Record breaking English U20s prepare for New Zealand challenge

Getty Images, and James Mortimer     17 Jun 2013     Getty Images

England will play New Zealand on Tuesday June 18 – the first meeting between the two sides since the 2011 Junior World Championship final, which New Zealand won 33-22.

England scored 17-tries in their win against the USA, with a hat-trick coming from captain Alex Day, two from Henry Purdy, two from David Sisi, two from Ross Moriarty, two from Joel Conlon, two from Ben Howard, two from Tom Stephenson and a try-apiece from Ollie Devoto and Tom Smallbone. Fly half Will Hooley kicked over 22 points while Devoto also added one conversion.

England started strongly and were ahead with the first play of the game after a strong burst forward from full back Devoto freed up space for Purdy to dive over in the corner.

The second came just three minutes later in the same corner, captain Day picking up the ball in space and showing good strength to go over for his first England Under 20 try.

England’s third try after eight minutes was touched down at the back of a scrum by Sisi and the fourth came minutes later from Day, who went over for his second.

The fifth came through flanker Moriarty who showed good strength to score and the sixth came from fellow back rower Joel Conlon who went over in the corner.

The seventh and eighth tries came just before the break, first Devoto and then Howard going over to give England a 48-0 lead at half time.

Conlon picked a hole in the USA defence early in the second half to make it 53-0 before Howard ran through for his second, with Day then completing his hat-trick after peeling off the back of a scrum to score.

At 69-0 up England continued to push and were rewarded when Moriarty went over for his second. Stephenson then scored his first try before Purdy claimed his second with 59 minutes played.

Sisi scored his second from the back of a scrum before Smallbone burrowed over for his first England U20 try to bring up the ton before Stephenson rounded off the scoring in the 74th minute to make it 109-0, a record in the IRB Junior World Championship.

Captain Day said: “We’re obviously delighted to get the win. The scoreline doesn’t reflect the physical challenge USA gave us – we wish them well in their next game, we’ve been sharing a hotel with them for the past couple of weeks and they’re a really good group.

“From our point of view though we’re just over the moon to progress in the competition. Playing New Zealand in the semis will be a real challenge but it’s one we’re looking forward to. If you want to win the competition you have to play the best teams.

“I was so proud to lead the guys out – it was a pretty special feeling, but to score a few tries and to get the record win means a lot. We made a few changes for this game but it just goes to show the strength in depth we’ve got.”