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England Saxons� player reaction

31 January 2009

January 31, 2009

Here's how England's players and coaches reacted to England Saxons' 66 - 0 victory over the Portugal national team at Edgeley Park last night.

Phil Dowson (Newcastle Falcons, captain)
"There was a load of solid work done by the tight five.  It got a bit scrappy, we were making some big breaks down the middle but just tried to do a bit too much too soon on occasions.  Overall, it was a good performance, we looked pretty solid and they never really troubled us.  Considering we've had less than four days to get to know each other and put a game plan together, that was not a bad effort.

"I thought Jordan (Crane, playing at second row rather than his usual No 8) put his head down a put in a lot of graft.  He certainly showed that he can cut it a second row as well as No 8."

Stuart Lancaster (Head Coach)
"For some of the guys, particularly the younger ones, that was a big experience.  You learn more about players by spending time with them over a long period, you find out what their strengths and weaknesses are. 

"I'll have a catch up with Johno (Martin Johnson) and the senior coaches and have a chat with them about the Ireland A game next week and we'll go from there.  A number of the guys will be involved in that game, but you've also got to throw into the mix the likes of Jordan Turner-Hall and the �Quins back row boys - Chris Robshaw, Tom Guest and Will Skinner, who are all now available for selection.

"I thought we scored some great individual tries out there and I'm delighted for the players in that respect.   But against Ireland we'll have to create tries through teamwork and not just rely on a number of great individual performances."

Dominic Waldouck (London Wasps)
"They were a tough opposition, they came at us hard and fast for the first 10 minutes.  We had to establish a platform before we could start playing.  I was disappointed with our accuracy at times.  It was good to see our shape get us in their 22, but for our accuracy we could have scored a few more tries.

"A large group of the England U20 boys from last year came through, they were balanced by the likes of Harry Ellis so we had a good balance.  We're all here to try and impress Johno (Martin Johnson, England Team Manager).  We've got a big test against Ireland A next week but it's another chance to try and show what we can do."

Rob Webber (London Wasps)
"It was really good to get my debut and finally get on the pitch (Rob toured North America with England Saxons last summer) and to get a good convincing win, I really enjoyed it.

"They played a really tough game and never gave up, which we expected, but once we got on top of them we ran in a few good tries and it was a good performance.

"We tried to play a simple game plan, make sure we dominated set piece and try to get into the game early.  They made that tough but we managed to wear them down and eventually the flood gates opened.  It was good for Joe Ward (London Wasps' New Zealand-born hooker) to make his English debut."

Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers)
"It was interesting playing at second row, I managed to get a few carries in.  I wouldn't way I preferred it but if that's where they want me to play I'll certainly give it a crack and see how it goes.

"I thought it was a good performance from the tight five but we'll be tested a lot more next week against an Ireland A team that's pretty experienced.  The Portuguese were physical but our fitness and skills showed in the end.

"It was a nice to see the Leicester boys getting on the scoreboard (Ellis 2, Varndell 2, Crane and Smith) but it was a massive team effort and the way the boys have gelled this week is a credit to the coaches, Stuart (Lancaster) and Paul (Hull)."

Next up, England Saxons play Ireland A at Donnybrook on Friday, February 6 (7.30pm).  The squad for the match will be named on Monday.

England Saxons: Nick Abendanon (Bath Rugby)*, Tom Varndell (Leicester Tigers)*, Dominic Waldouck (London Wasps), Adam Powell (Saracens), Noah Cato (Saracens), Ed Barnes (Bristol Rugby), Harry Ellis (Leicester Tigers)*, Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers), Rob Webber (London Wasps), Dave Wilson (Newcastle Falcons), Jordan Crane (Leicester Tigers)*, George Skivington (London Wasps), Kearnan Myall (Leeds Carnegie), Andy Saull (Saracens), Phil Dowson (Newcastle Falcons, captain)

Replacements: 16. Joe Ward (London Wasps) for Webber 49, 17. Nathan Catt (Bath Rugby) for Cole 55mins, 18. Tom Mercey (Saracens) for Wilson 61 mins, 19. Jon Fisher (London Irish) for Saull 69 mins, 20. Joe Simpson (London Wasps) for Ellis 61 mins, 21. Alex Goode (Saracens) for Barnes 49, 22. Matt Smith (Leicester Tigers) for Waldouck 55 mins

Scorers: Tries: Ellis 2, Powell 2, Varndell 2, Cato, Waldouck, Smith, Crane, Cons: Barnes 4, Goode 4

Sin binned: None

Portugal: Pedro Cabral, Aderito Esteves, Diogo Mateus, Franciso Mira, Gon�alo Foro, Duarte C.Pinto, Jos� Pinto, Jorge Segurado,  Jo�o Correia, Juan Murr�, Juan Severino, Gon�alo Uva, Eduardo Acosta, Salvador Palha, Vasco Uva 

Replacements: 16. Jo�o Junior for Correia 32-41 mins and for Segurado 53mins, 17. Nuno Taful for Palha 32-41mins and for Correia 75, 18. David dos Reis for Uva 16mins, 19. Antonio Duarte for Severino 61 mins, 20. Pedro Leal for Pinto 53mins, 21 Pedro Silva for Esteves 24mins, 22. Antonio Aguiilar for Mira 45mins

Scorers: None  

Sin binned: Correia (31-41)

Referee: P Allan (Scotland)


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