- England U18 score seven tries in victory
- England next face Scotland on 12 March
England Under 18s made a winning start to the 2016-17 season after a seven-try 43-14 victory over France Under 18s at Aylesbury Rugby Football Club.
In tough conditions, the hosts deservedly led 12-7 at half-time after a try each from full-back Elliott Obatoyinbo and wing Cadan Murley.
England’s dominance continued into the second period as John Fletcher’s side ran in five more tries with Cameron Redpath, Charlie Wright, Tom Seabrook, Ted Hill and Murley all crossing to confirm the comfortable victory.
England U18s will now turn their attention to their next match against Scotland U18s at Preston Grasshoppers RFC on Sunday 12 March (2:00pm kick off). The match will be streamed live on EnglandRugby.com.
During a first half which saw the hosts dominate possession, it was England’s back line that shone with Obatoyinbo regularly getting over the gain line to keep France on the back foot. It took just 11 minutes for the Saracens full-back to open the scoring – Fraser Strachan’s neat pass helped Obatoyinbo bundle over.
It was just three minutes later when Murley finished off a fine break from Tom Willis to extend the lead but for all their dominance, the visitors hit back. Fly-half Louis Carbonel’s breakaway try kept France a try away from England at the break.
It was a second period that saw England grow into the game as they took advantage of holes in the French defence as they continued to extend their lead at regular intervals. Substitutes Redpath and Iwan Hughes combined brilliantly for England’s third try of the game early in the half.
For of all England’s attacking flair, centre Oli Morris produced a fantastic defensive performance for his side with a number of big hits on the opposition.
A well-worked French try mid-way through the second half, finished off by substitute Jean-Baptiste Gros, kept the visitors in touch with England before four unanswered tries gave Fletcher’s side the win.
Wright’s powerful run gave England their fourth try before Murley latched onto a brilliant kick from Redpath for his second score of the game to give the home side a 17-point lead with 20 minutes to play.
A well-worked England try, finished by a wonderful show of pace from wing Seabrook, extended the lead further, before Worcester second-row Hill scored in the corner to cap off a fine afternoon.
'A fair reflection'
England U18 Head Coach Fletcher praised his side following the comprehensive victory.
“I think the score is a fair reflection of how the game went and we are pleased with the performance," he said,
"When we had the ball we were pleased with lots of the decisions and without the ball we were physical and didn’t allow a good French side to get on top. The players had to adapt to lots of different situations today in tricky conditions so for us that was really pleasing.
“We will make quite a few changes for the next game against Scotland to give other players an opportunity, but hopefully we will get a similar performance.”
15. Elliott Obatoyinbo (Saracens – Harrow School), 14. Tom Seabrook (Gloucester Rugby – Dean Close), 13. Oli Morris (Saracens – New Hall), 12. Fraser Strachan (Northampton Saints – Bedford School), 11. Cadan Murley (Harlequins – Bishop Wordsworth’s Grammar School), 10. Marcus Smith (Harlequins - Brighton College), 9. Will Porter (Wasps – Merchant Taylors School), 1. Tom Rowland (Bristol Rugby – Bristol Grammar School), 2. Will Capon (Bristol Rugby – Bristol Grammar School),3. Marcus Street (Exeter Chiefs – Exeter College), 4. Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors – Worcester College), 5. James Scott (Worcester Warriors – Malvern College), 6. Tom Willis (Wasps – The Henley College), 7. Sean Reffell (Saracens – Harrow School), 8. Sam Moore (Sale Sharks – Sedburgh School).
16. Nick Rigby (Worcester Warriors - Warwick School), 17. Nic Dolly (Sale Sharks) , 18. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers - Wyggeston & QEI College), 19. Josh Basham (London Irish - Wellington College), 20. Charlie Wright (Exeter Chiefs - Exeter College), 21. Ollie Fox (Yorkshire Carnegie - New College Pontefract), 22. Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks – Sedburgh School), 23. Iwan Hughes (Bristol Rugby - SGS College)
Tries: Obatoyinbo, Murley (2), Redpath, Wright, Seabrook, Hill
Conversions: Smith, Redpath (3)