half efforts deserve? Two penalties in quick succession – levelling the overall count at 9-9 – and Neville warns Sarah Hunter about players repeatedly straying offside ...

TRY! Scotland 5-57 England (Packer hat-trick)

England are reinforced and resurgent, and when the ball is recycled it’s a matter of time before the white wave crashes through. Marlie Packer gets her third try, awarded after a lengthy TMO check. Rowland misses the conversion from a tight angle.

England’s flanker Marlie Packer goes over and gets her hat-trick as she scores her team’s eighth try.
England’s flanker Marlie Packer goes over ... Photograph: Steve Welsh/PA
England’s flanker Marlie Packer scores the team’s eighth try and gets her hat-trick.
And gets her hat-trick as she scores England’s eighth try. Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images

Another Scotland change, with Sarah Law replacing Jenny Maxwell at scrum-half.


Scotland kick off and after a quick exchange of kicks, Emma Sing makes her mark on the game with a dazzling downfield run. She travels from deep in her own half to within 10m, with Nelson denying her a solo try with a fine tackle ...

England debutant Emma Sing holds off Scotland’s Sarah Law as she charges forward.
England debutant Emma Sing holds off Scotland’s Sarah Law as she charges forward. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/The RFU Collection/Getty Images


TRY! Scotland 5-52 England (Powell)

England have a lineout 5m out, and replacement hooker Powell finds Abbie Ward, then runs into the back of the maul to collect the ball and score. Rowland, now on kicking duties, adds the conversion.

England’s fly-half Helena Rowland converts the team’s eighth try.
England’s fly-half Helena Rowland converts. Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images


62 mins: Plenty of tired legs out there now after an hour played at a frantic pace. Simon Middleton decides to ring the changes – Connie Powell, Lucy Packer and Sarah Beckett are on, with Lark Davies, Infante and Galligan off. Poppy Cleall’s twin sister, Bryony, is also on in the front row for Sarah Bern.


60 mins: Oof, Rowland is floored by a mighty challenge from Shona Campbell but still offloads to Aitchison, before a knock-on stops England crossing the try-line again. Lisa Cockburn has slipped and injured her ankle – she has to go off, with Bartlett returning from the bench.

59 mins: That’s the end of Emily Scarratt’s afternoon – she’s replaced by Bristol’s Amber Reed. Alex Matthews is also on for the visitors.


57 mins: This is end-to-end stuff now, with Cowell offloading to Galligan, who bursts unexpectedly into space – but Sing spills her pass and Scotland counter quickly, Rollie bursting straight down the middle but running out of options.

55 mins: Changes for both sides – Emma Sing makes her England debut at full-back, replacing Kildunne. For Scotland, three changes: Molly Wright replaces Lana Skeldon at hooker, Lisa Cockburn is on for Leah Bartlett, and wing Megan Gaffney is replaced by Shona Campbell.


TRY! Scotland 5-45 England (Aitchison)

England quickly punish their opponents, the surge upfield creating space for Rowland, whose clever kick drops under the posts, with a fortunate bounce allowing Holly Aitchison to get on the scoresheet – and Scarratt converts.

Holly Aitchison (second left) celebrates scoring England’s seventh try.
Holly Aitchison (second left) celebrates scoring England’s seventh try. Photograph: Steve Welsh/PA


50 mins: A first change for England, the experienced Vickii Cornborough replacing Muir in the front row. From the England scrum, their forwards are able to roll forward a good 30m upfield and end a 10-minute spell of Scottish pressure.

NO TRY! From the next lineout, Rosie Galligan pats the ball back and Packer moves to gather it for England – but it pops out of her grasp, and Rachel McLachlan is on hand to snatch possession and score ...

But wait – the TMO has a long look at the lineout, and thinks there was a Scottish knock-on a split-second before Galligan touched the ball. Rules are rules, I suppose, but it wasn’t clear after multiple replays, and feels very harsh on Scotland.

47 mins: The lineout evolves into a maul almost before the ball is thrown, McMillan rising above the fray to collect. Scotland hustle for an opening, and Nelson spots an overlap on the right – but the sweeping pass out wide falls short of Rhona Lloyd!

45 mins: Scotland win the lineout and Jade Konkel, winning her 50th cap today, bursts beyond the gain line. Poppy Cleall intervenes but is penalised. Thomson taps into touch ...

44 mins: The pitch here in Edinburgh is synthetic – tough on the knees in scrums, but helping both sides play some flowing rugby. Scotland retain possession from the scrum, but Lisa Thomson’s kick for touch is a little untidy ...

The players contest a scrum.
The players contest a scrum. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters


43 mins: Poppy Cleall was clearly listening – she strips the ball out and barrels downfield, but is lacking white shirts in support.


We’re back under way. The England head coach, Simon Middleton, wants his side to keep up the intensity – last year, they led 40-3 early in the second half and ended up winning 55-10.

