England Youth seal series with victory over France

The England Youth team have won their two-Test series against France following a comprehensive 42-16 victory at Wakefield’s Rapid Solicitors Stadium earlier today.

The Youth side went into today’s game knowing that they needed to win by eight points or more to secure the series after falling to a 34-26 defeat in the first Test and they responded in an emphatic manner, running in eight tries to record a memorable victory.

England dominated throughout the contest and went into the half-time interval ahead 28-0 and coach Stuart Barrow said he was pleased with the response he got from the squad.

“I thought the lads were outstanding today,” said Barrow. “We came together as a group last week but there was a real bond after the defeat on Friday and that showed today.

“There was a lot of disappointment after that defeat but we got together on Saturday and we identified what went wrong and the lads worked really hard over the weekend.

“We focused hard of defence and to prevent France from scoring in the first half was really pleasing and I thought our structure was very strong. The French came at us hard in the second half and although we conceded a few tries, we showed good character and resolve to come through.”

It took England just three minutes to register the opening score of the game when full-back Max Jowitt, playing on his home pitch, showed strength and pace to split the defence and allow winger Ryan Ince to take advantage of the retreating French players and touch down under the posts.

A smart run by captain Liam Johnson to straighten the line of attack allowed hooker Brad Parker to profit shortly after when he scored the home side’s second before Jake Moore added his name to the try-scorer list.

Jowitt, who minutes earlier had foiled France’s most promising attack of the half with a last ditch tackle on French full-back Ferret, capped a well worked team try to extend the lead to 22-0.

An emphatic first-half performance was completed when Parker scored his second of the game just before the whistle, leaving the French trailing 28-0 at the break.

With the second half underway, Man of the Match Jowitt wasted no time in extending the winning margin with his second try. His fifty meter dash to the line just reward for the strength he had shown in defence to force a knock-on when exposed one-on-one just moments earlier.

With the scoreboard reading 34-0, a series of back-to-back penalties against England allowed France to register their first points when Mickael Goudemand wriggled his way out of three would-be tacklers to get the ball down.

Further tries by Vincent Albert and Dorian Munoz gave the French home of a late come back but tries from Reece Brunt and Harvey Livett inside the final 10 minutes ensured victory for England.

“Playing against France has been a great experience for these lads,” said England Youth coach Stuart Barrow. “I hope that the lads will take a lot of pride and honour away from this experience but most importantly I hope it has increased their desire and ambition to go further in their careers.

“This has given them a taste of what professionalism is all about and it’s something they’re all hungry for.

“On a personal level it’s very pleasing to get a series win. It’s an honour to be involved with these lads and working with them and with the supporting staff for the past few weeks and it’s been great to see the improvement in the group over the past week.”

The England Youth squad against France:
1, Max Jowitt (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, Stanley Rangers)
2, Ash Golding (Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley)
3, Jacob Ware (Leeds Rhinos, Westgate Wolves)
4, Harvey Livett (Warrington Wolves, Rylands Sharks)
5, Ryan Ince (Widnes Vikings, Widnes Moorfield)
6, Harry Tyson Wilson (Hull FC, West Hull)
7, Morgan Smith (Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley Rangers)
8, Sam Hallas (Leeds Rhinos, Stanningley)
9, Brad Parker (Hull FC, East Hull)
10, Frazer Morris (Huddersfield Giants, St Josephs Sharks)
11, Jake Moore (Wigan Warriors, Wath Brow Hornets)
12, Liam Johnson (c) (Huddersfield Giants, Newsome Panthers)
13, Jack Wells (Wigan Warriors, Folly Lane)
14, Reece Brunt (Warrington Wolves, Latchford Albion)
15, Jake Campbell (St Helens, Blackbrook)
16, Liam Cooper (St Helens, Blackbrook)
17, Jack Rush (Wigan Warriors, Rochdale Mayfield)
Tries: Ince, Parker 2, Jowitt 2, Moore, Brunt
Goals: Smith 5

France Under-16 team against England Youth
1, Etienne Ferret
2, Douglas Gavin
3, Vincent Albert
4, Fouad Yaha
5, Dorian Munoz
6, Evan Albert
7, Marvin Merbah
8, Mohamed Zentri
9, Yoan Veve
10, Nicolas Pomie
11, Olivier Ruiz
12, Sebastien Nietche
13, Mickael Goudemand
14, Maxime Banquet
15, Georges Mingaud
16, Dorian Denat
17, Christopher Denis
Tries: Goudemand, Albert, Munoz
Goals: Albert 2
Half-time: 28-0
Full-time: 42-16