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Home > News > England Women U20 32 - Wales Women U20 19
Your News England Women U20 32 - Wales Women U20 19

A resurgent second-half performance handed England Women Under 20s an impressive 32-19 victory over Wales Under 20s today (Wednesday) at Hartpury College, and their third win of the season.

After trailing 8-12 at the break and losing two players to the sin-bin the England young guns powered to a home victory with tries courtesy of Bristol flanker Poppy Cleall, London Irishs Alexandra Matthews, Saracens Hannah Gallagher and Worcesters Georgia Peedle.

The victory hands England a 100 percent record this season after wins over France and Scotland also. The England U20s now head to the Nations Cup in America in July to face the likes of Australia, South Africa, France and Canada.

England might have had to come from behind to take the victory but they started well with Bristols Cleall touching down for the opening try after just seven minutes. Some good pressure by England in the opening stages saw the home side turn-over Wales in the scrum and from five yards out Cleall pounced on the ball to dive over the try line. Thurrock fly half Emily Scott couldnt make the conversion but moments later she added a penalty to hand England an early 8-0 lead.

But Wales too had their chances and they made the most of them. England were turned over in their 22 and Wales moved the ball out into the midfield for Sian Williams to run in and score. Yasmin Leung couldnt add the extras leaving Wales 8-5 adrift after 20 minutes.

England, however, started to make the going tough for themselves losing both Amy Wilson-Hardy and Cleall to the sin-bin in the space of just seven minutes. With the home side down to 13 players within in the dying minutes of the first half Wales took a quick tap penalty and centre Rachel Rees ran in to score. With Leung converting Wales took the 8-12 lead at the break.

Some serious words at half time saw England come back into the game. The home side clearly learned a lot from their ill discipline and started well. Nine minutes in and some good pressure from the forwards saw Cleall go over for her second try of the afternoon.

Scott couldnt make the conversion and Wales retook the lead with a 51st minute try after an impressive solo effort from fullback Rosie Fletcher. With Leung converting the visitors led 13-19.

England rang the changes with Matthews, Gallagher and Peedle taking to the field. And their impact was immediate. Matthews crashed over the try line after just three minutes of being on the field after Wales were turned over in a line-out in their 22. Moments later and Gallagher and Scott executed some great interplay before Gallagher touched down under the posts on 62 minutes. With Scott adding the conversion England led 25-19.

Replacement Peedle then had her chance after some good work by Englands backs saw the Worcester player catch a great line on her first touch of the ball and score. Scott was successful with the boot to seal the 32-19 victory for England.

England Women U20s Head Coach Amanda Bennett said: This was again a very different match to the games we have played against France and Scotland this season. We put ourselves in trouble in the first half with a high missed tackle count and two sin-binnings. We fell foul of the referee and were playing with 13 players at one point which is when Wales scored their second try. We certainly made life hard for ourselves against a very good Wales team.

In the break we had a good team talk stressing the need to do the basics well and when we started doing that we were much more disciplined. Our tackling was much better as was our defence and that meant we could put pressure on Wales. From about 50 minutes onwards there was a sense that this game was there for us to take. We used our entire bench and their experience made a real difference. With Gallagher and Matthews coming on they upped the pace and physicality and we scored two quick tries.

Bennett added: Its great that we have won three out of three games. Along the way we have also learned a lot and we are now confident and mentally strong. We know when we make errors that we can bounce back. The U20s programme this season is certainly one of the best there has ever been and we will have some very tough selection decisions to make ahead of the Nations Cup. I know that I will be able to pick 26 players for that squad and everyone of them will make an impact during our campaign.

England U20s

15 Rachel Roberts (Gloucester, South West), 14 Katie Mason (Bristol, Somerset, South West), 13 Amy Wilson-Hardy (Bristol, Sussex, South West), 12Louise Dennis (Worcester, North Midlands, Midlands), 11 Rebecca Hughes (Bristol, Somerset, South West), 10 Emily Scott (Thurrock, Essex, London & South East), 9 Charlotte Keane (Worcester, South West), 1 Emily Kingston (Gloucester, Gloucestershire, South West), 2 Geri Thomas (Old Albanian Saints, Hertfordshire, London & SE), 3Mica Evans(Exeter Saracens, Devon, South West), 4 Fiona Fletcher (Lichfield, Staffordshire, Midlands), 5 Abbie Scott (Keswick, Cumbria,North), 6 PoppyCleall (Bristol, Hampshire,South West), 7 Megan Oaten (Bristol, Gloucestershire, South West), 8Harriet Mills (C) (Lichfield, Staffordshire, Midlands). Replacements: 16 Charlie Notman (Newquay Hornets (Queen Bees), Cornwall, South West), 17Daniker Willmore (Bristol, South West), 18 Alexandra Matthews (London Irish, Surrey, London & South East), 19 Hannah Gallagher (Saracens, Hertfordshire, London & South East), 20 N/A, 21 Leanne Riley (Worcester, North Midlands, Midlands), 22 Georgia Peedle (Worcester, Hertfordshire, London & South East)

Tries: Cleall (2), Matthews, Gallagher, Peedle

Conversions: E. Scott (2)

Penalties: E. Scott

Drop Goals:

Substitutions: Matthews for Mills , Gallagher for Oaten (both 57), Peedle for Roberts (59), Willmore for Evans (64), Riley for Dennis (68), Notman for Thomas (69)

Wales U20s

15 Rosie Fletcher (Gorseinon), 14 Cerys Ballett (Cardiff Quins), 13Rachel Rees (Gorseinon), 12 Rebecca de Filippo (Neath Athletic), 11 Rhianydd Morgan (Neath Athletic), 10 Yasmin Leung (UWIC), 9 Joanne Jones (Cardiff Quins), 1 Natalie Stone (Pontyclun), 2 Carys Rhiannon (Thomas Pontyclun), 3 Ffion Jones (Whitland), 4 Alex Stokes (Neath Athletic), 5 Delyth Davies (Neath Athletic), 6 Sian Williams (Bath), 8 Carys Phillips (Neath Athletic), 7 Nia Davies (Whitland). Replacements: 16 Rhiannon Sheen de Jesus (UWIC), 17 Chloe Howells (Whitland), 18 Catherine Davies (Whitland), 19 Catrin Rees (Carmarthen Quins), 20 Kirsty Prosser (Gwernyfed), 21 Jodie Evans (Kidwelly), 22 Naomi Whybrow (Cross Keys).

Tries: Williams, Rees, Fletcher

Conversions: Leung (2)

Referee:Sara Cox

Assistant Referees:Christine Goldfinch & Clare Daniels

Half time score:England U20s 8 Wales U20s 12

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