- England defeated by four-try France
- Tough learning curve says Bennett
England Womens U20 0 France Women U20 28
England Women Under 20s slipped to a second defeat in a month to France after a 28-0 loss at Esher RFC on Saturday.
After a 27-0 defeat earlier this month, France went one better and recorded a 28-0 win on English turf with the visitors running in four tries to nil.
England Women’s U20s Head Coach Amanda Bennett said: “While we can see improvements since we played France in Beauvais, ultimately our execution under pressure proved our downfall. The scoreline doesn’t reflect the number of opportunities that were created, the quality of possession and the smarter game plan.
"However, we were frustrated by our lack of precision in the final third. These young players are always learning and today we learned that rugby at this level is brutal and clinical.”
Although England started the game in a buoyant mood it was France who won most of the early exchanges and pushed England back into their own half. Just six minutes in and that early tenacity paid off when some sustained pressure led to France getting the ball out to centre Caroline Boujard who went on to score on the right wing. Camille Imart slotted over the conversion to hand the visitors an early 7-0 lead.
England, however, began to settle and made some territorial gains but each time they got into a strong position individual errors crept in and they were penalised.
Nearing the half hour mark, after an even period where both sides threatened, France this time made it count and some good interplay between their backs and forwards led to a try for Camille Boudard. Imart once again converted making it 14-0 to France.
Just before the break and France then created a 21-0 lead after some strong forward runs and quick decision making allowed No. 8 Emilie Mathieu to score a converted try under the posts.
After the restart England came out well and came close to scoring after some improved continuity and some good possession, which saw Emma Harbage go close. But it wasn’t to be as England couldn’t make it count when it mattered and try scoring opportunities went amiss.
Instead some quick footwork from the French saw centre Boujard race clear unopposed to score under the posts. Again Imart converted and that was where the scoring stayed as England struggled to bounce back.
England U20s (Club, Region, Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence College)
15 Sydney Gregson (Welwyn, Hertfordshire, London & South East, Hartpury College), 14 Emily Wood (Worcester, Gloucestershire, South West, Hartpury College), 13 Abigail Brown (Worcester, Devon, South West), 12 Lauren Chenoweth (Worcester, Cornwall, South West), 11 Emma Harbage (Lichfield, Staffordshire, Midlands), 10 Megan Goddard (Worcester, Gloucestershire, South West), 9 Devon Holt (Bristol, Berkshire, South West), 1 Abbie Parsons (Bristol, Berkshire, South West), 2 Lark Davies (Worcester, North Midlands, Midlands), 3 Scarlett Cooper-Wall (Loughborough, Hertfordshire, South West), 4 Amy Wigley (Worcester, North Midlands, Midlands, Hartpury College), 5 Courtney Gill (Worcester, Gloucestershire, South West) C, 6 Francesca Hall (Richmond, Hampshire, London & South East), 7 Lucie Wood (Bristol, Gloucestershire, South West), 8 Jo Brown (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, Durham, North).
Replacements: 16 Amy Cokayne (Lichfield, Midlands), 17 Catherine Pugh (Lichfield, Essex, London & South East), 18 Henrietta Burkinshaw (Lichfield, Yorkshire, North), 19 Katie Turnbull (Bristol, South West), 20 Rebecca Trist (Worcester, South West), 21 Bianca Blackburn (Worcester, Gloucestershire, South West), 22 Sarah Nicholas (Lichfield, Staffordshire, Midlands), 23 Rosemary Kells (Bristol, Gloucestershire, South West).
Substitutions: Cokayne for Davies, Turnball for J Brown (both 46), Nicholas for A Brown (52), Blackburn for Holt (56), Kells for Chenoworth, Trist for Hall (both 65).
15 Prune Pegot, 14 Bertrand Coralie, 13 Caroline Boujard, 12 Camille Boudard, 11 Meryl Dubertrand, 10 Camille Imart, 9 Lena Auroil, 1 Maelys Traore, 2 Agathe Sochat, 3 Laura Menetrier, 4 Laetitia Bobo, 5 Chloe Placines, 6 Julia Annery, 7 Marina Kerembellec, 8 Emilie Mathieu.
Replacements: 16 Laurie Laborie, 17 Jasmine Remdana, 18 Cyrielle Maquart, 19 Axelle Alaux, 20 Pia Chastang Clave, 21 Seraphine Grace Okemba, 22 Justone Vergnaud, 23 Marie Saluzzo.
Tries: Boujard (2), Boudard, Mathieu
Conversions: Imart (4)
Referee: Nikki O'Donnell
Assistant Referees: Georgina Crabb & Helen Ashman
England U20s Fixtures & Results:
February 1, France Women U20s 27 England Women U20s 0, Stadium Pierre Brisson, Beauvais
February 22, England Women U20s 0 France Women U20s 28, Esher RFC