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Sunday, April 08, 2012

France win U20 series 3-0

The excuses for the England U20 performances seem to be getting a bit thin. The 50-0 defeat in Paris was due to all the major players being unavailable, last Wednesday's 11-5 loss did not really count as both teams were playing their younger players - it was, in effect, a "A" international. Just you wait for Saturday.

But yesterday England lost again, 13-3.

There again it is difficult to know what the real strategy for the U20 team is this year. Although England called up some big guns with full caps to their name, they were not used in the actual games.Coach Amanda Bennett seems to have decided to keep with her core players, perhaps putting learning and development ahead of short-term success? If so, this would be to her credit as in the end age group rugby is about learning.

Of course, there may be other reasons for such a dramatic turn-round for a team that was literally world-beating 12 months ago (though with some differences in playing staff, obviously).

Clearly there is more to this than meets the eye, especially a distant eye with only access to match reports and a few bits of film. And the result has been a England team losing three consecutive matches - which has never happened before. How RFUW will react to that will be interesting to see.


  1. Anonymous2:05 PM

    i think there spin on it this year is to build for next... but wasnt that last years and the year before? When is this next year gonna happen!?

    The squad full of young guns she says.... On saturday forwards Needham and Turnball and backs Goddard, and Jones are "young guns" as in first year in twenties and are young- they all played in the last three games so now have experience more then the "young guns" of last year Gattlin, Callaway, Scott, Kingston, Evans, Oaten, Matthews, Notman, Wilmore, Keane, Demaine, Dennis, who all had never played for twenties and were real young guns in the fixture THEY WON v france last year...... Less then a third of the starting 15 were "young guns" and they still flopped. Excuses Excuses. #GlossOver

  2. Anonymous9:41 PM

    As one of the U20s, I apologise if we've let you down. It's quite disheartening to hear such negative reporting. I assure you we are massively disappointed in the results having worked so hard in preparation and I know that the girls gave everything on that pitch. As a whole as, this week, I do feel as though we were the stronger side and played some positive looking rugby.

    Both home matches - we definitely could have won. Yet it shows great strength of the squad to cut a 50 point deficit to a 6 and a 10 point gap. However, all credit to France, they held on both times.. I guess it's just how it happens on the day.

  3. Anonymous9:52 PM

    My crtiticism is not aimed at ANY of the players and personal performances but the set up and coaching staff making excuses and shit press releases. "Good improvement" "good improvement" when clearly somethings been going wrong to score one try in three games..... What they hell do they coach and ethics?

    Sorry if this offended you- my congratulations to representing your country, hope you enjoyed the games.

    1. Anonymous11:44 PM

      is not turning round a 50 point deficit to 10 an improvement in anyones books!

    2. Anonymous11:59 PM

      because they brought in ll there old players.... really young guns..... and only cos they were piss poor in paris.

  4. Anonymous9:55 PM

    p.s if the 20's want positive reporting... WIN. You cant turn a loss into something positive in the media, think back to any coverage of England men in the world cup.

    1. Anonymous11:51 PM

      don't remember dwarf throwing or drunken nights out appearing as part of the u20s schedule!

    2. Anonymous12:03 AM

      Ive never met a team who wants good media coverage on three losses...? the U20 who commented above wanted it....

  5. Anonymous11:38 AM

    "As a whole as, this week, I do feel as though we were the stronger side and played some positive looking rugby."

    Sorry but how did you lose the series 3 - 0 if you were the stronger side and you lost 2 of those games at home?

    Well done to cutting the 50 point gap to 6 points and congratulations on representing England. However, enough with the excuses, France did not just hold on, give more credit to them and accept that they were the better side on ALL 3 occasions - the results clearly spell that out. Back to the drawing board for the under 20s. Good luck.

    1. Anonymous11:48 PM

      france were the better side this year as they were 2years ago. u20s is always going to be variable as players change.
      and 3 losses in a row -never happened before! maybe because we have never played them 3x in a row before.

    2. Anonymous12:05 AM

      when was the last time an england team lost on home ground?????? let alone twice..... Changes... hmmm who they lose.... Mills, Jones, George, Large... MASSIVE LOSS.

      Stop making excuses at the end of the day they werent good enough.