As the BBC have mentioned at half-time, England’s last Six Nations visit to Scotland was in February 2020, the postponed fixture played behind closed doors at Murrayfield – but it was Storm Ciara, rather than Covid-19, that was the cause. The contrast with today’s conditions couldn’t be greater.

Scotland v England in the snow in 2020.

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Here’s that sixth England try just before half-time:

𝗧𝗵𝗮𝘁 @SarahLily2468 carry and offload 🤩🤩@leanneriley189 gets England's sixth so far.

📺 @BBCTwo#SCOvENG | @Womens6Nations

— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) March 26, 2022

Half time! Scotland 5-38 England

After a slow start by their standards, England have clicked into gear in ominous fashion. Scotland have done little wrong, and got on the scoreboard through Chloe Rollie, but have been overpowered at times.

TRY! Scotland 5-38 England (Infante)

And they get it, largely thanks to excellent work from Sarah Bern. The prop turns into a makeshift centre, muscling through a tackle, feinting right and rolling on before offloading to her Bristol teammate, Leanne Infante. Scarratt adds the two points.

Leanne Infante goes over for England’s sixth try.
Leanne Infante goes over for England’s sixth try. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/The RFU Collection/Getty Images


40 mins: We’re past the 40-minute mark but after Leah Bartlett is whistled, Scarratt kicks to the corner, and England will push for another score before half-time ...

38 mins: Scarratt’s mistake hands Scotland a scrum in the opposition half, and a chance to potentially add points before the break ... but Hannah Smith knocks on, and England get the next put-in.

36 mins: The pressure from England is relentless, Cleall getting a touch on Nelson’s scuffed clearance, before Scarratt single-handedly forces a penalty. England scrum, but Scotland get the free kick, and they finally clear their lines.

34 mins: Rollie collects the ball close to her own try-line, and is immediately swarmed by white shirts. She clings on but Scotland are penalised at the breakdown, and England will push for the line again. Not this time, though, as Scotland hold off at the lineout and win a pressure-relieving penalty.

TRY! Scotland 5-31 England (Packer)

England’s pack, particularly the back row of Cleall, Packer and Hunter, are overpowering Scotland, and from the set-piece, Marlie Packer quickly forces her way over for a second try. Scarratt misses the conversion.

England players celebrate Marlie Packer's second try, which was England's fifth.
England players celebrate Marlie Packer’s second try of the game. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho/Shutterstock


29 mins: The England backs are getting forward at will, Kildunne almost shimmying through a gap before Rowland recycles the ball out to the right – and only a hefty challenge from Malcolm keeps the visitors out ...

28 mins: Rollie spills the ball from an England kick downfield – the hosts have been pretty solid on the basics, but may be feeling discombobulated now.


Nothing's stopping @abbydowberg here. Nothing. #SCOvENG #TikTokW6N

— TikTok Women's Six Nations (@Womens6Nations) March 26, 2022


TRY! Scotland 5-26 England (Dow)

From the scrum, England attack down the left and look to have been squeezed for room, but from Scarratt’s offload, Abby Dow holds off a poor challenge from Rhona Lloyd, skips infield and sprints clear! That’s a fourth try, and a bonus point – and Scarratt adds the conversion to her assist.

Abby Dow runs in to score England’s fourth try.
Abby Dow runs in to score England’s fourth try. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho/Shutterstock
England’s Emily Scarratt scores a conversion after the fourth try.
England’s Emily Scarratt thumps the ball between the sticks. Photograph: Steve Welsh/PA


24 mins: England have made 40 carries already, for a total distance of 250m. They have a scrum in midfield here ...

TRY! Scotland 5-19 England (Cowell)

England look to immediately reassert their dominance, Maud Muir’s carry upfield freeing up space for Rowland, who is swarmed by navy shirts but offloads smartly to Heather Cowell in the corner. It’s a tough conversion attempt for Scarratt, right on the far touchline, and she sends it wide.

Heather Cowell goes over for England’s third try.
Heather Cowell goes over for England’s third try. Photograph: Steve Welsh/PA


TRY! Scotland 5-14 England (Rollie)

Well! The hosts have an overload on the left flank and the ball is worked to full-back Chloe Rollie, who goes over in the corner to huge cheers. Scotland are on the board, although the conversion from out wide is missed.

Scotland’s Chloe Rollie scores their first try.
Scotland’s Chloe Rollie scores their first try. Photograph: Craig Watson/Inpho/Shutterstock


16 mins: Scotland penalty, kicked to the corner as the hosts push for a crowd-pleasing score. They win the lineout and sweep the ball left ...


TRY! Scotland 0-14 England (P Cleall)

The fly-half runs out of room but England have bodies in the middle and at the breakdown, Rosie Galligan barrels through a tackle and offloads to Poppy Cleall, who goes over under the posts. Scarratt adds the extras.

Poppy Cleall of England touches down for their second try.
Poppy Cleall of England touches down for their second try. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/The RFU Collection/Getty Images


11 mins: England win a lineout 10m out, which Lark Davies launches long. England retain the ball, Rowland trying to slalom through a gap ...

