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Back-To-Back Grand Slams: England’s Red Roses In Full Bloom

 

England Rugby enjoyed a memorable Halloween last weekend. While the men’s side suffered plenty of frights on the way to lifting the 2020 Six Nations title, there were no shocks or scares as the women’s team once again secured a Grand Slam in the Women’s Six Nations. We look at the data behind another dominant Six Nations tournament from the Red Roses.

By: Nick Bentley

They had already secured the 2020 Six Nations title after France failed to beat Scotland in the penultimate weekend, but victory over Italy on Sunday completed a second consecutive Grand Slam for England’s Women. It was their ninth clean sweep since Italy joined the competition in 2007.

While they may not have won every edition of the tournament, England’s dominance in the women’s Six Nations is evident. The Red Roses have won 23 of their last 25 matches in the competition, with France the only side to beat them since 2016. Indeed, it is only France that have provided any consistent opposition to England since 2007. Italy and Scotland are yet to record a single victory over England and Ireland (W2) and Wales (W2) have only notched up four victories against them combined.

Across the last two seasons, England have not only won 10/10 matches in the Championship but averaged 50 points per game – scoring 50+ points in seven of those 10 matches – and conceded an average of just 6.5 points per match. The Red Roses prevented the opposition scoring any points at all in five of those ten matches. In 2019 they finished the tournament with a points difference of +233 and this year it was +199.

Due to Covid-19, there are still three games to go to wrap up the 2020 Women’s Six Nations and hopefully, they will be fitted in before the end of the year to conclude the standings. After the longest-ever tournament in Women’s Six Nations history, we pick out some of the stats, facts and landmarks achieved in England’s 15th Grand Slam success.

Immense Depth in Talent

– 34 different players represented England during this edition of the tournament with current World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year, Emily Scarratt, notching up the most minutes (380) and points (55).

– As a team, England scored 34 tries across their five fixtures, with an impressive 19 different members of the squad getting their name on the try-scoring list.

Clinical In Attack:

– England averaged 15 entries per match into the opposition 22 this tournament, as well as 2.8 points per visit, significantly more than any other side (France, 12.5 visits per match, 2.1 points per visit).

– Abby Dow and Poppy Cleall were the joint-top try scorers with four each. No one from any nation has more in this edition (also French duo, Cyrielle Banet and Laure Sansus).

Strength With Ball In Hand:

– Sarah Bern recorded the most tackle breaks (8) and linebreaks (5, tied with Abigail Dow) of any player at the 2020 Women’s Six Nations.

– As a team, England have averaged the most metres carried (844m), linebreaks (8.6) and tackle breaks (12.2) of any side in the 2020 Women’s Six Nations.

– Of the 30 England players to make 5+ carries during the tournament only wingers Jess Breach (6.6) and Abigail Dow (8.2) averaged more metres gained per carry than props Hannah Botterman (6.3) and Sarah Bern (5.4).

Stout In Defence and at the Set-piece:

– The Red Roses have completed 94% of their tackles, the best rate of any side, they also have the best lineout (89%) and ruck success rates (98%).


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