- Seven tries for England Women's U20 in Canada win
- Rebecca Hughes and Hannah Gallagher each scored twice
England Women's U20 41 Canada Women's U20 0
Photo: RFU Archive
England Women's Under 20 inflicted an impressive 41-0 defeat on Canada in the opening round of the Nations Cup in Santa Barbara on Thursday night.
The England young guns ran in a massive seven tries against their North American rivals and Canada had very little response.
Bristol’s Rebecca Hughes and Saracens’ Hannah Gallagher ran in braces of tries whilst there were also touch downs for Natasha Jones, Katie Mason and Ceri Large. Bristol centre Amber Reed added three conversions.
England Under 20 Head Coach Amanda Bennett said: "The aim for this opening match was not just to win but to make a statement of intent. We wanted to demonstrate that we have built on the success of our spring games and improved in many areas, not least our defence.
"Canada dominated parts of the game especially at the scrum, and we were often forced on to the back foot. However, our organisation and execution in defence proved to be a crucial element in the victory as our tackle completion and turnovers meant Canada rarely got close to scoring.
"We made the most of the turnovers, some of which were eventually converted into tries. Our midfield and back row worked extremely well together to turn possession over."
First try arrived after just five minutes
Photo: RFU Archive
England started at a furious pace, registering their mark on the scoreboard after just five minutes. A good drive through the centre from Old Albanians hooker Geri Thomas saw the ball taken on by fly half Jones. Despite taking a crunching tackle she retained possession and crashed over under the posts. Reed added the conversion.
England maintained their pressure and were rewarded on nine minutes with a second try, which saw good hands throughout the backline setting up Bristol winger Mason for a try in the corner. Reed this time couldn’t make the conversion but it did not matter as England soon extended their lead to 17-0 on 20 minutes.
The score was the first of Hughes’ two tries, but there was also some excellent support play from Alexandra Matthews, Reed and Jones. Jones also made an excellent line break followed by some good interplay between Jones and Hughes, which gave Hughes the space to score.
Again Reed missed the conversion but England took a healthy 22-0 lead into the break with Gallagher touching down for England’s fourth try.
Canada held England back in the opening stages of the second half, keeping England pinned in their half for some time. The Red Roses, however, broke the deadlock on 53 minutes with Gallagher again at the heart of the action.
An excellent drive by Mason down the right wing saw the winger come close. Gallagher was in support and picked up to muscle her way over the line from three metres out.
Canada had their chance to put some points on the board with two consecutive penalty attempts but they weren’t successful and England moved ahead with a late run of tries in the dying minutes of the game.
On 78 minutes, England overturned Canada after a period of sustained pressure from them. Prop Emily Kingston moved the ball out to Hughes, who sprinted 60 yards to outflank the Canadian defence to score in the corner. Reed added the conversion to make the score 34-0.
Worcester centre Ceri Large added the final try after a good break by Emily Scott saw her come close to scoring. Large was in support and a good Scott offload saw her finish off the move with a simple run under the posts. Reed’s third conversion handed England the 41-0 victory.
England U20s next play hosts, the USA, on Sunday and Bennett added: “On Sunday we will face a very confident USA team that is relishing playing on home soil. We have plenty to work on in the next two days but the positives from this opening game are many and we are looking forward to the challenge.
Match action from the Nations Cup is available on http://www.ustream.tv/usarugby.
England U20 v Canada U20 teams
England: 15 Lucy Demaine (Bristol, Devon, South West), 14 Katie Mason (Bristol, Somerset, South West), 13 Amber Reed (Bristol, Somerset/Devon, South West), 12 Ceri Large (Worcester, Gloucestershire, South West), 11 Rebecca Hughes (Bristol, Somerset, South West), 10 Natasha Jones (Lichfield, Staffordshire, Midlands),9 Charlotte Keane (Worcester, South West), 1 Emily Kingston (Gloucester Reds, Gloucestershire, South West), 2 Geri Thomas (Old Albanian Saints, Hertfordshire, London & SE), 3 Mica Evans (Exeter Saracens, Devon, South West), 4 Abbie Scott (Keswick, Cumbria,North), 5 Fiona Fletcher (Lichfield, Staffordshire, Midlands), 6 Alexandra Matthews (London Irish, Surrey, London & SE), 7 Hannah Gallagher (Saracens, Hertfordshire, London & South East), 8 Harriet Mills (Lichfield, Staffordshire, Midlands). Replacements: 16 Charlotte Notman (Newquay Hornets (Queen Bees), Cornwall, South West), 17 Milly Fuggles (Old Albanian Saints, Leicestershire, Midlands),18 Ellie Gatlin (Rochford Hundred, Essex, London & South East), 19 Poppy Cleall (Bristol, Hampshire, South West), 20 Fiona Davidson (Richmond, Surrey, London & South East), 21 Emily Scott (Thurrock, Essex, London & South East),22 Rachel Roberts (Gloucester Reds, Gloucestershire, North)
Tries: Jones, Mason, Hughes (2), Gallagher (2), Large
Conversions: Reed (3)
Replacements: E Scott for Jones (60), Davidson for Keane (63), Cleall for Mills, Gatlin for Fletcher (both 65), Fuggles for Gallagher (70), Notman for Thomas (74), Roberts for Demaine (75).
Canada: 15. Jess Harvey, 14. Cassandra Orr, 13. Bianca Farella, 12.Tiffany Wideen, 11. Miranda Seifert, 10. Brianna Miller, 9. Sarah Gordon, 1. Demi Stamakis, 2. Gilly Pegg, 3. Claragh Pegg (Captain), 4. Ashley Delaney, 5. Cindy Nelles, 6. Brittany Priddle, 7. Juhee Thompson, 8. Lindsey Duxbury. Replacements: 16. Jillian Ankutowicz, 17. Samantha Crandell, 18. Olivia DeMerchant, 19. Abby Goodwin,20. Ashley Snider, 21. Kaylie Stuckey, 22. Dakota Weir
England Women's U20 Nations Cup fixtures
England v Canada: WON 41-0
USA v England (July 18, KO 12am BST)
England v South Africa (July 21, KO 12am BST)
Consolation Finals/Finals (July 23, KO 10pm or 12am BST)