England A 15 Nomads 24
Mike Barnett’s side were unable to overcome their more experienced rivals again after they were also beaten 27-12 by the Nomads in February.
Once again the Nomads were at full strength with a side that boasted 892 international caps between them and 11 players who have all captained their country.
Barnett was, however, satisfied that his young side had moved forward since their last meeting. He said: “There was a definite improvement here today. The girls went into the game with a lot more confidence and I was really pleased with the way we started the game. The Nomads came back at us though and managed to put us on the back-foot going into the second half.
“Overall though this was another good test and I would much rather have a tough game against the Nomads than an easy outing. The players will learn a lot from these games and that is what they need if they are then going to play for England.”
England started the clash at a terrific pace and were unlucky not to score in their first attack of the game. But England’s momentum continued and after a scrum on the right wing the ball was recycled out to the left and Guest set-up Rae to score on just two minutes. Rae missed the conversion.
The Nomads immediately hit back and former England captain Jo Yapp was unlucky not to score when she was held up at the line. It didn’t matter for the visitors though, who drew level on 20 minutes with Scottish fullback Lucy Millard touching down thanks to some good play between half backs Yapp and Susie Appleby.
The Nomads also missed the conversion and England clawed their way to a 8-5 lead with a penalty from Rae, though that lead was short lived with Appleby handing the Nomads a 12-8 lead. This time a scrum in England’s 22 saw the ball picked up and Yapp set-up Appleby to score. Former England fly-half Karen Andrew converted.
Matters worsened for England with the loss of Sam Dale to the sin-bin and the Nomads duly took advantage with Scotland No. 8 Donna Kennedy breaking loose from another scrum. With Andrew converting the Nomads led 19-8 at half-time.
Kennedy then continued where she had left off after the break with England still a player down when she touched down for her second try.
England were not down hearted though and refused to give up. On 45 minutes Wasps lock Natalie Binstead put England back in contention. The score came following a great break by Georgina Roberts. She off loaded in the tackle to Emily Scarratt who was pulled down just short of the line. England retained possession though and the ball was recycled out to Binstead who went over to score. Rae added the conversion and with England failing to break the Nomads line again, they had to settle for the 15-24 defeat.
1 Claire Purdy (Wasps) (C), 2 Samantha Dale (Worcester), 3 Rosemarie Crowley (Lichfield), 4 Sara Anastasi (Richmond), 5 Natalie Binstead (Wasps), 6 Gemma Sharples (Worcester), 7 Jane Leonard (Wasps/Army), 8 Sonia Green (Saracens), 9 Sarah Guest (Worcester), 10 Shelley Rae (Wasps), 11 Fiona Pocock (Richmond), 12 Charlotte Boggis (Exeter University), 13 Georgina Roberts (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 14 Francesca Matthews (Richmond), 15 Vicki Jackson (Lichfield). Replacements: 16 Samantha Jamieson (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 17 Monica Lewinska (Clifton), 18 Alexandra Stevens (Lichfield), 19 Lois Moulding (Lichfield), 20 Karina Page (Old Albanian Saints), 21 Tina Lee (Clifton), 22 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield)
Tries: Rae, Binstead
Substitutions: Jamieson for Green (36), Green for Jamieson (46), Lee for Boggis & Scarratt for Jackson (49), Stevens for Anastasi (49), Moulding for Sharples (49), Jamieson for Dale (55), Page for Pocock (65), Lewinska for Crowley (70).
1 Leslie Cripps (C) (Canada), 2 Ann O'Flynn (England), 3 Vanessa Gray (England), 4 Mara Moberg (Netherlands), 5 Jenny Lynne (England), 6 Georgia Stevens (England), 7 Helen Clayton (England), 8 Donna Kennedy (Scotland), 9 Joanne Yapp (England), 10 Karen Andrew (England), 11Sue Day (VC) (England), 12 Sarah Ulmer (Canada), 13 Rimma Pettlevania (Scotland), 14 Sarah Marsh (England), 15 Lucy Millard (Scotland). Replacements: 16 Maxine Edwards (England), 17 Phillipa Crews (England A), 18 Eryka Wessell (Ireland), 19 Lauran Englebretsen (New Zealand), 20 Susie Appleby (England), 21 Assunta de Biase (England), 22 Nicky Milne (Ireland).
Tries: Millard, Appleby, Kennedy (2),
Conversions: Andrew (2)
Half-time score: England A 8 Nomads 19
Referee: Claire Hodnett
England A Women Fixtures
Feb 2nd England v Nomads London Irish RFC, Sunbury, KO 1230pm LOST 27-12
Feb 9th Spain v England A, Stadium of the University City of Madrid, KO 4pm WON 22-5
Feb 23 France A v England A, Bourgoin, 3pm GMT WON 3-0
March 15th England A v Nomads, London Irish RFC, Sunbury, LOST 15-24
Picture by Alex Broadway/SWpix.com