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Page last updated at 22:16 GMT, Saturday, 12 February 2011

England women score 11 tries to overpower Italy

England women 68-5 Italy
Flanker Margaret Alphonsi scored the first of 11 England tries

Defending champions England maintained their Grand Slam push with an 11-try 68-5 demolition of Italy at Esher.

Flanker Margaret Alphonsi opened the scoring after five minutes and the hosts were soon out of sight, scoring another six tries in the first half.

Heather Fisher, Katherine Merchant and Danielle Waterman scored two tries each, while Emily Scarratt, Rowena Burnfield and La Toya Maso scored.

Replacement Chiara Castellarin scored a late consolation try for the Italians.

Head coach Gary Street made six changes, two positional, to the team which beat Wales 19-0 on the opening weekend of the championship.

The change of personnel did not seem to stifle the hosts however, with coach Street unable to hide his delight after what he described as a "great performance".

"Although we made some changes to the squad, the team came together well," said Street. "It was also great to see the backs get their chance after a wet forward dominated game against Wales last weekend.

"After this I will definitely have some selection headaches ahead of our game against France on 27 February."

Soon after Alphonsi's opening try, captain Katy McLean kicked a penalty to make it 8-0 and in the 24th minute the impressive Fisher extended the hosts' advantage to 13-0 when the flanker barged over the line.

Fullback Waterman scored the first of her two tries minutes later when she was put through by McLean to score under the posts. McLean converted to make it 20-0 to England.

A great counter-attacking move involving Waterman, Roberts and Merchant was finished by Scarratt, which McLean converted, and tries from winger Merchant and lock Burnfield - her first for her country - ended a satisfying first half for the World Cup finalists.

The tries continued after interval when Merchant went over in the corner, making it 44-0, and in the 48th minute scrum-half Mason touched down for another converted try.

There was no way back for the visitors but they did show some spirit when Castellarin chased a nice grubber kick for the Italians' only score of the game.

Inevitably, England bounced back with Waterman scoring her second of the match and further tries from Roberts and Fisher completed the England try fest.

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see also
England Women change four in pack
09 Feb 11 |  English
Wales Women 0-19 England Women
06 Feb 11 |  Rugby Union
Matthews gets England Women call
27 Jan 11 |  English
McLean handed England captaincy
20 Jan 11 |  English
England Women retain Six Nations
19 Mar 10 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 07 |  Laws & Equipment

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