TRY! Scotland 0-7 England (Packer)

Infante breaks through the defence with a sidestep, supported by Heather Cowell as Scotland get numbers back. Cowell is held up a metre out, but Marlie Packer is on hand to force the issue and get England on the board. Scarratt converts from a tight angle.

England’s Leanne Infante celebrates after team-mate Marlie Packer (on ground) scores their first try.
England’s Leanne Infante celebrates after team-mate Packer (on ground) went over to score the visitors’ first try. Photograph: Steve Welsh/PA


7 mins: Ferocious stuff at the breakdown, with England’s forwards trying to gain ground by force – but Scotland are standing firm so far. England get a couple of quick penalties, and scrum-half Leanne Infante taps and goes ...

Missed penalty! Nelson’s effort skews wide of the right upright, and that’s a missed opportunity for Scotland to take a surprise early lead.

4 mins: Scotland win their first lineout and get a penalty advantage. Nelson launches a diagonal up-and-under that England collect, but play will come back – and Nelson will kick for goal.

2 min: Scotland emerge with the ball from an early scrum, with Helen Nelson kicking downfield and Rowland getting back to clear the danger.

Kick off!

After a 10-second countdown, referee Joy Neville blows her whistle and Helena Rowland kicks off.

Both teams are out for the anthems in sun-soaked Edinburgh. The game is being played at DAM Health Stadium, Edinburgh Rugby’s new-build ground which backs on to Murrayfield.

England players pass the Women’s Six Nations trophy as they take to the field.
England players pass the Women’s Six Nations trophy as they take to the field. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/The RFU Collection/Getty Images
Scotland players in a group huddle before the TikTok Women’s Six Nations match.
Scotland players in a group huddle. Photograph: Steve Welsh/PA


Emily Scarratt has spoken to the BBC before kick-off: “I’ve not played a huge amount of rugby this season, only 20 minutes ... I’m really glad to be back out there. I’m part of an unbelievable team at the minute, [but] Scotland are in a really good place, they’ve played together far more recently than us – they’re at home, and they’re a proud nation – it’s a challenge for us.”

She is on her way back from an awful ankle injury, and spoke to Daniel Gallan about her recovery:

Scotland qualified for this year’s World Cup after edging out Ireland and Spain to finish second behind Italy, and earn a spot in the final repechage – where they overpowered Colombia in Dubai.

Pre-match thoughts from the England head coach, Simon Middleton: “It’s a great occasion, we want to put a show on, I’m sure Scotland do too. There are things for us to work on – we need to be more dynamic in defence, set-pieces, combinations, there are lots of areas.”

And the Scotland coach, Bryan Easson: “We’ve gone through some hard work to reach the World Cup. I think England are the best team in the world right now, but what a great chance to show how far we’ve come.”

Scotland players go through lineout drills during the warm up ahead of the match at the DAM Health Stadium.
Scotland players go through lineout drills during the warm up ahead of the match at the DAM Health Stadium. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images


Today’s game is being shown live on BBC Two (except in Wales) – a lot of games last year were only on iPlayer, which seemed an unlikely way to attract casual viewers.


The teams

Scotland: Chloe Rollie, Rhona Lloyd, Hannah Smith, Lisa Thomson, Megan Gaffney, Helen Nelson, Jenny Maxwell; Leah Bartlett, Lana Skeldon, Christine Belisle, Emma Wassell, Louise McMillan, Rachel Malcolm (c), Rachel McLachlan, Jade Konkel.

Replacements: Molly Wright, Lisa Cockburn, Katie Dougan, Lyndsay O’Donnell, Eva Donaldson, Sarah Law, Meryl Smith, Shona Campbell.

England: Ellie Kildunne, Heather Cowell, Emily Scarratt, Holly Aitchison, Abigail Dow, Helena Rowland, Leanne Infante; Maud Muir, Lark Davies, Sarah Bern, Rosie Galligan, Abbie Ward, Poppy Cleall, Marlie Packer, Sarah Hunter (c).

Replacements: Connie Powell, Vickii Cornborough, Bryony Cleall, Sarah Beckett, Alex Matthews, Lucy Packer, Amber Reed, Emma Sing.



After two years of postponements and format changes caused by Covid-19, the Women’s Six Nations is back and bigger than ever. In its own slot away from the men’s tournament, broadcast live by the BBC and now brought to you by TikTok, it finally has everything in place to flourish.

England are the defending champions and odds-on tournament favourites, with their closest challengers likely to be France, who they face on the final weekend. Today may be an exercise in damage limitation for the hosts – in their last three Six Nations meetings, England have won by an aggregate score of 185-10.

Only the most wildly optimistic home fans in Edinburgh will be dreaming of a win today, with Scotland focused on building towards this autumn’s World Cup after qualifying for the first time since 2010. England’s squad of professionals will be favourites to lift that trophy, too. These two sides largely operate in different orbits, but will come together here to spark lift-off for a new era, whatever the score.


Niall McVeigh

The GuardianTramp

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