England Women U20s secured a memorable 27-20 victory against France Women U20s in Lille today.
After France crossed early on for the first score of the game, England fly half Helena Rowland got the visitors on the scoreboard when she slotted a simple penalty within the shadow of the posts.
France got their second out wide but another Rowland penalty kept England in touch as they trailed 6-10 at half-time.
Leah Bartlett’s score put England in the lead for the first time in the game however, France responded with their third score.
In the closing stages England secured the game with two late scores as Phoebe Murray crossed from a kick through and then Zoe Harrison’s run scored arguably the try of the game – Rowland slotted all three conversions, as well as two penalties, as she completed a perfect five from five on the day from the tee.
France’s Charlotte Rufus got their fourth score in closing stages, however Jo Yapp’s side held on to make it two wins from two in 2018.
It was an impressive win for England whose whole match day 23 have all been playing in the inaugural Tyrrells Premier 15s competition this season.
Jo Yapp England Women U20 head coach said “We are really pleased with the squad effort today, they worked solidly for 80 minutes to come away with the win. We made it a little bit difficult for ourselves in the second half towards the end, but we are really proud of the defensive effort and the way they held out France in the closing minutes of the game.
“Our bench made a real impact today, they were true finishers and added that energy we needed. Helena Rowland getting five from five was key in such a tight game, with Phoebe Murray leading the midfield and also players like Sarah Beckett and Leah Bartlett in the forwards, who fought relentlessly throughout the game.
Yapp added: “There is lots to work on going into the next game but sometimes it’s also about finding a way to win, that’s what this group need to learn as part of their development and what they did today.”
England Women U20 match day 23 vs France Women U20
15. Emma Uren © (Saracens Women)
14. Lilian Stoeger-Goddard (Bristol Ladies)
13. Phoebe Murray (Bristol Ladies)
12. Lucy Attwood (Bristol Ladies)
11. Brooke Clarke (Worcester Valkyries)
10. Helena Rowland (Saracens Women)
9. Tazmin Bricknell (Gloucester-Hartpury Women RFC)
1. Ellena Perry (Saracens Women)
2. Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning)
3. Ellie Mulhearn (Bristol Ladies)
4. Hollie Cunningham (Bristol Ladies)
5. Rosie Galligan (Saracens Women)
6. Tabitha Copson (Gloucester- Hartpury Women)
7. Charlie Wilcock (Worcester Valkyries)
8. Sarah Beckett (Firwood Waterloo Ladies)
16. Ellie Gilbert (Gloucester-Hartpury)
17. Michaella Roberts (Bristol Ladies)
18. Hannah Botterman (Saracens Women)
19. Cara Brincat (Worcester Valkyries)
20. Rianna Manson (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks)
21. Ella Wyrwas (Saracens Women)
22. Zoe Harrison (Saracens Women)
23. Lizzie Adam (Loughborough Lightning)
England Women U20 games 2017-2018
England Women U20 44 – 0 Army
Tries: Clarke (3), Murray (2), Perry, Stoeger-Goddard, Roberts
Cons: Attwood (2)
France Women U20 20– 27 England Women U20
Tries: Bartlett, Murray, Harrison
Cons: Rowland (3)
Pens: Rowland (2)
England Women U20 v France Women U20
Basingstoke RFC, 17th March 2018, KO 7:30pm
Visit http://www.basingstokerfc.com/ for details
Report courtesy of the RFU