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England make Euro Trophy Rugby Final
England A 39 Russia A 0
England A Women are through to Saturday’s final of the European
Trophy after a 39-0 demolition of Russia tonight (Wednesday).
The Red Roses will now meet hosts Spain in the final, a side they played
just over a month ago and defeated 34-7.
Tries for Bristol’s Nicola Hoole and Charlotte Male, Old Albanians
Sarah McKenna and braces from Richmond’s Fran Matthews and
Worcester’s Ceri Large secured the all important victory.
England A Head Coach Mike Barnett said: “I am delighted with the
result and the fact that we are through to the final. Russia were hard to
break down and again this wasn’t an easy game, but to now have three
games where we haven’t conceded any points is particularly pleasing.
“It has been a tough schedule and we have had three hard games, none
of them have been easy wins. The younger players in the squad have also
learned a lot and that is very important as part of this development
“We are now where we want to be ahead of the final. We have improved
in each game and now we have got to make another step up to face Spain. I am
expecting them to be a much tougher side than when we played them last. They
have been preparing for this tournament for quite some time and this is
certainly their big tournament of the year. They’ll be a completely
different proposition and will be much stronger with home support.”
Wing Matthews put England on the right track with a second minute try.
After some sustained pressure on Russia’s try-line, England powered
forward picking up from the base of a scrum. England then moved the ball
out-wide through McKenna and then wing Georgina Roberts who offloaded to
Matthews. With the Richmond player showing some great strength she burst
through some tackles to score. McKenna, however, couldn’t add the
25 minutes later and Large added her first try of the day. Another good
England scrum from 15 metres out saw England power towards Russia’s
line. England then went blind before moving the ball out-wide to Large who
ran in to score under the posts. McKenna this time added the conversion to
hand England a 12-0 lead.
On the brink of half-time McKenna added to her conversion with
England’s third try. Forward Tamara Taylor made a good break before
offloading to McKenna, who executed a good dummy pass and then side-stepped
her way through Russia’s defence. McKenna took a great kick to convert
her own try and hand England a comfortable 19-0 lead at half time.
After the break Matthews was back on the score sheet after Large made a
good break in the midfield. She came close to scoring herself but was
tackled to the ground by Russia’s fullback. Some good handling skills,
however, saw her retain possession and then offload which set-up Matthews to
score in the corner.
Large’s second score came on 59 minutes, after another good break in
the midfield saw her side step her way through Russia’s defence and
score. Large couldn’t convert her own try.
Hoole then bagged England’s penultimate try of the evening for
England with a 65th minute effort when a good scrum from five metres out saw
Hoole pick-up. Although she was tackled Hoole showed great strength to stay
on her feet, while England’s pack drove her forward and over the
Bristol’s Male rounded off proceedings for England with a 70th minute
try after Matthews made a good break to beat two defenders. She
couldn’t quite make the try-line but lock Stacey Maguire was in
support and handed Male the scoring pass.