England U20 completed a perfect weekend of rugby at Sixways Stadium on Super Sunday as they defeated their French counterparts 19-8 – with Worcester duo Andy Short and Matt Kvesic again impressive – in front of a good crowd at the home of the Warriors.
The win keeps their unbeaten 6 Nations campaign intact as they prepare to take on Scotland in Newbury in two weeks time.
Following England U20 women’s 12-5 win and England senior women’s 16-3 triumph earlier in the day, Rob Hunter’s side secured their 9-point victory courtesy of a tenth minute try from Northampton Saints wing Jamie Elliott and 14 points from the right boot of Leicester Tigers fly half George Ford.
Ford did his blossoming reputation no harm with an impressive display at No. 10, dictating the play superbly. The forwards played their part too, strong in defence and robust in the scrum throughout.
England were first to get onto the scoreboard, the boot of Ford slotting a long distance kick between the posts with consummate ease. The lead was then extended by Elliot who went over after good work by Ford.
The England fly half then added three penalties to the scoreboard before half-time, with France’s indiscipline to blame at the breakdown, giving England a deserved 19-0 lead at the break.
France brought the challenge to England in the second half and got onto the scoreboard courtesy of their own fly half and captain Jean-Marc Doussain, who scored a penalty.
There were worries for French wing Pierre Berard who was stretchered off with a neck brace on after accidently colliding with Kieran Low’s knee, but the injury concerns were soon allayed and Berard was up and walking post-match.
With 60 minutes gone France pushed hard and were rewarded for their efforts with a scrambled try in the corner, eventually given by the third match official. Doussain missed the resulting conversion.
The set-back sparked England into life and the home side were unlucky not to add to their tally after several good line breaks from Ford and London Wasps wing Elliot Daly.
Rob Buchanan, Ollie Stedman and Addison Lockley all came off the bench for England to shore things up and Hunter’s men held on to claim their third scalp of this year’s competition.
After the match Hunter said: “France were tough today – they were physical, but I think we rose to the challenge. We’re pleased to be in this position, three wins from three is exactly what we wanted and we’ve achieved it but there’s still an awfully long way to go.
“The conditions were quite heavy but it was the same for both sides so we’ve got no complaints there, it was a great Test match to be involved in. We head into a fallow week now before we play Scotland – I think it’s fair to say that I’d prefer to keep the lads in camp but hopefully the rest will do them good and they’ll come back raring to go in a weeks time.”