Italy 0-74 England: Lydia Thompson scores hat-trick as Red Roses seal 12-try rout of hosts in Women's Six Nations
Lydia Thompson grabbed a hat-trick as England made it two wins from two in the TikTok Women's Six Nations; replacement Emily Scarratt crossed for her 50th try in a Red Roses shirt too
Last Updated: 03/04/22 8:58pm
Lydia Thompson grabbed a hat-trick and Emily Scarratt notched her 50th England try as the Red Roses cruised to a 74-0 victory over Italy in the TikTok Women's Six Nations.
The bonus point was already secured by half-time in Parma as tries from Thompson and fellow winger McKenna, plus scores from forwards Lark Davies, Shaunagh Brown and Alex Matthews helped England into a 31-0 lead the break.
Worcester Warriors' Thompson was over for her second within two minutes of the restart and put the seal on England's 20th win in a row with the final action of the match, while centre Scarratt came off the bench to notch her half-century of tries for the national team.
Her fellow replacements Vicky Fleetwood, Sarah Bern and Emma Sing also went over, along with McKenna grabbing her second of the game.
Meanwhile, Italy's misery was compounded by having Beatrice Rigoni sin-binned inside the final 10 minutes.
Red Roses head coach Simon Middleton made nine changes from the 57-5 win over Scotland on the opening weekend of this year's tournament and the reigning Women's Six Nations champions made a flying start after putting Italy under pressure from early penalties.
Their reward came in the fourth minute after kicking to touch and setting up a drive from a lineout which ended with the ball being passed out to the left for Saracens player McKenna to finish, followed by Zoe Harrison converting.
Italy 0-74 England scoring summary
England: Tries - Lydia Thompson (3), Sarah McKenna (2), Lark Davies, Shaunagh Brown, Alex Matthews, Vicky Cornborough, Sarah Bern, Emma Sing, Emily Scarratt; Goals - Helena Rowland (4), Zoe Harrison (3).
Thompson crossed for her first of the afternoon 11 minutes later on the back of Vickii Cornborough charging down an attempted clearance kick in Italy's half and inside centre Helena Rowland bursting forward before finding the winger wide on the right.
The Red Roses' pack then came to the fore, earning a penalty which was followed by hooker Davies dotting down off the back of a strong lineout drive in the 21st minute. Six minutes later, another attacking lineout led to prop Brown going over from close range to seal the bonus point.
Back row Matthews was able to add a fifth try five minutes before half time, with two more conversions from Harrison taking the Red Roses past the 30-point mark, and the away side began the second half where they left off in the first as Thompson took a cut-out pass from McKenna to finish in the 42nd minute.
Fleetwood and Bern then made immediate impacts with tries of their own soon after entering the fray, with Sing coming off the bench to score her first try in an England shirt too. Loughbourgh Lightning's Scarratt then chased down a fine low kick from Harrison to finish and reach the milestone of tries for her country within a minute of coming on.
There was still time for McKenna and Thompson to add to their personal tallies for the day as well as the team, while Italy's repeated infringements eventually proved costly as inside centre Rigoni was shown a yellow card by referee Hollie Davidson following one penalty too many.
What they said
England captain Poppy Cleall, speaking on the BBC
"Midds [head coach Simon Middleton] asked for work-rate, effort and intensity, and I think that's what he got today.
"We were working our socks off out there and trying to bring the stuff we worked on in training out there. Sometimes it didn't quite work, but other times it did.
"We can't control everything, but what we can control is...making sure we're putting in all the effort we can, putting our foot down and keeping it there.
"That's a physicality and effort attribute, that's something we pride ourselves on and every game we want to bring that."
England's attention now turns to a showdown with old rivals Wales at Gloucester's Kingsholm Stadium on Saturday, April 9 (4.30pm kick-off).