The Official Online RBS 6 Nations Store is open. The store has everything you need to get behind your team during the RBS 6 Nations, plus the store is now fully stocked with a much wider range of rugby merchandise.
England this year are sporting a relatively new back-line with a host of players involved on the Women’s Sevens World Series circuit which continued in Houston this weekend, but such is their strength in depth that Gary Street’s outfit were able to get off to a start, perhaps even stronger than even he could have believed.
That England scored 12 tries is even more impressive when you consider that Karen Findlay’s Scotland were excellent in the opening 20 minutes, pushing England back well in defence and indeed dominating possession and territory.
Led well by Lindsay Wheeler and Susie Brown up front, Scotland looked a good match for England for the first time in a few seasons, but once the first try was leaked it unfortunately opened up the floodgates.
England will be thrilled with the ability of their new players to gel well; with Abi Chamberlain going well with two tries on her debut, Fiona Pocock making her long awaited return from injury and Sarah Hunter leading from the front.
Scotland will face a confident Italian side next weekend and must pick themselves up quickly. Their first 20 minutes showing must be turned into an 80-minute performance if they are to pick up their first win.
To Rovato, where mud and drama were the order of the day as Italy collected their first ever win over France in this competition.
In poor conditions, the French led 12-10 in injury time but a penalty in the final play handed Veronica Schiavon the chance to boot her side to the win and the veteran fly-half landed the kick to send the crowd into raptures.
The win, in front over 2,000 fans, has been coming a long time for Italy, who have been making massive progress at this level in recent years.
A win over Spain for the first time in the autumn should have told sides that Italy were ready to achieve something special this season, and Andrea Di Giandomenico’s side will be very confident taking on Scotland next weekend – the result of the game being pivotal in the quests both sides to avoid finishing in the bottom two and being forced to go through qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup.
France have a short turnaround to pick themselves up, returning home to face Wales, and if they are to stay within the hunt of taking the title this season, this is a game they must win.
Finally to Wales itself and a late try saw Ireland take a narrow 12-10 win. Hooker Gillian Bourke crashed over late to sneak the win for the Irish after Wales had taken the lead from a Laura Prosser penalty with just over ten minutes to go.
Irish coach Philip Doyle will be thrilled to have beaten Wales away from home - no easy feat - while Wales too, despite their disappointment, have plenty to be positive about.
The return of Catrin Edwards saw a return to a dominant Welsh scrum and Rosie Fletcher out wide took her score very well indeed.
There is enough to suggest that Wales can travel to France with more than hope next weekend.
The big game next weekend will see Ireland host England at Ashbourne.
The Irish have never beaten England in their history and in light of their massive win over Scotland, will certainly feel wary of facing a side they may not know as much about as usual.
England’s strength in depth was never more on show than it was at Esher this weekend and Gary Street’s team will travel as firm favourites.