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May flowers to give England U20 flying start

05 June 2010

  • Host nation Argentina beaten in front of passionate Rosario crowd
  • May, Wade and Rowan's tries backed up by Homer's kicking display

Argentina 22 England 48

London Wasps wing Christian Wade in action against Argentina at the IRB Junior World Championship

Photo: Getty Images

Despite conceding three tries to the hosts, England eventually dominated and ended up securing a bonus point by winning 48-22 in their opening game of the IRB Junior World Championship in Argentina.

A vociferous crowd at Newell's Old Boys, one of Argentina's top football grounds, got right behind Las Pumitas as soon as the teams came out and the home side made the most of the 'sixteenth man' effect.

With 25 minutes gone they had scored and converted two tries. The first by fly half Medura and the second by hooker Emiliana Coria, right in front of the famous Diego Maradona stand.

At this stage only the accuracy of Tom Homer's boot in the face of a cacophony of Argentine whistling was keeping England in the game. But on 29 minutes a battering run by Calum Green led to space on the left and when the ball came to Jonny May he needed no invitation to step inside and score England's first try, easily converted by Homer.

Ten minutes later an incisive infield break by Marcus Watson led to May going over for England's second, with Homer duly adding the two points. Unfortunately Watson was injured while releasing the ball and had to leave the field with a hamstring injury. Rory Clegg replaced him, going in to fly half, while Freddie Burns dropped back to full back.

There was still time for Argentina to keep the game alive when a simple kick forward bounced perfectly for Medura to grab his second try, which he converted himself to make the half time score 23-19 to England.

A mistake at a line out early in the second half brought the Argentines to within a point of England but a minute later Tom Homer's penalty restored England's four point lead to 26-22.

A period of sustained pressure by England eventually saw the ball move right across the pitch to Jonny May who finished his hat-trick in style.

Hat-trick from May

Joe Marler on the attack against Argentina

Photo: Getty Images

As the game began to slip away from Argentina, England's forwards kept the pressure on and Tom Homer added another penalty and another conversion when Skipper Jacob Rowan went over from close range.

Christian Wade who had been looking like he was playing Sevens at times, scored a well deserved fifth try at the end, cheekily avoiding an Argentine defender under the posts. Tom Homer's unerring boot added the conversion to end the game giving him a personal haul of 23 points.

The result puts England top of Pool B ahead of France, who beat Under 20 RBS 6 Nations champions Ireland 25-22.

Elsewhere champions New Zealand opened their account with a 44-11 win over Fiji in Pool A and South Africa – beaten by England in the 2008 and 2009 semi finals – started with a 40-14 win against Tonga.

England are back in action on Wednesday night against Ireland with the game shown live on SkySports2 and online at at 6.10pm BST.

Keep up-to-date with England's progress at the IRB Junior World Championship and all the latest news in the England Under 20 news section.