A complete text blow-by-blow account this game and USA v South Africa is also available on YSC - and I guess, unless or until the lack of web access issue is solved, that is going to be the best way to keep in touch with the next round of games. The third round and final are to be played elsewhere, so hopefully we will get a live feed from them.
In the meanwhile if you do not know the result watch below, or page down to the end of this post...
Results from Day 1: England 41, Canada 0; USA 25 South Africa 3
RFU Match report:
England Women U20s 41 Canada Women U20s 0
England Women Under 20s inflicted an impressive 41-0 defeat on Canada in the opening round of the Nations Cup in Santa Barbara on Thursday night.
The England young guns ran in a massive seven tries against their North American rivals and Canada had very little response.
Bristol’s Rebecca Hughes and Saracens’ Hannah Gallagher ran in braces of tries whilst there were also touch downs for Natasha Jones, Katie Mason and Ceri Large. Bristol centre Amber Reed added three conversions
England Under 20s Head Coach Amanda Bennett said: “The aim for this opening match was not just to win but to make a statement of intent. We wanted to demonstrate that we have built on the success of our spring games and improved in many areas, not least our defence.
“Canada dominated parts of the game especially at the scrum, and we were often forced on to the back foot. However, our organisation and execution in defence proved to be a crucial element in the victory as our tackle completion and turnovers meant Canada rarely got close to scoring. We made the most of the turnovers, some of which were eventually converted into tries. Our midfield and back row worked extremely well together to turn possession over.”
England started at a furious pace, registering their mark on the scoreboard after just five minutes. A good drive through the centre from Old Albanians hooker Geri Thomas saw the ball taken on by fly half Jones. Despite taking a crunching tackle she retained possession and crashed over under the posts. Reed added the conversion.
England maintained their pressure and were rewarded on nine minutes with a second try, which saw good hands throughout the backline setting up Bristol winger Mason for a try in the corner. Reed this time couldn’t make the conversion but it did not matter as England soon extended their lead to 17-0 on 20 minutes.
The score was the first of Hughes’ two tries, but there was also some excellent support play from Alexandra Matthews, Reed and Jones. Jones also made an excellent line break followed by some good interplay between Jones and Hughes, which gave Hughes the space to score.
Again Reed missed the conversion but England took a healthy 22-0 lead into the break with Gallagher touching down for England’s fourth try.
Canada held England back in the opening stages of the second half, keeping England pinned in their half for some time. The Red Roses, however, broke the deadlock on 53 minutes with Gallagher again at the heart of the action.
An excellent drive by Mason down the right wing saw the winger come close. Gallagher was in support and picked up to muscle her way over the line from three metres out.
Canada had their chance to put some points on the board with two consecutive penalty attempts but they weren’t successful and England moved ahead with a late run of tries in the dying minutes of the game.
On 78 minutes, England overturned Canada after a period of sustained pressure from them. Prop Emily Kingston moved the ball out to Hughes, who sprinted 60 yards to outflank the Canadian defence to score in the corner. Reed added the conversion to make the score 34-0.
Worcester centre Ceri Large added the final try after a good break by Emily Scott saw her come close to scoring. Large was in support and a good Scott offload saw her finish off the move with a simple run under the posts. Reed’s third conversion handed England the 41-0 victory.
England U20s next play hosts, the USA, on Sunday and Bennett added: “On Sunday we will face a very confident USA team that is relishing playing on home soil. We have plenty to work on in the next two days but the positives from this opening game are many and we are looking forward to the challenge.”