England under-20s defeat Welsh
PUBLISHED: 07:57 07 June 2015 | UPDATED: 07:57 07 June 2015
PA Wire/Press Association Images
World U20 Championship: England 30 Wales 16
England made it two wins out of two at the World Under-20 Championship as they held out to beat Wales at the Stadio San Michele, Calvisano.
Tries from Max Clark, Howard Packman and Stuart Townsend allowed England to build a 22-0 lead within half an hour, but Wales reduced the deficit, scoring 10 points just before the break.
Their offensive continued until a driving maul and the resulting Sam Skinner try midway through the second half eventually put the game beyond Wales and secured the all-important four try bonus point for England.
Head coach Jon Callard said: “I thought we played very well in the first half, our game management was good, we played in the right areas and were clinical. In the second half, Wales came out strongly and caused us problems.
“We’ve achieved what we needed to and that was to win with a bonus point so credit to the lads and all the management staff who have put in a great stint this week to ensure that everyone was fit and ready.
“We’ll work hard in the coming days and by Wednesday we’ll be equally prepared to take on France.”
A Rory Jennings penalty put England three points ahead within the first two minutes, but some probing Welsh phase play followed and Aaron Morris was shown yellow for a deliberate knock on.
Regaining their composure, England began taking the game to Wales and after former Coopers’ pupil George Perkins had come agonisingly close to adding to the try he scored against Japan, Clark twisted out of the tackle to go over. Jennings added the additional two points.
A perfect offload by Nick Tompkins and quick hands from the returning Morris created the opening for Packman to burst through for England’s second try.
Wales made their presence felt with periods of attack, but superb placement kicking by England’s half backs, exciting play by those outside them and relentless work at the breakdown suggested it wouldn’t be long before they scored again.
The points eventually came through a quickly taken Townsend tap and go and a penalty exchange followed, Jarrod Evans slotting Wales’ first points of the game before Jennings replied.
An opportune steal and score by Owen Watkin, just before the break gave Wales momentum and they added a further three points within minutes of the restart.
England found themselves absorbing waves of Welsh attack, but a well-drilled defensive effort kept the reds to only three points. And an unstoppable maul was the turning point of the half with Skinner touching down as England finished the stronger of the two sides.
It seemed the number eight had gone over for a second minutes later, but the pass from Piers O’Conor was considered forward and England play France in their final group game on Wednesday (3.30pm), with semi-finals to be played on June 15.