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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.
England Women U20s
(Name, Club, County, Division, Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence College)
15 Georgia Peedle (Saracens, Hertfordshire, London & South East),
14 Rachel Jones(Lichfield, Staffordshire, Midlands),
13 Hannah Edwards (Wasps, Middlesex,London & South East),
12 Louise Dennis (Worcester, Gloucestershire, South West),
11Rebecca Hughes (Bristol, Somerset, South West),
10 Lauren Cattell (Chesham, Buckinghamshire, South West, Moulton College),
9 Fiona Davidson (Richmond, Surrey, London & South East) (Captain),
1 Mica Evans(Saracens, Hertfordshire, London & South East),
2 Emily Hatherall (Worcester, Gloucestershire, South West),
3 Catherine Pugh (Rochford Hundred, Essex, London & South East),
4 Ellen Gattlin (Saracens, Essex, London & South East),
5 Abbie Scott (Darlington Mowden Park Sharks, Northumberland, North),
6 Fiona Fletcher (Lichfield, Staffordshire, Midlands) (Vice-Captain),
7 Megan Oaten(Bristol, Gloucestershire, South West),
8 Katie Turnbull (Thornbury, Gloucestershire, South West, Hartpury College).
16 Charlotte Notman (Penryn, Cornwall, South West),
17 Amy Needham (Paviors, Notts, Lincs & Derbys, Midlands, Moulton College),
18 Courtney Gill (Plymouth Albion, Devon, South West, Hartpury College),
19 Carys Williams (Lichfield, Staffordshire, Midlands, Moulton College),
20 Bianca Blackburn (Gloucester, Gloucestershire, South West, Hartpury College),
21 Megan Goddard (Hartpury, Gloucestershire, South West, Hartpury College),
22 Sian McGuinness (Tyldesley, Lancashire, North)
Replacements: Needham for Pugh (3),Notman for Hatherall, McGuinness for Hughes (both 60), Goddard for Cattell (67), Williams for Oaten (67), Blackburn for Davidson (70), Gill for Gatlin (70)
15 N’DIAYE Maeva (La Valette),
14 DIALLO Aissetou (Maison-Laffitte),
13 PEYRONNET Morgane (Fonsorbes),
12 CABALOU Camille (Tarbes Pyrénées Rugby),
11 BONIFACE Audrey (Tarbes Pyrénées Rugby),
10 BILLES Julie (USAP),
9 MENANTEAU Marie (Romagnat),
1 AIT LAHBIB Arkya (Stade Rennais Rugby),
2 DIVOUX Wendy (La Valette),
3 BIAUDIS Eva (AC Bobigny 93) (C),
4 LANDREAU Pauline (Fonsorbes),
5 SUDRE Marine (Fonsorbes),
6 PEYRONNET Marion (Fonsorbes),
7 LISSAR Lauriane (AS Bayonne),
8 PIN Sophie (La Valette).
16 TURPE Karen (Ovalie Caennaise),
17 FERREIRA DA SILVA Lilian (Saint Orens),
18 DEYLAUD Margaux (Saint Orens),
19 SINEUX Barbara (Stade Rennais Rugby),
20 FAZIO Elodie (Sassenage),
21 LE GUEVEL Maiwenn (Stade Rennais Rugby),
22 POCORENA Estelle (AS Bayonne), VAZ Marjorie (Romagnat).
Tries: Ait Lahbib, Diallo (2), Lissar, Billas, Cabalou, Peyronnet, Boniface
Conversions: Cabalou (2)
Penalties: Cabalou (2)
England Under 20s 2011/2012 Fixtures:
March 11th, France U20s v England U20s, Suzan Lenglen Stadium, Paris, LOST 50-0
April 4th, England U20s v France U20s, Moulton College, KO 230pm
April 7th, England U20s v France U20s, Moulton College, KO 1pm
July, Dates TBC, England U20s will play the USA in two test matches, Moulton College
Rugby Football Union for Women
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