- England Counties beat BC Bears 41-0 in Vancouver
- The team will now travel to Calgary to play Prairie Wolf Pack on Tuesday, 7 June
England Counties began their tour of Canada with a comfortable 41-0 win over BC Bears in Vancouver.
Team manager Matt Long had said in the build-up to the game that the players were well prepared for this match and they didn't disappoint, gaining early control through their forwards.
With BC Bears struggling to cope with the visitors at the set-piece and breakdown, England Counties were able to create space out wide for their backs who ran in three first half tries to make it 27-0 at half time.
The hosts put in an improved second half display but it wasn't enough to stop a confident England side. Despite temperatures reaching 27 degrees, the visitors continued to stretch their opponents with two second half tries leaving the score 41-0 at the final whistle.
COUNTIES TAKE EARLY LEAD
Things got off to the perfect start when centre Sam Winter charged down a kick in the opening minute to put Counties ahead, setting the tone for a commanding display.
With England Counties' forwards getting the upper hand in the early exchanges, the visitors were awarded a penalty from a scrum after ten minutes which was slotted by Freddie Gabbitass.
Gabbitass converted another 10 minutes later to bring the score to 13-0 before second row Dan Williams crashed over the line to extend their lead. Two minutes later Blackheath winger Leo Fielding finished a well-worked team move to bring the score to 27-0 at the break.
Replacements Ian Kench, Tom Cowan-Dickie, Matt Miles, Dave Fairbrother, Jack Walsh and Joe Tarrant joined the fray shortly after half time, giving Counties some fresh legs against a tiring BC Bears side.
Centre Chris May soon took advantage of gaps in the defensive line to cross over before Winter grabbed his second of the match, both converted by full back Matt Shepherd.
BC Bears rallied in the closing stages of the game but England Counties kept a solid defensive line, ending the match without conceding any points.
"It was a pleasing result considering it was our first game together," said team manager Matt Long.
"Our pack was dominant throughout which provided good ball for our backline and we were pleased with the defence and discipline shown.
"It also gave us a chance to slot in some new players and I was impressed by all the players, especially considering the heat."
England Counties will now travel to Kelowna for outreach work before playing Prairie Wolfpack on Tuesday, 7 June at 7:00pm local time (Wednesday, 8 June, 2:00am BST).
The team will then take on Ontario Blues on Saturday, 11 June at 3.00pm local time (8.00pm BST)
1. Daniel Seal (East Midlands and Cambridge)
2. Matt Cornish (Surrey and London Irish Wild Geese)
3. Trevor Davison (Durham and Blaydon)
4. Dan Williams (Devon and Torquay)
5. Rob Conquest (Hertfordshire and Darlington Mowden Park)
6. Keith Laughlin (Northumberland and Blaydon) - Captain
7. Nyle Davidson (Caldy and Cheshire)
8. Ryan Parkinson (Cheshire and Macclesfield)
9. Tom Banks (Hertfordshire and Bishop's Stortford)
10. Freddie Gabbitass (Kent and Blackheath)
11. Leo Fielding (Gloucestershire and Blackheath)
12. Chris May (Hertfordshire and Old Albanians)
13. Sam Winter (Hertfordshire and Bishops's Stortford)
14. Sam Baker (Gloucestershire and Cinderford)
15. Matt Shepherd (Plymouth Albion and Cornwall)
16. Craig Williams (Cornwall and Redruth)
17. Matt Miles (Hertfordshire and Old Albanians)
18. Tom Cowan-Dickie (Cornwall and Redruth)
19. Ian Kench (Surrey and Esher)
20. David Fairbrother (Lancashire and Fylde)
21. Jack Walsh (Kent and Blackheath)
22. James Stokes (Eastern Counties and Coventry)
23. Joseph Tarrant (Eastern Counties and Ampthill)