England Women made it four wins from four with a 20-13 victory over Wales at The Stoop in the Six Nations.
The win handed England the Triple Crown, with just France left to play next Friday, and a win at the Stade de la Rabine would give England their first Six Nations title since 2012.
England dominated from the start and a driving maul from the 22m line left Ceri Large to dot down between the posts. A conversion from Amber Reed put the hosts 7-0 ahead at 10min.
They kept control throughout the first half and an impressive offload from Reed provided Large with her second try on the night, which was again converted by Reed.
A penalty kick from Robyn Wilkins put Wales on the board by half time to leave the score at 14-3, and Wales clawed themselves back into the game with tries from Alisha Butchers, who pounced on a charge down, and an intercept try from Wilkins.
However, prop Rocky Clark charged down the conversion attempt and a final penalty from Reed sealed the win for England.
Coach Scott Bemand praised his side’s effort. “That was a proper test match – England v Wales is always going to be tough.
“They came on the back of a good result against France, full of confidence and we knew they would be hard to break down.
“At times, we made it a little bit tricky for ourselves but the character of this group continues to show, they keep evolving, and we have given ourselves the opportunity to go to France and try to win the Grand Slam.”
Captain Sarah Hunter added: “It was a really hard-fought victory this evening.
“We set out to take each match as it comes and Wales threw everything at us. They came back and the momentum swung against us. We really had to dig deep and find a little bit extra to get the win.”