Scarratt savours every minute after celebrating 100th England cap in style

·3-min read
Scarratt, 32, helped England moved back to the top of the Championship table
Scarratt, 32, helped England moved back to the top of the Championship table

By Rachel Steinberg at Mattioli Woods Welford Road

Emily Scarratt savoured every minute of earning her 100th cap in her hometown — so much so that she was still wearing it an hour after England sealed a 69-0 bonus point win over Ireland in their penultimate TikTok Women’s Six Nations contest.

Simon Middleton’s side moved back to the top of the Championship table with the win, played out in front of a Red Roses home record crowd of 15,836 at Leicester’s Welford Road stadium.

And the vice-captain gave the roaring, singing faithful something to cheer for, converting five tries in the full team effort, England’s 22nd consecutive Test victory also beating their previous best of 21 set in 1997.

“It was very special, very surreal, better than you’d probably ever imagine something like that to be,” said the Loughborough Lightning centre.

“We obviously spoke about it earlier in the week and tried not to think about it too much, that sort of stuff, but when it actually comes it’s just taking it all in as well.

“You don’t want those moments just to pass you by, disappear and move onto the next one, so I did try to do that.

“Obviously running out in the anthems and all that was very cool. It’s that homely feeling. You can’t really put it into words.”

England were on the scoreboard inside two minutes, Abbie Ward winning the early lineout before her teammates completed the job with a rolling maul, Lark Davies dotting down for the Red Roses’ first.

But Greg McWilliams’ determined Ireland side were able to withstand waves of England attack, the underdogs only yielding one more before the break when Bristol Bears prop Sarah Bern crossed the whitewash on 16 minutes.

Scarratt’s squad, who committed an uncharacteristic number of handling errors in the first half, returned for the second in signature style, aided as Ireland were twice reduced to 14 players with Dorothy Wall sent to the sin bin and Sene Naoupu shown red for head-on-head tackles.

England added nine more tries, Marlie Packer, Lydia Thompson, Poppy Cleall, Hannah Botterman and Ellie Kildunne all bolstering their side’s dominant second-half display.

And Ireland were dealt a further blow when Eimear Considine was stretchered off with injury.

England remain undefeated, with the win setting up a Championship Grand Slam decider against France in Bayonne on Super Saturday next weekend.

Scarratt added: “There will be lots to look at but the second half performance was very good, we unleashed ourselves, played through our structures, understood when to go through, when to go around and all that stuff.

“We’ve just got to make sure it doesn’t take us 40 minutes to clue into that.”

With the title looming on the horizon, Scarratt admitted the champagne will remain corked until “hopefully” six days’ time.

And as for that milestone cap?

“Someone just asked me for it!” she exclaimed, laughing. “I was like, ‘Oh, I think I’ll keep this one if that’s ok, please. It’s kind of a special one!’”

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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