Simone Middleton has praised the character of his team after they clinched their third championship Women’s Six Nations title last night.
The Red Roses coach was please with the 10-6 win over France at The Stoop.
Poppy Cleall scored the only try in the game, both teams showed great defensive work as both teams exchange attacking plays.
Cleall’s score came at the half time buzzer while Caroline Drouin bagged two penalty kicks to make the game a one point lead at half time. But the game was nailed after Emily Scarratt got her groove back and put three more points to seal their win over the relentless French ladies.
The former Olympic sevens captain, passed on her Olympic cap for Tokyo to concentrate on XVs.
“We know this side has character but it’s rare we get tested like that in a game. Pressure was coming at us from all angles – lineout, scrum, breakdown – and you just have to hang in and find a way to win,” said Middleton.
“Rugby is a tough game, you have to be tough at times and that is the character we showed today, a real physical toughness.”
England wasn’t able to impose their dominance over the French side, losing five lineouts and two scrums.
“It was a really tough and physical game, we knew it was going to be, we thought it would come down to the wire and that is exactly what happened,” added Middleton.
“It wasn’t exactly a feast of running rugby but in terms of physical contribution and application, I think both sides showed what they could bring.
“We came under huge pressure on set piece, they came under huge pressure on our line speed in defense and the breakdown was a complete fight for everybody.
“I thought France were fantastic they came and gave everything, they are a side as good as I’ve seen in a long time, and that all bodes well for the future.”
Emily Scarratt’s kicks were instrumental to their game, making sure that they stayed on top of the French side.