- England Counties score four tries to beat the Elgon Warriors 34-14
- We are delighted with the win, it was a real squad effort’ – Head Coach, Jan Bonney
Photo: RFU Archive
Rory Teague clocked up 19 points as England Counties made it three from three with a four-try win over the Elgon Warriors.
Teague, second cousin of England and Lions legend ‘Iron Mike’, kicked 14 points and crossed for the Counties second try to wrap up a tour which will go down in East African rugby history.
After their 39-5 defeat in Kampala last week, the Warriors showed vast improvement, particularly at the set-piece, and demonstrated the potential of East African rugby.
Head Coach Jan Bonney said: “Credit must go to the Elgon Warriors, they put us under pressure and were good over the ball. We scored some nice tries to earn a good lead but we also made mistakes and missed opportunities.
“We’re delighted with the win and it was a real squad effort. Those who came on made an impact and that is credit to them. The whole trip has been about all 26 players and they’ve represented England Counties really well both on and off the pitch in terms of enthusiasm and work rate.
“The outreach work we have done has been incredibly humbling and the fact that the team has bonded so well together has made the tour a fantastic experience on every level. It has certainly created lifelong memories for everyone involved.
“There are some outstanding players in this group, some real talent coming through and this tour has provided them with the opportunity to face new playing challenges and experiences.”
Photo: RFU Archive
Playing at the RFUEA in Nairobi, where the British and Irish Lions beat the Tuskers in 1955 and 1962, the tour has been considered of equal importance to rugby in the host countries of Kenya and Uganda and has revived the heritage of a combined East African side.
England started the second-leg well but individual errors and a lack of phase-play provided turn over ball and the opportunity for the Elgon Warriors to score penalties and make counter-attacking breaks.
Once in the 22 with the ball in hand, England looked dangerous and their first points came after two minutes when the ball was moved out wide for Steve Hamilton to dive low in the corner and Teague added the extras.
Minutes later, Eden Agero scored one of three first half penalties and the Warriors began to put England under pressure, disrupting their play.
Teague extended England’s lead to 10-3 before the fly half added a further seven with a converted try.
A maul just inside the 22, led by Hamilton, left the Warriors short in defence and quick ball by Stefan Liebenberg allowed Teague to step inside and cross the line.
England’s errors and ill discipline gifted the Warriors six points after powerful attacking runs had put the home side in range of the posts.
Teague replied on the half-time whistle with a penalty in another faultless kicking performance to take the Counties into a 20-9 lead.
England spent the first 10 minutes of the second half camped by the Warriors’ try line but failed to take anything from it.
After 60 minutes Ben Pons, awarded man of the match by his team, made one of many strong runs after taking the ball from the back of a line out, before replacement Jared Saunders showed good footwork to gain further ground. The ball was then spun out through Teague to Briers, who crossed under the posts.
Patrice Agunda scored the Warriors only try of the match before young winger Jim Wigglesworth displayed his potential in creating England’s fourth try. Cutting a great line and side-stepping at pace, he skipped through the Warriors’ defence. From the resultant breakdown just short of the try line, a pick-and-go from Billy Johnson allowed the blindside flanker to set the record of having touched down in every match.
England continued to attack for the final ten minutes but Teague’s conversion was England’s final score of the tour.
Scorers: Tries – Teague, Hamilton, Briers, Johnson; Pens – Teague 2; Cons – Teague 4
England Counties (v Elgon Warriors, Nairobi)
15. Peter Hodgkinson (Ealing & Cheshire)
14. Jack Smales (Nevers & Northumberland)
13. Chris Briers (Fylde & Lancashire)
12. Steve Hamilton (Unattached & Yorkshire)
11. Phil Chesters (Ealing & Devon)
10. Rory Teague (Blackheath & Gloucestershire)
9. Stefan Liebenberg (Old Albanians & Hertfordshire)
1. James Cleverly (Blackheath & Kent)
2. Sam Wilkes (Cinderford & Gloucestershire)
3. Craig Voisey (Moseley & North Mids)
4. Chris Wearmouth (Blaydon & Durham);
5. Richard Boyle (Newcastle Falcons & Northumberland)
6. Billy Johnson (Old Albanians & Hertfordshire)
7. Ben Pons (Moseley & North Mids)
8. Rob Baldwin (Wharfedale & Yorkshire)
16. Joe Bonner (Blackheath & Kent)
17. Jared Saunders (Saracens & Hertfordshire)
18. David Dickinson (Tynedale & Northumberland)
19. Gareth Rawlings (Fylde & Lancashire)
20. Harry Peck (Tynedale & Northumberland)
21. Toby Howley-Berridge (Unattached & Eastern Counties)
22. Jim Wigglesworth (Hull & Yorkshire)