The Ireland Women's side fell to their fourth straight defeat of the 6 Nations Championship on Saturday as all-conquering England beat them 39-10 at Old Albanians RFC.
WOMEN'S 6 NATIONS: Saturday, March 18
ENGLAND WOMEN 39 IRELAND WOMEN 10, Old Albanians RFC
Scorers: England: Tries: Vanessa Huxford, Amy Garnett, Vicky Massarella, Karen Andrew, Helen Clayton, Georgia Stevens, Danielle Waterman; Cons: Andrew 2
Ireland: Tries: Nuala Ni Chadhain, Joy Neville
Ireland were unable to prevent a rampant England from winning a 6 Nations Grand Slam. England, 28-0 winners in France last weekend, already had the title sewn up - a championship that has eluded them since 2003.
Geoff Richards' England girls led 24-5 at the break with tries from Vanessa Huxford, Amy Garnett, Vicky Massarella and Karen Andrew, who kicked two conversions, early on in the game. The hosts had the aid of a huge breeze at their backs in that opening half, with Ireland's only score coming from winger Nuala Ni Chadhain.
Ten minutes into the second half, the Irish gained renewed hope when Shannon number eight Joyce Neville muscled over for try number two after a wave of Irish attacks. The visitors then lost captain and out-half Sarah Jane Belton and prop Marie Barrett to injury, weakening their hand considerably.
England wrapped up the win with tries from flankers Helen Clayton and Georgia Stevens and winger Danielle Waterman cruised through for the Red Roses' seventh try in the closing stages.
Irish coach Philip Doyle said afterwards: "We were happy with lots of aspects of our game. Our first try was right off the training paddock and we battled right to the end. England are a fantastic team and I wish them well in the future, but for us this season has been about trying things out and getting some combinations going before the World Cup in the summer, and we'll take a lot from games like this."
ENGLAND WOMEN: Vicky Massarella (Saracens); Charlotte Barras (Lichfield), Michaela Staniford (Henley), Kim Oliver (Clifton), Danielle Waterman (Henley); Karen Andrew (Saracens), Jo Yapp (Worcester) (capt); Vanessa Huxford (Wasps), Amy Garnett (Saracens), Vanessa Gray (Wasps), Tamara Taylor (Thirsk Sharks), Rachel Vickers (Richmond), Georgia Stevens (Clifton), Helen Clayton (Saracens), Catherine Spencer (Folkstone).
Replacements used: Jenny Sutton (Richmond) for Vickers, Shelley Rae (Wasps) for Andrew, Rochelle Clark (Henley) for Huxford (all 64 mins), Nicola Crawford (Worcester) for Barras, Sue Day (Wasps) for Staniford, Maggie Alphonsi (Saracens) for Clayton, Selena Rudge (Wasps) for Garnett (all 70).
IRELAND WOMEN: Joanne O'Sullivan (Lichfield); Nuala Ni Chadhain (Galwegians), Lynne Cantwell (Trojans), Patrique Kelly (UL Bohemians), Grace Davitt (Blackrock); Sarah Jane Belton (UL Bohemians) (capt), Tania Rosser (Blackrock); Fiona Coughlan (UL Bohemians), Jean Lonergan (Shannon), Marie Barrett (Highfield), Caroline Mahon (UL Bohemians), Germaine Healy (Blackrock), Orla Brennan (Blackrock), Rachel Boyd (Cooke), Joy Neville (Shannon).
Replacements used: Gillian McAllister (Cooke) for Barrett (50 mins), Amanda Greensmith (Shannon) for Belton (55), Sinead Ryan (Navan) for Healy (60), Yvonne Nolan (Blackrock) for Lonergan, Suzanne Fleming (Cooke) for Ni Chadhain (both 62), Louise Beamish (UL Bohemians) for Rosser (75).
Referee: Huw David (Wales)