England recover to take JWC title

24th Jun 2013, 16:59

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On form: Jack Clifford

On form: Jack Clifford

England sealed a 20-point turnaround in the second half of Sunday's IRB Junior World Championship Final to win 23-15.

England completed a 20-point turnaround in the second half of the Junior World Championship Final to win 23-15 and lift the title.

Wales were utterly dominant in the first half, controlling the match through IRB Junior Player of the Year fly-half Sam Davies as they built up a comfortably 15-3 lead thanks to a brace of tries from winger Ashley Evans.

The power of England's forward pack in the second half and timely introduction of substitutes such as David Sisi and Callum Braley helped turn the scoreboard in their team's favour.

With a try disallowed either side of half-time, eventually scored from Exeter Chiefs duo Jack Nowell and Sam Hill plus the points from fly-half Henry Slade saw coach Nick Walshe's side crowned champions.

Welsh winger Evans notched up the first try after a clever cross-field kick from Davies found him unmarked on the right-hand side.

Slade responded with a penalty for England with Davies adding a penalty of his own.

Evans then snatched his second try with an interception score, the Welsh blitz putting England under pressure with prop Alec Hepburn forcing the pass that saw Evans scamper away to put Wales 15-3 ahead.

England's accuracy with their passing and at the lineout let them down continually throughout the first half, before a string of phases towards the end looked to have lead to a try for second row Tom Price.

Instead the TMO was referred to regarding an act of foul play by Price's second row partner Dom Barrow in the build-up, who was yellow carded along with Price's try being disallowed to keep Wales 15-3 ahead at half-time.

Seeing out their numerical disadvantage at the beginning of the second half without conceding a point, England then hit back.

Replacement England prop Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi had a score disallowed who eventually found the line through full-back Jack Nowell to reduce the deficit to five.

The edge shown by Wales in the first half had completely deserted them and Sam Hill's try confirmed the swing in momentum. Anthony Watson was given too much space to create a gap for Price on the outside, resulting in a try for Hill who burst through the tacklers to score.

A further penalty from Slade left England 20-15 ahead with time running out, the power of their forward pack wearing Wales down both in the scrum and at the breakdown.

Another Slade penalty in the 77th minute confirmed England's triumph in an impressive turnaround, lifting their first Junior World Championship title.



Scorers:

For Wales:
Tries: Evans 2
Con: Davies
Pens: Davies

For England:
Tries: Nowell, Hill
Cons: Slade 2
Pens: Slade 3
Yellow Card: Barrow

Wales: 15 Jordan Williams, 14 Ashley Evans, 13 Steffan Hughes, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Rhodri Williams, 8 Ieuan Jones, 7 Ellis Jenkins (capt), 6 Jack Jones, 5 Rhodri Hughes, 4 Carwyn Jones, 3 Nicky Thomas, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Gareth Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Ethan Lewis, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Dan Suter, 19 James Benjamin, 20 Daniel Thomas, 21 Joshua Davies, 22 Owen Jenkins, 23 Thomas Pascoe.

England: 15 Jack Nowell, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Harry Sloan, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Ben Howard, 10 Henry Slade, 9 Alex Day, 8 Jack Clifford (c), 7 Matt Hankin, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Dominic Barrow, 4 Tom Price, 3 Scott Wilson, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Alec Hepburn.
Replacements: 16 Scott Spurling, 17 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, 18 Tom Smallbone, 19 Harry Wells, 20 David Sisi, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Henry Purdy.

Date: Sunday, June 23
Kick-off: 18:45 local (17:45 BST, 16:45 GMT)
Venue: Stade de la Rabine, Vannes