The Army Women rugby team has cruised to a 51-6 victory over the German national side on its home turf.

It's the second time this year that the UK forces women have downed the international outfit in Heidelberg, in the south of the country.

The fixture represented a key test for both sets of players as they prepare for bigger clashes.

British Army Women rugby union team vs Germany

The Germans are aiming for European Championships, while the Army team is working towards tough annual encounters with the Royal Navy and Air Force.

With both sides ushered in by a pipe band, the German women took the upper hand after kick off, dominating for the first 10 minutes.

A penalty gave them an early lead - but the Army has a reputation for slow starts and would be the only team to land any tries.

And in this match, they grabbed a succession. Amongst the scorers was England international and Royal Military Police Sergeant Bianca Dawson, who earned her 25th Army cap during the game. She said:

"[We're] a really, really close group of players. A lot of girls play club rugby together so they see each other week in, week out, at club training and club rugby."

Some of the tries were converted off the boot of the woman who leads the military side.

Skipper Gemma Rowland, a Royal Artillery captain who also plays for Wales, said:

"The Army team now are getting more and more international fixtures, which gives these girls an opportunity to play international teams, which they may never have got otherwise."

The Army side includes a number of Women's Premiership players and takes part in one fixture a month.

Having been defeated by South Africa earlier in the year, they're looking forward to meeting more elite international players in the newly-formed women's Barbarians side.

Sergeant Tara Miller, who also earned her 25th Army cap during the game, says Army women's rugby is coming of age:

"I think it's getting bigger and bigger... It's not just a game for the big and hard, it's actually a really mental and physical game."

The final 51-6 scoreline was something for the Army Women to celebrate.

Their opponents, who had a number of top players absent through injury, were generous in defeat. Team captain Lisa Bohrmann said:

"They were really, really good. They just noticed what didn't work with us."

Germany coach Alfred Jansen said the match was important and his team will learn lessons from today, especially in defence.

And Capt Rowland said the international outfit had given her side a tough test: "They were very good at slowing our ball down in the breakdown.

British Army Women rugby union team vs Germany

"[They] stopped us playing our quick ball-game, which we like, but when we managed to get it wide we managed to capitalise on it."

The Army's next big international is against the Netherlands in January.

Head coach Captain Glyn Barraclough said:

"This is our opportunity now to maybe drawdown, to get our [squad of] 28 ready.

"We're now going to look at how we play the game and maybe our gameplan... [ahead of] taking on the RAF and Navy in April and May."

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