Sarah Hunter bows out in style as England hammer Scotland in Six Nations opener
Sarah Hunter retired in style as England’s Six Nations title defence got off to a flying start with a ruthless 58-7 victory over Scotland.
The game marked a special occasion for co-captain Hunter, who signed off on her rugby career with a commanding win on home soil at Kingston Park, where England easily secured the bonus point.
A quickfire second-half hat-trick from co-captain Marlie Packer capped off a disappointing afternoon for the Scots.
Hunter, who hails from North Shields, led the side out in Newcastle and they took the lead nine minutes in after pressure on the Scottish goal-line allowed Claudia MacDonald to burst through the gap to touch down.
Scotland had a chance to pull one back with a fantastic attack on England’s goal-line and Emma Orr came incredibly close to scoring, but she grounded the ball slightly short with the hosts able to recover and clear.
England stretched Scotland with some quick passing allowing hooker Amy Cokayne to finish off another great team move in the 18th minute and MacDonald soon got her second with an incredible sprint from the halfway line, weaving past the Scottish defence to finish in the left corner.
Tatyana Heard scored her first Red Roses try after powering past two Scotland defenders to cross in the 27th minute and a driving maul from the line-out allowed Cokayne to grab her second just before the break.
England picked up where they left off straight after the break when Poppy Cleall crashed over the line and Abby Dow did well to hand the ball off to Sadia Kabeya, who scored their seventh try of the afternoon.
Packer then got in on the act as the Red Roses used the driving maul flawlessly three times for the co-captain to score her hat-trick, with all three tries happening within just 10 minutes of each other.
Scotland then found some consolation in the final stages, with Chloe Rollie putting points on the board for the visitors with a late try.