- Two out of two for England A
- Hoole scores a brace
England A Women 36 Netherlands A Women 0
England A Women breezed through round two of the European Trophy pool games with a 36-0 victory over Netherlands A in Coruna, Spain.
All England’s points came in the first half with the Netherlands having little response to the powerful England side, but after the break the underdogs came out fighting to keep England at bay.
Bristol No. 8 Nicola Hoole touched down for a brace of tries with Marlie Packer, Kay Wilson, Natasha Hunt and Tamara Taylor also on the score board.
Bristol flanker Packer opened the scoring for England with a first minute try when scrum-half Hunt executed a good pass in the Netherlands’ 22 to set-up Packer to score. Worcester’s Ceri Large (pictured) added the conversion.
Four minutes later and England moved into a 12-0 lead with Hoole securing the first of her two tries. In a very similar move Hunt set-up Hoole who broke through some weak tackles to score with ease. Large again added the extras.
Richmond fullback Wilson scored her second try of the tournament on nine minutes. Just inside the Netherlands’ half England turned over the ball and skipper Michaela Staniford made some space before offloading to Rowena Burnfield. The ball was then moved out-wide to Hoole and then Wilson, who showed her turn of speed to outpace the Netherlands defence and score. This time Large missed the conversion but England still had a comfortable 19-0 lead.
Scrum-half Hunt then had her chance to reap the rewards of her earlier hard work with a 14th minute try. A scrum near the Netherlands try-line saw Hunt steal the ball from the back of the pack, and some good foot work ensured she went over for England’s fourth try. Large converted again.
Experienced second rower Tamara Taylor was also in the thick of the action and a well worked line-out, catch and drive saw the lock muscle her way over the try line to score with ease.
Hoole then wrapped up the scoring tally for England with her second try on 30 minutes. A great long kick from Large put the Netherlands fullback under pressure. England then took the scrum and from that a powerful drive ensued with Burnfield and Vicky Fleetwood taking England forward. Hoole then finished off the move, diving over on the blindside.
England, however, were unable to keep the momentum going in the second half with few chances to add to their early tally of points. The Netherlands instead defended with much more effect and tackled well to keep England at bay. Taylor and Sophie Nicholas had their chances but more errors on England’s part meant they couldn’t capitalise on their first half dominance.
England A Head Coach Mike Barnett said: “I am pleased with this performance. In the first half we were very dominant and I think the Netherlands were shell-shocked. However, they started to tackle well after the break and we made more mistakes, though they still never really challenged our line.
“It’s good that we have not conceded any points again; that is important to us. We wanted a good record in the early stages of this tournament and we have that. Next up is Russia on Wednesday so we have got a lot of work to do in a short turnaround again, but we will go into the game feeling confident.”
England A v Netherlands A
15 Kay Wilson (Richmond), 14 Michaela Staniford (C) (Wasps), 13 Amber Reed (Bristol), 12 Ceri Large (Worcester), 11 Sophie Nicholas (Richmond), 10 Natasha Jones (Lichfield), 9 Natasha Hunt (Lichfield), 1 Monica Lewinska (Bristol), 2 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield), 3 Charlotte Male (Bristol), 4 Rowena Burnfield (Richmond), 5 Stacey Maguire (Lichfield), 6 Isabelle Noel Smith (VC) (Bristol), 7 Marlie Packer (Bristol), 8 Nicola Hoole (Bristol)
Replacements: 16 Ollie Poore (Wasps), 17 Rosemarie Crowley (Lichfield), 18 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park), 19 Jane Leonard (Wasps), 20 George Rozario (Lichfield), 21 Sarah McKenna (Old Albanians), 22 George Roberts (Darlington Mowden Park).
Tries: Packer, Hoole (2), Wilson, Hunt, Taylor
Conversions: Large (3)
Substitutions: Taylor for Maguire (10), McKenna for Jones (HT), Poore for Fleetwood (54), Leonard for Packer (69)
Saturday April 30th - Italy v England, KO 3pm BST, WON 5-0
Monday May 2nd – Netherlands v England, KO, WON 36-0
Wednesday May 4th – Russia v England, KO 5pm BST
Saturday May 7th – Finals Day, KO TBC