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England win Churchill Cup

29 June 2003

England 43

HENRY PAUL insists that English rugby is truly on top of the world after he helped win the inaugural Churchill Cup.

The inside centre's 40-metre try was one of six as England showed their class at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver.

While Clive Woodward's side have beaten New Zealand and Australia, on the other side of the world Jim Mallinder's men have made it three wins from three against Canada and the US Eagles (twice).

Paul, whose 58th-minute try took England into an unassailable 31-6 lead, said: "English rugby is on a real high at the moment. It doesn't matter whether you're in New Zealand and Australia or over here - it's all about playing well as a squad.

"We have done a job here and hopefully we will be good enough if we have to step up. It's good that England has a pool of around 60 players to chose from rather than just 20 or so."

Paul saluted Mallinder and assistant Steve Diamond, saying: "The coaching staff have really fired us. We have learnt a lot from Jim and Steve and they have done a good job of keeping everyone tight."

England now travel to Tokyo for two games against a Japan Select XV (July 3) and Japan (July 6) and for Mallinder the job is only half done.

"Three from three - you can't ask for anything more than that but we set out our goals from the outset and that's winning all five games; that is our No 1 priority. We have got two tough games in difficult humid conditions; we don't know much about Japan so the challenge is there for us," said Mallinder.

England beat the Eagles 36-10 in their disappointing pool match a week earlier but on Saturday employed a more structured game-plan to break down the Americans.

They led 17-6 at half-time thanks to tries from Ben Johnston and Hugh Vyvyan, converted by the outstanding Dave Walder.

However, it wasn't plain sailing early on with Kort Shubert signaling America's ambition in an early charge to the posts. That resulted in a Link Wilfley penalty and it was the 24th minute before Johnston put England on the scoresheet. The Saracens centre was first to Walder's chip over the defence for an easy run-in.

Walder converted and then traded penalties with Wilfley for a 10-6 lead before Vyvyan picked up the ball from Henry Paul's long pass and galloped in.

Pete Anglesea scored England's third try when he crashed over next to the flag from James Simpson-Daniel's pass and Walder's extras gave them some daylight at 24-6. 

The Newcastle Falcon, relishing some game time after missing most of the season with a broken leg, created Paul's try with a dribbled drop-out on his own 22, Vyvyan provided the link and Paul beat David Fee for pace to the corner.

There was still time for Phil Greening and Martyn Wood to employ a one-two at the front of the line-out for the hooker to go over, while Iain Balshaw had the last word with a try from James Simpson-Daniel's pass.


England: I Balshaw (Bath); M Cueto (Sale Sharks), B Johnston (Saracens), H Paul (Gloucester, P Christophers Leeds Tykes 64), J Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester); D Walder (Newcastle Falcons, O Barkley Bath 71), M Wood (Bath); A Sheridan (Sale Sharks, M Worsley NEC Harlequins 61), A Titterrell (Sale Sharks, P Greening London Wasps 61), W Green (London Wasps), A Brown (Gloucester), A Codling (Saracens), P Anglesea (Sale Sharks), D Hyde (Leeds Tykes, P Volley London Wasps 71), H Vyvyan (capt, Newcastle Falcons, C Jones Sale Sharks 65).


Sin-binned: Jones (fighting) 69


Scorers: Tries - Johnston, Vyvyan, Anglesea, Paul, Greening, Balshaw; Pen - Walder; Cons - Walder (4), Barkley.

United States: L Wilfley (Rotherham); D Fee (Chicago Lions), P Eloff (Chicago Lions), K Cross (Santa Monica), R Van Zyl (Old Puget Sound); M Sherman, K Kjar (Brigham Young University); M MacDonald (University of California), K Khasigian (Belmont Shore, K Dalzell OMBAC 40), D Dorsey (Swansea, J Tarpof OMBAC 72), B Surgener (Back Bay, J Gouws Santa Monica 66), L Gross (Llanelli), K Schubert (Olympic Club), C Hodgson (OMBAC), D Lyle (capt, Bath, O Fifita Hayward Griffins 66).

Sin-binned: Cross 42-52, Gross (fighting) 69

Scorers: Pens - Wilfley (2).

Referee: P Deluca (Argentina).