- England A to face hosts Spain in final
- Brace of tries for Matthews and Large
England A Women 39 Russia 0
England A Women are through to Saturday’s final of the European Trophy after a 39-0 demolition of Russia on Wednesday night.
The Red Roses will now meet hosts Spain in the final, a side they played just over a month ago and defeated 34-7.
Tries for Bristol’s Nicola Hoole and Charlotte Male, Old Albanians Sarah McKenna and braces from Richmond’s Fran Matthews and Worcester’s Ceri Large secured the all important victory.
England A Head Coach Mike Barnett said: “I am delighted with the result and the fact that we are through to the final. Russia were hard to break down and again this wasn’t an easy game, but to now have three games where we haven’t conceded any points is particularly pleasing.
“It has been a tough schedule and we have had three hard games, none of them have been easy wins. The younger players in the squad have also learned a lot and that is very important as part of this development process.
“We are now where we want to be ahead of the final. We have improved in each game and now we have got to make another step up to face Spain. I am expecting them to be a much tougher side than when we played them last. They have been preparing for this tournament for quite some time and this is certainly their big tournament of the year. They’ll be a completely different proposition and will be much stronger with home support.”
Wing Matthews put England on the right track with a second minute try. After some sustained pressure on Russia’s try-line, England powered forward picking up from the base of a scrum. England then moved the ball wide through McKenna and then wing Georgina Roberts who offloaded to Matthews. With the Richmond player showing some great strength she burst through to score. McKenna, however, couldn’t add the conversion.
Twenty five minutes later and Large added her first try of the day. Another good England scrum from 15 metres out saw England power towards Russia’s line. England then went blind before moving the ball wide to Large who ran in to score under the posts. McKenna this time added the conversion to hand England a 12-0 lead.
On the brink of half-time McKenna added to her conversion with England’s third try. Forward Tamara Taylor made a good break before offloading to McKenna, who executed a good dummy pass and then side-stepped her way through Russia’s defence. McKenna took a great kick to convert her own try and hand England a comfortable 19-0 lead at half time.
Matthews keeps the pressure on
After the break Matthews was back on the score sheet after Large made a good break in the midfield. She came close to scoring herself but was tackled to the ground by Russia’s fullback. Some good handling skills, however, saw her retain possession and then offload which set-up Matthews to score in the corner.
Large’s second score came on 59 minutes, after another good break in the midfield saw her side step her way through Russia’s defence and score. Large couldn’t convert her own try.
Hoole then bagged England’s penultimate try of the evening for England with a 65th minute effort when a good scrum from five metres out saw Hoole pick-up. Although she was tackled Hoole showed great strength to stay on her feet, while England’s pack drove her forward and over the try-line.
Bristol’s Male rounded off proceedings for England with a 70th minute try after Matthews made a good break to beat two defenders. She couldn’t quite make the try-line but lock Stacey Maguire was in support and handed Male the scoring pass.
England A Women
15 Georgina Roberts (Darlington Mowden Park), 14 Sophie Nicholas (Richmond), 13 Amber Reed (Bristol), 12 Ceri Large (Worcester), 11 Fran Matthews (Richmond), 10 Sarah McKenna (Old Albanians), 9 Georgina Rozario (Lichfield), 1 Claire Purdy (Wasps), 2 Ollie Poore (Wasps), 3 Rosemary Crowley (Lichfield) Captain, 4 Tamara Taylor (Darlington Mowden Park), 5 Stacey Maguire (Lichfield), 6 Isabelle Noel Smith (Bristol), 7 Jane Leonard (Wasps), 8 Nicola Hoole (Bristol)
Replacements: 16 Victoria Fleetwood (Lichfield), 17 Monica Lewinska (Bristol), 18 Charlotte Male (Bristol), 19 Rowena Burnfield (Richmond), 20 Marlie Packer (Bristol), 21 Sarah Hunter (Lichfield), 22 Natasha Hunt (Lichfield), 23 Kim Oliver (Bristol), 24 Michaela Staniford (Wasps), 25 Kay Wilson (Richmond), 26 Natasha Jones (Worcester)
Tries: Matthews (2), Large (2), Mckenna, Hoole, Male
Conversions: McKenna (2)
Substitutions: Oliver for McKenna, Fleetwood for Poore, Lewinska for Crowley, Hunt for Reed (all 48), Hunter for Taylor, Male for Purdy (both 59)
15 Ekaterina Kazakova, 14 Marina Petrova, 13 Anastasiia Mukhariamova, 12 Aleksandrina Mukhina, 11 Natalia Selyutina, 10 Elena Smirnova, 9 Nadezda Yarmotskaya, 1 Alexandra Kerzhentseva, 2 Tatiana Berlizova, 3 Anna Gavrilova, 4 Anna Prib, 5 Anna Gottseva, 6 Maria Shemchuk, 7 Ekaterina Ksenofontova, 8 Elena Shevtsova. Replacements: 16 Anna Andronova, 17 Anna Goryshkina, 18 Daria Solomina, 19 Nadezda Bobkova, 20 Anna Chebotar, 21 Galina Khaet, 22 Svetlana Usatykh, 23 Daria Morozkova, 24 Natalia Alexeeva, 25 Evgeniia Bolshakova, 26 Anastasia Rybakova
Referee: Sherry Trumbell
England A Women European Trophy Fixtures & Results
Saturday April 30th - Italy v England, WON 5-0
Monday May 2nd - Netherlands v England, WON 36-0
Wednesday May 4th - Russia v England, WON 39-0
Saturday May 7th - Finals Day, KO TBC