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England Women U20s open Nations Cup campaign in style
England U20s 45 Canada U20s 0
England Women Under 20s opened their defence of the Nations Cup tonight (Thursday) with an impressive display against Canada, powering to a 45-0 victory at Brunel University.
Worcester winger Sam Bree was at the heart of England's win, running in four tries for the young guns while captain Marlie Packer, Darlington Mowden Park Sharks' Rose Fong and Kettering's Lizell Heather also touched down for tries. With the USA only edging a 7-3 victory over Wales tonight England go into their next fixture against America on Sunday on a confident footing.
England U20s Head Coach Giselle Mather said: "I'm thrilled with this performance and how the players stepped up to the challenge. This performance was a massive step up from our game against Wales earlier this month. They have taken on to the field everything we have worked on in training. The next three games are certainly an exciting prospect."
Worcester's Bree opened the score sheet early on with England showing their power and pace through the midfield. Bree then finished off the move in the left corner with just three minutes gone.
Canada immediately hit back with some concerted pressure and they kept England off the score sheet until the 17th minute. Their efforts, however, came to nothing with England's defence too strong, and then fly half Claire Garner slotting home a penalty.
Centre Fong edged England into a 13-0 lead after a good break by Natasha Hunt who drove hard through the midfield and got the ball out to Fong on the right wing. Garner added the conversion before a second penalty minutes later.
Bree secured her brace of tries just before the break when some good pressure by England set her loose and handed the home side a comfortable 23-0 lead at half-time.
Canada's evening worsened soon after the restart with the sin-binning of No. 8 Tyson Beukeboom and England were quick to capitalise on their one player advantage with Bree running in for her hat-trick.
With some fresh legs on the field, the home side were able to keep the momentum going and this time it was skipper Packer on the score-board. The Bath flanker made the most of a charge down to touch down for a try with ease. Garner converted to take England into a 33-0 lead after 54 minutes.
Some more good work by Garner, who got the ball down the blindside to tie up Canada's defence, then saw Kettering replacement Heather cross for her first try, before Bree finished off England's convincing victory with her fourth try of the evening.
15 Natasha Hunt (Bath Rugby), 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 RFC), 9 Jessie-Joy Flowers (West Park RFC), 1 Victoria Cornborough (Richmond RFC), 2 Davinia Monterio (Bath Rugby), 3 Charlotte Male (Plymouth Albion RFC), 4 Harriet Mills (Manchester RFC), 5 Juliet Short (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks RFC), 6 Marlie Packer (Bath Rugby), Captain, 7 Hannah Field (Reading RFC), 8 Nicola Hoole (Bath Rugby), Vice Captain, Replacements: 16 Elizabeth Peak (Oakmedians RFC), 17 Sasha Acheson (Sudbury RFC), 18 Charlotte Wild (Leeds Met Uni), 19 Amy Miller (Reading RFC), 20 Hannah Walker-Smart (Paviors RFC), 21 Alex Cook (Bath Rugby), 22 Lizell Heather (Kettering RFC).
Tries: Bree (4), Fong, Packer, Heather
Conversions: Garner 2
Penalties: Garner 2
Substitutions: Peak for Cornborough, Miller for Short (50), Walker-Smart for Flowers (52), Acheson for Male, Heather for McKinder Cook for Hunt (58) Wild for Hoole (62).
15 Brittany Orr (Lethbridge RFC), 14 Amanda Lalonde (St. Albert Rugby Club), 13 Amanda Thornborough (Brandon Barbarians), 12 Mackenzie Higgs (Aurora Barbarians), 11 Kayla Moleschi (Columneetza Cougars), 10 Beth McNeill (Capilano RFC), 9 Megan Hamm (Abbotsford), 1 Asya Bartley (Barrhaven Scottish), 2 Lauren Tagg (Burnaby Lake), 3 Julie Emmerson (Moncton RFC), 4 Jesse Olynyck (University of Victoria), 5 Jamee George (Brandon Barbs), 6 Jessica Jacobs (Brampton RFC), 7 Jill Maclaren (Ottawa Irish), 8 Tyson Beukeboom (Oshawa Vikings). Replacements: 16 Stacie Becker (St. Albert Rugby Club), 17 Hayley Smith (Red Deer Titans), 18 Kayla Mack (Wild Oats RFC), 19 Alex Hendricks (ethbridge), 20 Lindsay Anderson (Toronto Irish), 21 Radha Jain (York Yeoman), 22 Jenn Skilnick (Wild Oats RFC).
Referee: Dana Teagarden (USA)
Assistant Referees: Daisy Martinelli & Jane Pizii
Half-time score: England 23 Canada 0
Under 20s Nations Cup playing schedule:
Wales vs. USA 5pm
Canada vs. England 7pm
Canada vs. Wales, 130pm
England vs. USA, 330pm
Canada vs. USA, 5pm
England vs. Wales, 7pm
Consolation Finals, 130pm