Marlie Packer grabs super hat-trick as England demolish Scotland
SCOTLAND 5-57 ENGLAND
On her 80th appearance for England, the brilliant Marlie Packer helped herself to her 22nd, 23rd and 24th tries.
Hosting the reigning champions at a home ground in the impressive shadow of Murrayfield, the Scots had the first chance to get the scoreboard moving, but Helen Nelson missed her penalty attempt. Just a few minutes later and Packer crashed over for her side's first try of the game.
With Emily Scarratt kicking well off the tee, England were 14-0 up after 12 minutes when she converted a Poppy Cleall score. The Scots answered back, though, when Chloe Rollie got over after a sustained period of attacking pressure.
England upped the tempo in the final 20 minutes of the first half, and were rewarded with four tries. Heather Cowell made it 19-5 before Abby Dow turned on the afterburners for an incredible score:
— TikTok Women's Six Nations (@Womens6Nations) March 26, 2022
Marlie Packer completes her hat-trick
A second Marlie Packer try and one from Leanne Infante left England 38-5 to the good at half-time.
The Scots started the second half brightly and looked to have a score in the right-hand corner, only for referee Joy Neville and her TMO to agree that there may have been a clear, if inadvertent, knock-on.
That was as good as it got for the hosts. Holly Aitchison cantered over for a try, after a chip through, that made it 43-5. Scotland held out England for 10 minutes, after that, but then conceded two tries in two minutes.
Connie Powell crashed over from close-range and the final try of the game saw Packer complete her hat-trick as she powered by two defenders to ground the ball. Ahead of the game, Packer spoke with iNews about her career as a professional rugby player in England. Asked if she would like her partner and son, Oliver, to come to the World Cup in New Zealand, later this year, she commented:
"There is the annual leave Tash would have to take, and the flights and accommodation all add up. I might be a professional rugby player but I don’t get paid like the men do!"
England's top professional female players get up to £50,000 a year [£28,000 basic, £16,000 from their clubs and £800 per international outing]. At present, Ireland Women's team does not pay players but vouched travel expenses are reimbursed, and there are gym facilities provided, as well as kit and formal wear for travelling and attending events.
Back in Edinburgh, Scotland pressed hard for a consolation try but England were giving nothing for cheap. Neville awarded plenty of penalties to the Scots but kept her cards in her pocket.
There would be no late score, though, as England finished strong and laid down a marker for the rest of the Tik Tok Women's Six Nations championship.
BEST PLAYER: Marlie Packer (England)
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