- USA triumph at Trent College after storming to 19-0 half-time lead
- England's second-half resurgence not quite enough
England Women U20 17 USA Women U20 27
England Women U20 lost their third and final group game against USA, going down 27-17 at Trent College, Long Eaton, in the U20 Nations Cup.
The result means USA will play in Sunday’s final against Canada while England prepare for the third-place play-off against South Africa which kicks off at 2pm, also on Sunday.
USA made a strong start against England and were 19-0 up by half time. No. 8 Jordan Gray went over for the first try, which was successfully converted by fly half Anne Peterson. That was followed 10 minutes later by a try for Hannah Price when USA turned the ball over and went in at the corner.
The visitors' third try came when the ball was passed out to full back Margaret Myles, who beat two players putting in wing Natalie Kosko.
England got on the board just after the break when Holly Molesworth beat the USA defensive line to go over following a free kick.
USA followed with a penalty from Peterson to keep their tally ticking over and they then added their fourth try of the match – a second for Gray as she forced through from a five-metre scrum.
England left it late to stage their comeback but replacement Chelsey Fuggle stormed down the left to touch down in the corner before Sophie Lee scored England’s third try, displaying some excellent handling skills to beat the cover and score under the posts.
The conversion from Flo Williams was successful but it wasn't quite enough as USA ran out 27-17 winners.
Head Coach Amanda Bennett said: “We were really disappointed to be 19 points down at half time but we came back into it in the second half and scored three good tries.
“It was pleasing to win the second half 17-8 but obviously that wasn’t quite enough. The message before the game was that we were ‘going into battle’, and that’s how it proved. USA are a strong side – they’re fit and athletic, and their sevens skills really shone through,
“We switch our focus to South Africa now and I know that we have improved hugely from when we played them in our first game.”
England Women U20
15 Sophie Lee (Durham University, Durham, South West)
14 Rosie Kells (Hartpury, Gloucestershire, South West)
13 Rochelle Smith (Saracens, Surrey, LSE)
12 Lauren Chenoweth (Worcester, Cornwall, South West)
11 Holly Molesworth (Bristol, Gloucestershire, South West)
10 Bianca Blackburn (Worcester, Gloucestershire, South West) (VC)
9 Devon Holt (Reading, Berkshire, South West, Hartpury College)
1 Abigail Parsons (Reading, Berkshire, South West, Hartpury College)
2 Charlie Notman (Bristol, Cornwall, South West)
3 Catherine Pugh (Saracens, Essex, LSE)
4 Courtney Gill (Worcester, Gloucestershire, South West)
5 Ellie Gattlin (Saracens, Eastern Counties, LSE)
6 Rebecca Trist (Tyldesley, Lancashire, North, Moulton College)
7 Kayleigh Callaway-Bawden (Bristol/Penryn, Cornwall, South West) (C)
8 Fran Hall (Richmond, Hampshire, LSE)
16 Lark Davies (Worcester, North Midlands, Midlands)
17 Amy Needham (DMPS, Northumberland, North)
18 Ellie Prescott (Waterloo, Lancashire, North)
19 Jo Brown (DMPS, Durham, North)
20 Lucy Aylesbury (Worcester, Gloucestershire, South West)
21 Rebecca Scholes (Glossop, Cheshire, North, Moulton College)
22 Florence Williams (Aylesford, Kent, London & South East)
23 Chelsey Fuggle (Lichfield, Staffordshire, Midlands)