England 29 Wales 3
England Women booked their place in the final of the Under 20s Nations Cup on Saturday with a hard earned 29-3 victory against Wales at Brunel University tonight (Wednesday).
The victory gives the host nation the favourites tag ahead of the Saturday's showdown where they'll meet the USA after their impressive revival against Canada tonight, running in 38-20 winners.
England U20s Head Coach Giselle Mather, whose side have also beaten Canada 47-0 and the USA 42-7, said: "I'm very proud of the players' performance in what was a typical England versus Wales clash. It was a physical and intense clash and I am especially delighted that we got another bonus point.
"There were some outstanding performances on the pitch tonight, noticeably Nicola Hoole who provided quick ball and was going forward all the time providing a great platform for us to attack on. Rose Fong was a constant threat and caused the Welsh defence numerous problems, whilst Hannah Field was outstanding in the line-outs.
"All three of our games throughout this tournament have been very different but I am very happy with the way the team has performed and we're now really looking forward to the final. The USA had a tremendous game against Canada tonight."
England set down their marker early on with Lichfield's Vicky Fleetwood easing the home side into a 5-0 lead after just 11 minutes. After some good continuity play, the hooker took the ball from the ruck and ran in from five metres out. Leeds fly-half Claire Garner converted.
With Wales' defence holding firm throughout most of the first-half and England having to work hard in wet conditions the Red Roses had to wait until the 39th minute for their next score which came courtesy of Garner who stroked over a penalty, handing England a 10-0 lead at the break.
Darlington Mowden Park's centre Rose Fong made an immediate impact after the restart with a great individual effort which saw her make a good break thanks to Hoole turning over the ball in the midfield. Fong ran in with ease, and with Garner converting England then found themselves with a comfortable 17-0 lead.
Garner then added her own converted try, bringing her personal tally to 14 points for the evening, after England wore down Wales' hardened defence with some sustained pressure.
Wales managed to claw back a penalty as full time drew nearer with scrum-half Yasmin Leung kicking the points, but England confirmed their dominance with their final try in extra time, which this time saw Worcester wing Sam Bree touching down.
15 Natasha Hunt (Bath), 14 Garnet MacKinder (Exeter Saracens RFC), 13 Rose Fong (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks RFC), 12 Sarah McKenna (Old Albanian Saints RFC), 11 Samantha Bree (Worcester RFC), 10 Claire Garner (Leeds Leos), 9 Jessie-Joy Flowers (West Park RFC), 1 Victoria Cornborough (Richmond RFC), 2 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield RFC), 3 Charlotte Male (Plymouth Albion RFC), 4 Charlotte Wild (Leeds Met Uni), 5 Harriet Mills (Manchester RFC), 6 Marlie Packer (Bath RFC) Captain, 7 Hannah Field (Reading RFC), 8 Nicola Hoole (Bath RFC). Replacements: 16 Elizabeth Peak (Oakmedians RFC), 17 Sasha Acheson (Sudbury RFC), 18 Davinia Monterio (Bath RFC), 19 Amy Millar (Reading RFC), 20 Hannah Walker-Smart (Paviors RFC), 21 Gemma Rowland (Exeter University), 22 Kimberly Davey (Richmond)
Tries: Fleetwood, Fong, Garner, Bree
Conversions: Garner (3)
Substitutions: Peak for Cornborough (61), Davey for Hunt (63), Millar for Mills (64), Acheson for Male (70), Monterio for Fleetwood (78),Rowland for McKenna (78), Walker-Smart for Flowers (78)
15 Kerin Lake (Neath Athletic), 14 Charlie Murray (Neath Athletic), 13 Levi Hallett (Pontyclun), 12 Adi Taviner (Neath Athletic), 11 Paris Nicholas (Cardiff Quins), 10 Elinor Snowsill (Cardiff Quins), 9 Yasmin Leung (Caernarfon), 1 Alex Stokes ( Neath Athletic), 2 Lowri Harries (UWIC), 3 Amy Lawrence (Neath Athletic), 4 Sian Williams (Neath Athletic), 5 Shona Powell-Hughes (Neath Athletic), 6 Sioned Harries (UWIC), 7 Kathryn Joseph (Neath Athletic), 8 Vicky Owens (UWIC). Replacements: 16 Sophie Mangano (Carmarthan), 17 Lorna Compton (Newport), 18 Sian Williams (Caernarfon), 19 Carys Thomas (Pontyclun), 20 Rosie Hutton (Whitland), 21 Katie Bevan (Pontyclun), 22 Rhianydd Morgan (Neath Athletic)
Half-time score: England 29 Wales 3
Referee: Eugenia Daniels (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Andrea Ttofa & Daisy Martinelli
Under 20s Nations Cup playing schedule:
Wales 3 USA 7
Canada 0 England 47
Canada 11 Wales 16
England 42. USA 7
Canada 20 USA 38
England 29 Wales 3
Consolation Finals, 130pm
photos Janos Schmidt