Wales Women completed a disappointing weekend for Welsh rugby when they suffered a 31-0 defeat at the hands of Six Nations Championship favourites England at Esher.
Having seen Warren Gatland's senior men's side beaten by the old enemy down the road at Twickenham earlier in the day, coach Jason Lewis' side unfortunately went the same way.
However, for a team who performed beyond expectation in finishing second in last season's Championship, beating England for the first time in the process, it was far from a night of total doom and gloom.
Against a side that is widely accepted as being stronger than the XV that defeated Wales 55-0 two years ago, Mel Berry's class of 2010 were spirited and combative throughout, especially in defence.
That they failed to score was a tribute to the defensive organisation and ability of an England outfit widely fancied to challenge for the World Cup on home soil later this year. And England's power and pace told in attack with five tries.
Lewis said, "We were beaten by a better side, England have a lot of pace and attacked us out wide. We took a while to get up to speed in the first half but defensively the girls were fantastic, and our set-piece was excellent, a good platform to build on.
"England are arguably the best side in the world at the moment and our players showed real endeavour, focus and commitment. We were guilty of being a little tactically naive but the forwards worked well and the performances of the new players were pleasing."
England led from the fourth minute with a try for back row forward Heather Fisher. Wing Kat Merchant and outside centre Emily Scarratt displayed England's attacking superiority with tries before half-time, the second of which was converted by Katy McLean taking the score at the break to 17-0.
McLean got her own try half way through the second half, finishing a well worked move and converting, taking the score to 24-0 before prop Rochelle Clark crashed over with ten minutes to go.
Wales will now turn their attention to Scotland at the Brewery Field, Bridgend on Sunday when Lewis will be hoping to kick start the season with a first victory of the campaign.
Wales head coach Rob Howley explains his decision to change the captaincy of the national side with Ospreys second row Alun Wyn Jones taking over from Sam Warburton for the forthcoming RBS 6 Nations. Howley is hoping his decision will allow Warburton to rediscover his 'mojo'.
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