England Women defend Six Nations title with 10-6 win over France

Emily Scarratt kicked five points
Emily Scarratt kicked five points

England Women 10 - 6 France Women, Twickenham Stoop

England Women have gone on to win their third successive Six Nations title after they managed to overcome France with a 10-6 win in the final at Twickenham Stoop.

Having started the tournament with dominating wins over Scotland and Italy, England were given a tough fight by a resolute France side but eventually managed to overcome them to successfully defend the title.

Poppy Cleall was the only try scorer in the game with skipper Emily Scarratt managing a conversion and a penalty apiece while all France managed were a couple of penalties from Caroline Drouin in the second half.

After the opening exchanges, France looked threatening to score but England did well to push Madoussou Fall into touch. Scarratt was given an opportunity to open the account but her kick went wide as both the teams continued to remain scoreless.

England skipper Scarratt was forced for a Head Injury Assessment in the 22nd minute but fortunately for the red rose team she returned back 10 minutes later. With Drouin's penalty kick also going wide, both the teams were still in search for the opening points around the half-hour mark.

As the break was approaching, the deadlock finally came to an end with Cleall powering her way through following a 10m scrum and Scarratt kicked the conversion as England went into the break with a 7-0 lead.

An early infringement from Vicki Cornborough provided Drouin to reduce the arrears but once again the kick went wide, although she made amends with a three-pointer in the 45th minute making it 7-3. Sarah Hunter came off the bench in the 53rd minute as both the teams looked desperate for seizing control.

With eight minutes left in the game, Zoe Harrison conceded a penalty for a ruck infringement as Drouin got the penalty kick right that brought the difference between the sides to just one point but England held their nerve as Scarratt's kick in the 79th minute ensured Simon Middleton's side completed a thrilling four-point victory to continue their dominance in the competition.

Team line up:

England: McKenna; Breach, Scarratt, Harrison, Dow; Rowland, Riley; Cornborough, Davies, Brown, Ward, O'Donnell, Aldcroft, Packer, P Cleall.

Reserves: Cokayne, Harper, B Cleall, Millar-Mills, Hunter, MacDonald, Tuima, Kildunne.

France: Boulard; Banet, Neisen, Ulutule, Boujard; Drouin, Sansus; Deshaye, Sochat, Bernadou, Fall, N'Diaye, Mayans, Hermet, Menager.

Reserves: Touye, Traore, Joyeux, Corson, Diallo, Bourdon, Peyronnet, Tremouliere.