U20 Six Nations: France 20 England 27
PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 February 2018
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Saracens' Zoe Harrison was among the try scorers as England Women U20s secured a memorable victory against France in Lille.
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 try out wide but another Rowland penalty kept England in touch as they trailed 10-6 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 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 matchday 23 have all been playing in the inaugural Tyrrells Premier 15s competition this season.
Yapp said: “We are really pleased with the squad effort, 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, 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.
“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.”
England: 15. Emma Uren (captain, 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). Replacements: 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).