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Sunday, March 11, 2012

England U20s hammered in Paris

No details yet, but England U20s have just lost 50-0 to France in Paris - but a country mile the worst ever result for an England age group team, and close to the worst ever for any English women's team. Even more astonishing when you remember that England U20s (with some differences in personnel) beat everyone in the world last year.

Needless to say the French coach was delighted: "They have had a big game. They kept their shape and did not get cocky despite the score quickly swelling. There is heart in this team. They wear the jersey with pride. It is a pleasure to coach. Our next deadline is in April- a mini tour of England with two games."

RFUW's match report:

England Women Under 20s experienced a tough learning curve today (Sunday) with their French counter parts running in eight tries in a 50-0 victory at the Suzan Lenglen Stadium in Paris.

England, fielding a young side with 12 players in the 22 making their England U20s bow, struggled against a much more experienced French outfit who could boast ten players with U20s and international sevens experience in their starting XV.
French No. 8 Sophie Pin was in formidable form, while the likes of Camille Cabalou and Aissetou Diallo causing England several headaches all over the park.

England U20s Head Coach Amanda Bennett said: “France were an extremely athletic and powerful side. They had lots of pace, executed their off-loading with precision and their support work was outstanding. They made it extremely hard for us to defend but the players have learned so much today about international rugby and that will only benefit them in the long term.

“Round two against France will come in April on our turf and we are already relishing the opportunity to play them again. We know we have to make some big improvements in terms of our physicality and also developing a much more powerful game. We have also got to be more effective at our line-outs and scrums. Our attitude however was good and the team never gave up. Despite the score they kept their heads up and kept digging until the very end.”

After an early missed penalty for centre Cabalou, France put their first points on the board with a eighth minute penalty and then had another chance at goal on 13 minutes but Cabalou’s kick this time went astray.

17 minutes in and a French line-out in England’s 22 saw powerful No. 8 Pin make a great break. Despite her power she was pulled down just short of the try-line but prop Arkya Ait Lahbib was in support and she muscled her way over to score. Cabalou converted and then added a second penalty moments later to hand France a 13-0 lead.

Nearing the half hour mark, some good work by France at the breakdown saw Pin in the thick of it before the ball was moved out-wide, with four great offloads ending up with wing Diallo showing her speed to sprint past England fullback Georgia Peedle.
Cabalou couldn’t make the conversion but soon France had established a 23-0 lead when an error by England saw Lauriane Lissar pick up a loose ball and run in for a soft try. Diallo then rounded off the second-half with her second touchdown just before the break when some missed tackles by England saw the wing side step her way through England’s defence and charge 60 metres up-field to score. With Cabalou making the conversion France went into half time with a healthy 30-0 lead.

In the second half, the one way traffic continued for France with some immediate pressure on England’s try-line. England held firm but it came at a cost with prop Catherine Pugh taking a heavy knock and leaving the field while fellow front rower Mica Evans was also out of action for some time. France made the most of their advantage and in the end fly-half Julie Billes cut a good line to score near the posts.

On form centre Cabalou then added to her tally with her first try with Billes and Pin at the heart of the action before an offload to Cabalou, who finished off the move with a try on the right wing. The fly-half couldn’t add the conversion but with France already 40-0 up it did not matter much.

As France entered the final period of the match, England rallied hard to keep their rivals at bay but they couldn’t stop the onslaught and instead France ran in a further two tries, courtesy of Morgane Peyronnet and Audrey Boniface, making the final score 50-0.


  1. Anonymous4:06 PM

    do you think its possible for a team to win all there games 2011 and lose all of them 2012? i do. not looking good..

  2. Anonymous7:00 PM

    No surprise at this result with the selections made

  3. Anonymous1:16 PM

    the team were always going to struggle when the 7s set up seems to have taken priority. 2 players rose jay and charlotte keane were selected into the 7s squad rather than u20s and although have not yet played 7s don't seem to have allowed to play u20. 2 others incl fly half emily scott have been training with the 7s so were not allowed to play. and then there is the 2 flankers who gary street pinched and although hannah gallagher was not picked in the senoir squad on sunday was not playing for u20s. add to this injuries to an esxperienced prop and centre and you have what it was a very depleted team playing avery good french team. however i don't the england report does justice to the hard work and comittment of some of players


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