Women’s Six Nations: England’s dominance frustrating – Maggie Alphonsi

Home » Women’s Six Nations: England’s dominance frustrating – Maggie Alphonsi

England’s crushing 46-0 away win against Scotland is frustrating for the “integrity” of the Women’s Six Nations, says former flanker Maggie Alphonsi.

The Red Roses scored eight tries and still dominated every facet despite Amy Cokayne’s second-half red card.

England top the table and are on course for a sixth consecutive title after maximum points from their three games.

“It is incredibly frustrating when the scores are like this because there is no jeopardy,” Alphonsi told BBC One.

England played almost half an hour with 14 players in blustery Edinburgh conditions after Cokayne was sent off for receiving two yellow cards.

However, Scotland were unable to force any pressure with the extra player and failed to register a point.

The Red Roses have scored 24 tries in three games, racking up 140 points and conceding just 10.

Despite having Sarah Beckett sent off early in the first half, they thrashed Italy 48-0 in Parma in their opening game and then beat Wales 46-10 in Bristol.

Former England forward Alphonsi added: “The big focus should be on how we support the other nations to make sure we are closing the gap.

“Even as an England fan I want that gap to reduce. I don’t want to see big dominant scores, I want to see closer games.

“It’s about the integrity and the quality of the competition and you want to have different teams winning this tournament.”

Alphonsi’s sentiment is borne out by the statistics:

  • England have won every Women’s Six Nations title since 2019, including four Grand Slams
  • England have not lost in 27 Six Nations matches
  • Scotland have not beaten England since 1999
  • The last team to win the Six Nations other than England was France in 2018
  • Ireland are the only other side to have won the Six Nations – in 2013 and 2015

England were the first country in the Six Nations to award their players permanent full-time professional contracts, when they did so in 2019.

Scotland have improved since awarding full-time professional contracts for the first time in December 2022 and won the WXV2 during a run of seven wins in a row before losing against France in this year’s Six Nations.

Injured Scotland number eight Jade Konkel says the players need time to keep developing in order to close the gap on the Red Roses.

“If you look back at 2013, Ireland were the Grand Slam winners and the team that were toughest to play against,” Konkel told BBC One.

“Then England get professional contracts and sky rocket above everybody else and they have had that for a substantial amount of time.

“That is not to take credit away from their depth and calibre of players, and you are starting to see some improvement now with the Scotland professional contracts coming in – but it has only been a year so there is still a way to go.

“You cannot speed that process up – and England are also continuing to build. They are not showing any signs of plateauing.”

Former England hooker Brian Moore, however, says England can only concentrate on their own development and it is not their “fault” there is a gap between the other sides.

“England have to play to their own standards,” Moore told BBC One.

“If you want to judge them by their high standards, there were moments of inaccuracies they could improve on, but the conditions were particularly bad, especially in the first half, and they coped with those and came out with a significant victory.

“It is not their fault the other countries are not up to scratch and it requires further work by them. You either have a competition or you don’t.”

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