England Under 20s 43 Wales Under 20s 0
England Women Under 20s will head to Canada for the inaugural Under 20s Nations Cup in July in confident spirits after a second win over Wales this season.
The England young guns kept Wales from scoring a single point on both occasion after a 31-0 defeat in February and today’s impressive 43-0 victory at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire.
England touched down seven times en-route to the win with Bath Rugby’s Marlie Packer grabbing a brace of tries. Lichfield full back Emily Scarratt also kicked four conversions as well as claiming a try herself.
It did, however, take England 25 minutes to put the points on the board after a physical opening to the game which saw Wales do well in the scrum and line-outs. England’s fitness however told and in the end it was Worcester co-captain Laura Keates who broke the duck with the first try. Her score though was largely due to a superb counter-attack by Bath wing Natasha Hunt who charged 70 metres up-field before off-loading to Keates. Scarratt converted.
13 minutes later and England led 14-0 when Scarratt came into the midfield and manoeuvred her way around two Welsh defenders to put Camberley wing Georgina Crabb through to score in the corner for a converted try just before half-time.
After the break Scarratt, who has played for England A this season also, claimed her sole try after a clever chip at the back of a scrum by Doncaster fly half Claire Garner. Scarratt collected and dived over the line to score under the posts.
Substitute Sam Bree, of Worcester RFC, then had her chance with her first touch of the ball when she charged over the line from 40 metres out. Scarratt again added the conversion making the score 26-0 with 55 minutes on the clock.
Minutes later and Packer claimed the first of her two tries when a well worked line-out saw Packer muscle her way through Wales’ defence and score. Scarratt was as consistent as ever with her kick and slotted over the conversion.
On 71 minutes another replacement, Nicola Hoole of Bath, benefitted from another good England line-out which saw her touch down from five metres out before Packer rounded off the game for England. This time the Bath flanker picked up a loose ball after Wales’ full back failed to catch a pressure up and under kick from Saracens’ April Brown.
England Under 20s Head Coach Giselle Mather said: “This was an improved and pleasing performance. The team has taken on board the lessons they learned from our last game against Wales and have also put into practice what we have been doing in training well. We can now look forward to our tour to Canada later this year where we hope we can improve even more on the global stage.”
The Wales victory was England’s final match before the 2008 inaugural Under 20s Nations Cup which takes place in Toronto, Canada from July 10 to the 20th. There they will play Wales, Canada and the USA.
England Under 20s
1 Laura Keates (Worcester) C, 2 Davinia Monteiro (Wasps), 3 Elizabeth Peak (Cheltenham), 4 Rowena Burnfield (Richmond), 5 Charlotte Wild (Buxton RFC), 6 Isabelle Noel-Smith (Bath), 7 Marlie Packer (Bath), 8 Louise Leonard (Blaydon), 9 Rachel Fraser (Morpeth), 10 Claire Garner (Doncaster), 11 Georgina Crabb (Camberley), 12 Sarah McKenna (Old Albanian Saints), 13 Rose Fong (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 14 Natasha Hunt (Bath), 15 Emily Scarratt (Lichfield). Replacements: 16 Charlotte Male ( Ivel Barbarians), 17 Vicky Fleetwood (Lichfield), 18 Juliet Short ( Darlington Mowden Park Sharks), 19 Nicola Hoole (Bath), 20 Sarah Guest (Worcester), 21 April Brown (Saracens), 22 Samantha Bree (Worcester).
Tries: Keates, Crabb, Scarratt, Bree, Packer (2), Hoole
Conversions: Scarratt (4)
Substitutions: Short for Wild and Bree for Crabb (50), Guest for Fraser and Male for Peak (57), Brown for Garner and Hoole for Noel-Smith (60), Fleetwood for Monteiro (70).
Wales Under 20s
1 Becky Newton, 2 Amy Lawrence, 3 Lowri Harries, 4 Sian Williams, 5 Sioned Harries, 6 Carys John (vc), 7 Amy Thompson, 8 Vicky Owens, 9 Laura Marsh, 10 Bethan Preece, 11 Sam Hill, 12 Ceri Redman, 13 Levi Hallett, 14 Rachel Green, 15 Mared Evans ©. Replacements: 16 Carley Powell, 17 Issy Jones, 18 Rachel Jones, 19 Lisa Newton, 20 Hannah Lerwill, 21 Sophie Francis, 22 Sian Owen.
photo Getty Images