England celebrate Daley-mclean’s 100th cap in style
The bottle of Champagne that Katy Daley-mclean was presented with as player of the match after her 100th England appearance was discarded in favour of a cup of hot sweet tea made by head coach Simon Middleton, such were the torrid weather conditions as the Red Roses scored nine tries in a record defeat of the United States.
The newest member of the centurion club’s kicking was almost flawless, only missing one of seven despite the swirling winds and rain. The Loughborough Lightning player scored 17 points, including one try.
Middleton was emphatic that Daley-mclean had not been named player of the match due to the landmark occasion, saying: “You don’t have to say anything about Katy because she has done it on the pitch. You couldn’t script what happened, it wasn’t a sympathetic vote that gave her player of the match, it was totally deserved, she was absolutely superb. She was class on the field, the way she got those kicks and then to get the 60-yard try, we won’t hear the end of that one!”
The player herself reflected on the difference between her England debut in 2007 and last night’s fixture. “When I got my first cap there were 150 people watching and now we have almost 3,500 at Allianz Park and we are live on Sky,” she said. “The beauty of women’s sport now is that nothing is mediocre anymore, it is about us putting in the effort to be professional. You hope in 10 years’ time you will be filling the place out.”
At the outset, it was a fairly cagey affair, before Harlequins’ Leanne Riley went over for the opening try after seven minutes.
Immediately the US were pressing, but they were overenthusiastic and their discipline suffered, with prop Megan Rom being shown the red card by Scottish referee Holly Davidson on 15 minutes for a high tackle, leading with her arm.
The Americans were dogged in defence for a 10-minute period but ran out of steam once England fullback Sarah Mckenna, recently returned to XVS from sevens, ran over.
American tempers continued to fray as openside Kate Zachary was sent to the sin-bin and England were awarded a penalty try. With the US down to 13 women, Daleymclean turned the screw, and it was no surprise when she made a bursting run to set up captain Abbie Scott, who had been putting in hard yards in the second row.
Continuing the celebration, Daley-mclean burst through for a stunning individual try just before half-time. England went into the interval 33-0 up, Kelly Smith continuing United States Replacements Referee Red card
Big night out: Katy Daley-mclean breaks away to score England’s fifth try