Five things we learned from the 2022 TikTok Women's Six Nations

·3-min read
England lift the 2022 TikTok Women's Six Nations trophy
England lift the 2022 TikTok Women's Six Nations trophy

By Paul Eddison, Sportsbeat

The TikTok Women’s Six Nations got the grandstand finish we were all hoping for as England clinched a fourth successive title in a febrile atmosphere in Bayonne.

The Red Roses are the dominant team in the game, arguably in world sport, and two Sarah Bern tries set them on their way to a 24-12 win in the Grand Slam decider against France.

In a landmark year for women’s rugby, the tournament provided us with thrills and spills and an idea of what to expect at the World Cup and beyond.

Here are five of the main things we learned:

Best Red Roses yet

We will not be able to officially crown them the best England side ever unless they win the World Cup, but a run of 23 straight wins and four consecutive TikTok Women’s Six Nations titles makes them massive favourites in New Zealand this autumn.

England racked up 45 tries, trailed for just eight minutes across the entire campaign and conceded just 22 points in all.

Their rolling maul has become the most dangerous weapon in the game and almost singlehandedly did for France, while the set-piece wobbles of a year ago have disappeared. England truly were in a class of their own.

Where England lead, the rest must follow

Only France managed to stay within 50 points of England, a fact that is forcing the rest of the unions to sit up and take action.

Wales had already signalled the start of their professional era with the introduction of professional contracts in January, while Italy followed suit midway through the tournament.

Since England went fully pro in 2019, they have pulled away from the rest of the world, and the only way to catch them is to follow suit.

The women’s game is prime for growth, with a new title sponsor this year, a standalone window and greater interest than ever before. For that to continue, it needs to become more competitive.

France are still the biggest challengers

England’s win in Bayonne was built around a dominant rolling maul and was fully deserved, but it was the closest any team has come to pushing them.

France have not quite clicked over the past month but are still clearly the second best team in the world and with a more cohesive lineout or the odd decision in their favour, might have given England more of a scare.

What is happening in Ireland?

Five years ago, there were a trio of strong European nations, but that is down to two because of Ireland’s fall from grace.

After last year’s shock exit from World Cup qualification, this year’s campaign was blighted by the departure of almost the entire backline to sevens duty midway through the tournament. Even with two wins, there is a lot to resolve in Ireland.

Kicking game shows the gulf

The biggest difference between England and France compared with the rest was in the kicking game. That is not necessarily from the tee, in fact Italy’s Michela Sillari did not miss, including kicking the match-winner against Wales.

But in open play, the top two can play a territorial game that the rest simply do not have in their armoury.

The TikTok Women’s Six Nations is more accessible than ever before. To find out how you can watch the Women’s Championship visit: womens.sixnationsrugby.com/tv/

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