England U20s backed up their opening round victory against Italy with an emphatic 37-12 win against Wales at Kingston Park on Friday night. A victory in which Head Coach Steve Bates believes is progression in the right direction from Round One.
First half tries from captain Ben White, Cameron Redpath and Gabriel Ibitoye put England in a commanding position despite Wales opening the scoring through Harri Morgan.
Jordan Olowofela and Aaron Hinckley further increased England’s lead as Wales grabbed a consolation Rio Dyer late on.
Steve Bates Praises Satisfying Win
There were a number of individual performances that caught the eye, including Ibitoye’s stunning solo individual try. But for Bates and his England team, the team performance will be the most pleasing.
”We’ll look back at it and see it as a satisfying win” said Bates, speaking exclusively to LWOR.
“We will probably say also that we could polish that up a bit and be a little more clinical.
”The front row and replacement front row did a fantastic job. Josh Basham at six was excellent.
“The two centres played well and Gabs [Ibitoye] on the wing scored an outstanding solo try.”
It was a much better all round performance. From last week it’s an extra step in the right direction
Ben White Steps in as Captain
The former Newcastle Falcons coach, returning to Kingston Park, opted to promote Ben White to captain.
It followed Ben Earl’s recall to Saracens ahead of their Premiership tie against Newcastle Falcons.
The young scrum-half has clearly had an impact on the head coach and making the decision was an easy one.
“It’s not just been this week, it’s been since we started in the second week of January.
“He turned up to that camp bristling – a really fantastic attitude. Pushing himself all the time, he understand the game well.
”He wants to drive himself to be a better player. He’s an all round very very good young professional.”
Bates to Call on Yet More Reserves
Next up for England will be Scotland at Myreside in Edinburgh on 23 February. However with injuries to Tom Parton and Dino Lamb to contend with, Bates anticipates calling on his reserves to bolster the squad.
”We’ve got a few guys who are struggling a bit. But we’ve got guys in reserve who will probably get an opportunity against Scotland.
”Hopefully they’ll come in and bring some fresh impetus. We won’t see them for next week but we’ll be back up here for four days in camp.”
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