June International Tours

Saxons too good for Eagles



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In the opening match of the Churchill Cup England Saxons were much to good for the USA, winning 51-3 at Edgeley Park, Stockport, on Friday night.

It is a result which could not have pleased the Eagles at all as they play the full might of England in their opening match of the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

The England forwards laid the foundation for the victory with a superlative performance on defence and attack. Despite going behind by three points after 10 minutes, England replied with a try through wing Topsy Ojo, which resulted from a brilliant restart take by flank Will Skinner. Flyhalf Ryan Lamb, whose 21st birthday it was, converted before turning down two further kicks at goal, opting instead for the line-out.


His ambition was rewarded when, as the half hour approached, No.8 Jordan Crane capitalised on a driven scrum to crash over for his team’s second try before adding another on the stroke of half-time in almost identical fashion. With Delon Armitage’s converted try sandwiched in between, England went into the break with a commanding 24-3 lead.

In the second half, Phil Dowson took over as skipper as Neal Hatley took a well earned rest. Although England added a try after five minutes when lock Jim Evans crashed over, the Eagles refused to lie down, keeping the Saxons at bay for a significant period with some fine play of their own.

But the try of the match came at the turn of the final quarter when Lamb broke through the defence. When the ball popped out of the resulting ruck, Jordan Crane was on hand to carry another 10 yards before chipping the ball through for Armitage to dive over.

Despite going a man down when they lost replacement flank Ben Woods to the sin bin after only five minutes on the pitch, further tries followed for replacement prop, Jack Forster, Dowson and replacement scrumhalf Lee Dickson, who crossed in the closing minutes to take the final tally over the half century.


For England:
Ojo, Crane 2, Armitage 2, Evans, Forster, Dowson, Dickson
Cons: Lamb 3

For USA:


England Saxons:
15 Delon Armitage, 14 Dan Scarbrough, 13 Kevin Sorrell, 12 Shane Geraghty, 11 Topsy Ojo, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Will Skinner, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Jim Evans, 4 Richard Blaze, 3 John Brooks, 2 David Paice, 1 Neil Hatley (captain).
Replacements: 16 Matt Thompson, 17 Jack Forster, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Nick Kennedy, 20 Ben Woods ( ), 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Nils Mordt.

USA: 15 Francois Viljoen ( captain), 14 Chris Wyles, 13 Albert Tuipulotu, 12 Vaha Esikia, 11 Mike Palefau, 10 Valenese Malifa, 9 Kimball Kjar, 8 Pat Quinn, 7 Todd Clever, 6 Louis Stanfill, 5 Mike Mangan, 4 Hayden Mexted, 3 John Vitale, 2 Mark Crick, 1 Mike French.
Replacements: 16 Blake Burdette, 17 Chris Osentowski, 18 Ben Wiedemer, 19 Tasi Mounga, 20 Scott Peterson, 21 Andrew Osborne, 22 David Williams.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Touch judges: Chris Pollock (New Zealand), Phil Smith (Canada)
Assessor: Brian Leigh (England)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)


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