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Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Wednesday, 4 March 2009

England women back in title chase

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England's women have strong hopes of retaining their Six Nations crown going into the final two rounds of fixtures after beating Ireland 29-13 in Dublin.

Lichfield's Emily Scarratt scored a try but England trailed 13-5 at half-time.

Richmond's Fran Matthew (two), skipper Catherine Spencer and Fiona Pocock all crossed in the second-half comeback.

England's hopes of a fourth straight Grand Slam ended with defeat by Wales, but Gary Street's side finish with home games against France and Scotland.

France, along with Wales, have also won two of their first three fixtures and remain in contention for the title alongside England.

"Our ambition to retain our Six Nations crown is still alive," said head coach Street.

"Ireland gave us a really hard game. We knew they'd be strong and they certainly showed that in the first half. However, we showed enormous self-belief and real intensity to come back and dominate."

Women's Six Nations results/fixtures:
6 Feb Ireland 7-5 France
7 Feb England 69-13 Italy
8 Feb Scotland 10-31 Wales

14 Feb Wales 16-15 England Taffs, Cardiff
14 Feb Italy 17-35 Ireland Stadio M Natali, Colleferro
15 Feb France 25-12 Scotland Arras, Paris

27 Feb Ireland 13-29 England St Mary's RFC, Dublin
28 Feb Scotland 13-10 Italy Meggetland, Edinburgh
28 Feb France 27-5 Wales Montauban (TBC)

13 Mar Scotland v Ireland Meggetland, Edinburgh
15 Mar England v France London Welsh RFC
15 Mar Italy v Wales Riviera del Brenta Club, Mira

21 Mar Wales v Ireland Taffs Wells, Cardiff
21 Mar England v Scotland London Welsh RFC
22 Mar Italy v France Piemonte Regional Committee, Torino

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see also
France Women 27-5 Wales Women
28 Feb 09 |  Welsh
Wales Women 16-15 England Women
14 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Spencer leads Grand Slam success
16 Mar 08 |  Rugby Union
England women overcome Scotland
08 Mar 08 |  Rugby Union
England women crush sorry French
23 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
England women thrash sorry Italy
11 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union
England women thrash feeble Wales
02 Feb 08 |  Rugby Union

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