    3. Anonymous3:59 PM

      and thomas, gallagher,matthews,reed,mason,keane, wilmore all the above (except george and wilmore) who are now in the elite squad or involved in the 7s programme
      demaine (work reasons), kingston,wilson- hardy ,roberts through injury pre france training camp
      pugh, dennis and peedle during camp.

  6. Anonymous3:00 PM

    Every week at club level we see u20/TDG players fast tracked to 1st team/premiership level irrespective of their ability and performances at lower level, ie Championship.
    You regularly see England U20 players playing along side club players of similar age and you couldnt say they are better, but were possibly identified at 12.

    The point being there are better club players out their who have the hunger and skills but are unable to break through because they havnt been TDG or equivalent since u10s or went to Hartbury.

    Less elitist,prima donna's. More identifiying players capable of surviving, holding their own and playing well for their club at premiership/championship level.
    Coaches who are able to identify talent and arnt afraid dispense of names and pick outside the system.

    1. Anonymous11:40 PM

      this is simply not true. are you sure it is the girls who have the hunger and not you the green eyed parent /coach?
      prima donnas?! have you seen them training or playing as a squad? thought not!
      stop wingeing and trying to make a disaster story out of nothing.

    2. Anonymous12:08 AM

      I have. I have trained played with the twenties, played prem many years, and the selection policy for twenties is:
      and then clubs..... correct me if im wrong?

    3. Anonymous12:39 PM

      I think from the responses throughout you can see its obviously true and certainly not a matter of green eyed coach/parent from my perspective,perhaps a reality check needed from yours, its about honesty.

      Obviously Ive seen a lot of u20 players, its from that I base my comments.

      "Have I seen them training and playing as a squad", what does that mean? They lost a series 3-0, all that infers is that they train and play poorly as a squad, probably safe in the knowledge theyll be picked next time. For me its about identifying and picking players that perform well at club level week in, week out, not players in comfort zones because they are in a certain groups.

      With the resources dedicated to u20 far outweighing any other nation, theres no way they should lose 3-0 to France, other than they picked the wrong guys!

  7. Anonymous4:27 PM

    AMEN. agree with above. Players are being picked on the fact they have been at every level EG TDG, divisional NOT THERE FORM.

    I see week in week out players who play U20 come in to prem/ ladies and are completely outta there depth, There too molly cuddled, to handed on a plate with there breakthrough up the system and there not strong enough. Hence why they get out muscled by france.

    The aase scheme is suffering now because of the hidden promotion of it "PEOPLE WILL WANNA SEND THEY KIDS HERE IF WE PUT AT LEAST 20 GIRLS FROM IT INTO 20'S---IT WILL LOOK GOOD. MEDIA WILL LOVE IT." heard on the grapevine only about 5 girls applied for hartpury this year........

  8. Anonymous9:18 AM

    I was at these matches purely as an observer and as a plain fact England were beaten by a better side. This does happen from time to time, especially at age group level when the team make up changes from season to season. Why is this such a shock? Each and every England girl tried their hardest, there was a high physical intensity from both sides but France had better basic skills. The one thing that did surprise me was the relatively low level of handling skill shown by England. I regularly see better examples at Club U18 level.
    Onje issue I am in agreement with is the relative security of girls in TDG, at the colleges, divisional etc. It appears if you are selected into one of these early it is assumed you stay in unless you opt out, no matter how you develop. Some girls do well early but don't progress whereas others develop late. I do believe each level of selection should be looked at more critically each season

    1. Anonymous4:20 PM

      they re-trial every year for tdg/ county/ divisional squads with no guarantee of success. coaches put forward girls to go through to these trials. how else are you realistically going to select?
      I agree their handling let them down on saturday. easier to look good at club level with an easier opposition.
      and i agree they lost to a better team

  9. Anonymous7:19 PM

    There may be re-trials but how "open" are they? I have seen girls reselected for TDG without playing Divisional matches between seasons, for Divisional without playing County etc. Yes, you will expect a core of the players to continue, but I have seen too much face fitting in recent season,regardless of skills, development and commitment.
    As regards doing basics at higher levels it is all relative. These are internationals who appear unable to make basic passes even without pressure. Also to see 3 on 1's being crucified by the first player kicking the ball away! Players do make mistakes, we see it every week, but the percentage was far too high in the 2 matches at Moulton. What I am unable to suggest - perhaps others will - is why?


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