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Topic ClosedEngland Counties in 12 try French romp

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Richard Lowther View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: England Counties in 12 try French romp
    Posted: 07 Sep 2007 at 11:12

Friday 7 September

England Counties XV in 12-try French romp

England Counties XV 76 Russia 10

The England Counties XV opened their three-match programme in the FIRS/AER Festival in Fleurance , France this evening with a devastating 12-try demolition of their Russian opposition.

Considering that only a point separated the two sides when they last met in Moscow earlier in the year, this was a remarkable turnaround and a resounding triumph for the bold style of play the Counties were determined to embrace.

The Counties side took control from the outset with a try by Nick Royle in the second minute and with three tries in the first nine minutes, they established a 19-0 lead, scrum-half Craig Aikman being rewarded for some alert support play with two further tries and fly-half Tristan Roberts kicking two penalty. 

On a hot, sunny evening, the Counties matched the conditions with an exhibition of enterprising rugby that the Russian side could not contain. In accordance with the avowed intent to play a much wider style of game than most of their players are accustomed to, the ball was moved with almost greengage abandon, with every player buying into the concept.

Aikman duly collected his hat trick and would have had a fourth had Russian No 8 Eugeny Matveev not shown admirable tenacity to make the covering tackle. 

There was also reward for the hard-working forwards in the shape of a smart try by No 8 Jim Jenner, the front five driving Russia off the ball at a rate of knots at a five-metre scrum and Jenner stretching over with ease.

A sixth try by centre Chris Malherbe, and three conversions from Roberts gave the Counties a comfortable 40-0 half-time cushion.

Though Russia lacked nothing in physicality and resolve, they struggled to come to terms with the free-flowing Counties approach, although they pulled a try back with a neat kick that brought a score for wingman Yuri Rechnev, wingman Pavel Ershov converting and adding a penalty. 

The respite was brief, however, as the Counties continued to find holes with some slick handling and good support work, tries by full-back Frankie Neale, flanker Matt Payne, a brace from replacement hooker Dean Bick, two more from replacements Kyle Dench and James Doherty saw them to a hefty victory. Roberts took his tally of conversions to eight.

“I was really pleased with the attitude of our players,” said Counties Manager Jim Robinson. “We thought that with Russia arriving in France only last night, they might be tired and disorganised and that we would hit them hard early on.

“We were 19 points ahead in 10 minutes and they could not get back from that position. We played the open, expansive rugby we have talked about and been working on and delivered a superb performance.” 

England Counties XV: F Neale (Blackheath & Kent); T Jarvis (Stourbridge & Gloucestershire), C Malherbe (Wharfedale & Yorkshire), P Mooney (Otley & Northumberland), N Royle (Fylde & Lancashire); T Roberts (Cinderford & Kent), C Aikman (Halifax & Lancashire);  D Jacques (Redruth & Cornwall), G Cooper (Redruth & Somerset), J Tideswell (Stourbridge & North Midlands),  M Owen (Manchester & Cheshire), R Snowball (Otley & Yorkshire), M Payne (Henley & Oxfordshire), D Allen (Blackheath & Kent), J Jenner (Stourbridge &  Gloucestershire) capt.

Replacements (all played): D Bick (Blackheath & North Midlands), C Rowland (Stourbridge & Somerset), J Kellard (Blackheath & Kent), D Cooper (Durham University & Durham), J Doherty (Wharfedale & Yorkshire), A Simmie (Durham University & Durham), K Dench (Otley & Yorkshire). 

Russia: S Bazhenov; Y Rechnev, A Makovetskiy, V Kondrasahov, P Ershov; S Sugrobov, I Kurashov; V Botvinnikov, A Volkov, A Igretsov, A Rechnev, D Malyakin, A Mamochka capt, ATemnov, E Matveev. Replacements: I Povesma, E Pronenko, A Lugin, R Timerbulatove, Y Trusov, S Kuzmenko , M Vostretsov 

Referee: D Rosich (France)

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Sep 2007 at 13:39
Well done Matt Payne on your try. Poor Liam broke his arm at work and will be missed, hopefully back late December/January. Dave Archer plays tomorrow.
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