England Under-20s coach Mark Mapletoft singled out Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns as the catalyst of his side's recovery in their 41-14 defeat of Wales.
After an edgy first half, Burns found his feet in front of his home crowd at Kingsholm as England racked up six second-half tries, two of which when they only had 14 men due to Alex Grays’ red card.
England had trailed 8-6 at halftime but Mapletoft believes Burns’ spirit of adventure allowed the home team to cast off their shackles in the second half.
Mapletoft said: “These guys can play and they’ve got huge potential. We were more adventurous in the second half and that is what changed the outcome of the game.
“Freddie’s performance was driving the team. He lacked confidence in the first half and that reflected in the team performance as it was his first start at fly-half.
“But in the second half he changed the game and grew and grew in stature and so did the team.
“He’s a real strong character and a great communicator around the team and that helped us. In the second half he was fantastic and very motivational.
“We looked like we wanted to play rugby in the second half rather than kick it up and down the pitch aimlessly and they will take a lot of belief from the performance.”
Wales coach Phil Davies was left frustrated that his team were unable to build on their superiority in the first half during which they score the game’s first try through James Loxton.
But he admitted they were made to pay by a clinical Wales.
He said: “I’m disappointed because you never want to lose the first game of a tournament but you can’t argue with the result as England were just too powerful for us today and it’s up to the boys to face up to the challenge that lies in-front of them now.
“You need to take your opportunities at this level and we had plenty of them particularly in the first half but it was the difference between the sides that we didn’t convert our try-scoring opportunities and they did.
“But they are young men and we are trying to move forward with this group of players but England were very powerful today and very productive with the ball and they deserved the win.”