Match Centre: Women's Six Nations: Italy 0-48 England

Ellie Kildunne starred for the Red Roses in their opener
©RFU Collection via Getty

Italy 0-48 England, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma

England overcame a red card to Sarah Beckett as they blanked Italy with a 48-0 victory in the opening round of the Women's Six Nations at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in Parma on Sunday.

England will now face Wales in the second round of the game at Ashton Gate next weekend while Italy will be locking horns with Ireland in the second round on Sunday.

The red roses had an early setback as Beckett was sin-binned in the 11th minute for a dangerous tackle Michela Sillari using a crocodile roll and soon became the first woman whose card was upgraded to red following the bunker review system.

Both the teams were struggling to get the first points on the board which eventually came in the 31st minute when Hannah Botterman dived from close range. Zoe Harrison sent the conversion wide as England's lead was minimised to five points in the first half hour of the game.

As D'Inca was penalised for a tackle in the air, England got their second opportunity at the stroke of half time when Abbie Ward grounded the ball for their second try and once again Harrison missed out on the extras as the teams completed the opening half with a 0-10 scoreline.

England soon grabbed the momentum despite being a player down with Lark Atkin-Davies diving over the line early in the second half and Harrison missed out on her third conversion. The bonus point came in the 50th minute for England as Ellie Kildunne collected a clearance kick to dive under the posts and Harrison kicked the extras this time making it 0-22.

As Italy were still searching for their first points, England stepped up the ante with further tries from Helena Rowland and Mackenzie Carson before Marlie Packer left the field in the 60th minute on what was her 100th appearance. England were down to 13 players in the final 10 minutes as Rowland was sin-binned for a foul play in a ruck despite that Kildunne and Connie Powell also added their names to the scoring sheet allowing the visitors to complete a 0-48 victory.

Team line up:

Italy: Ostuni Minuzzi; Muzzo, Sillari, Rigoni, D'Inca; Madia, Stefan (capt); Maris, Turani, Seye, Fedrighi, Tounesi, Locatelli, Sgorbini, Cavina.

Reserves: Gurioli, Stecca, Gai, Pilani, Duca, Frangipani, Stevanin, Granzotto.

England: Kildunne; Dow, Rowland, Scarratt, Breach; Harrison, Packer; Botterman, Atkin-Davies, Clifford, Aldcroft, Ward, Kabeya, Packer (capt), Beckett.

Reserves: Powell, Carson, Muir, Feaunati, Matthews, Hunt, Aitchison, Jones.