England women’s head coach Simon Middleton believes the Red Roses gave the Doncaster crowd one of their best halves of rugby they have ever produced in the victory over France.
The hosts racked up four tries in a dominant first 40 minutes against the defending champions and the No 3-ranked team in the world.
“I would have been surprised had someone said to me at the start of the game it would be 24-0 but on the basis of how we played, outstandingly well, I wasn’t surprised,” said the Yorkshireman.
“We’re always capable of scoring points if we play to our potential. That’s as good as we could have played in that first half. Our attacking shape, our physicality, and our technical ability on the back of that physicality was great.
“The discipline of executing the gameplan and also getting the balance right between run and kick was also key.
“Coupled with that our defensive intensity was great. But there were a lot of facets to our game that worked well.”
I would have been surprised had someone said to me at the start of the game it would be 24-0 but on the basis of how we played, outstandingly well, I wasn’t surprisedSimon Middleton
With three games to come, starting with Wales in two weeks, Middleton wants to see that improvement continued.
“Our objective is to play better than that,” he said.
“That second half showed we’re not anywere near the finished article.”
Captain Sarah Hunter added: “Everyone had built this up as the decider of the Six Nations but I don’t think you can do that, it would be doing everyone a complete disservice to the teams we’ve still got to play.
“You’ve got to enjoy wins like today otherwise what would be the point, but our feet will remain firmly on the ground.”