Murley's brace helps England U-19 overcome France U-19
UNDER-19 SERIES REPORT: A Caden Murley brace helped England Under-19secure a 24-8 victory over France U19 in their opening match of the U19 International Series played at Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch.
Hurley grabbed a try in each half, while teammates Will Porter and Will Capon dotted down the other two. England scored three first-half tries to take a 19-3 lead at the half-time break before managing to hang on in the second half to claim the victory. France dominated the second 35 minutes of the match but managed to score just five points as they failed to make the most of their dominance.
England were on the back foot in the early minutes until they got their hands on the ball and with their first foray up-field, managed to spend some time inside France's 22. Just as it seemed as though they would find a way over the try line, a handling error stop them in their tracks.
England continued to maintain much of the possession and found reward in the 10th minute thanks to some individual brilliance by their scrumhalf Will Porter. He collected an untidy ball from a line-out inside France's half before bursting though a gap and stepping past the last defender before dotting down.
Kieran Wilkinson added the conversion from a tough angle to ensure a 7-0 lead.
France retained the restart and looked to work their way up field. Wing Matthis Lebel got his side on the board in the 13th minute when he slotted a straight-forward penalty after England were caught in an offside position.
England hit back straight away as the French infringed inside their 22. The line-out option was chosen and once the ball had been secured, England got their powerful maul to rumble. France had no chance to stop them as Will Capon emerged with the ball to score his side's second try of the game.
Wilkinson popped over the conversion to stretch his side's lead to 14-3 after 16 minutes.
England had their third try after a spell of play that saw possession exchange hands on a few occasions. From an attacking line-out, England sent the ball through the backline that saw each player get their hands on the ball. The final pass was sent to wing Caden Murley, who raced down the touchline to dot down. Wilkinson failed with the conversion but the lead was extended to 19-3 after 23 minutes.
France pushed hard to get their first try of the match and managed to string some phases together as England were forced to work hard on defence. However, France failed to maintain their discipline as a breakdown infringement saw their best chance, thus far, go up in smoke.
The French put that missed opportunity behind them as they continued to put England under pressure inside their 22, however, they were unable to add to their score by the half-time interval.
France made the perfect start to the second half as they cut into England's lead through an opportunistic try by Lebel. The wing pounced on a wild Sam Moore pass before racing down the touchline to go over for his side's first try of the match. He failed with the conversion though as France trailed 8-19 after 37 minutes.
The match became a real arm-wrestle from that point as both sides looked to gain the momentum. France were enjoying much of the possession at this stage as they camped inside England's 22. The pressure took its toll on England as they were reduced to 14 men in the 60th minute when Beck Cutting failed to roll away at the breakdown close to his try-line.
France failed to take advantage of the extra man though as England landed a killer blow. From a line-out on their 10-metre line, they shifted the ball through the hands to Sam Spink who offloaded to Nick David. He went through and sent Murley down the touchline for his second of the game.
Wilkinson failed to add the conversion but it mattered little as England opened the Series with victory.
For France U19:
Try: Matthis Lebel
Pen: Matthis Lebel
For England U19:
Tries: Will Porter, Will Capon, Caden Murley 2
Cons: Kieran Wilkinson 2
Yellow card: Beck Cutting (England, 60; repeated infringements - not rolling away at the breakdown)
France: 15 Alexandre de Nardi, 14 Vincent Pinto, 13 Antoine Zeghdar, 12 Aurthur Vincent, 11 Matthis Lebel, 10 Louis Carbonel, 9 Alexandre Gouaux, 8 Adrien Vigne (captain), 7 Maxence Lemardelet, 6 Sven Bernat, 5 Florent Vanverberghie, 4 Thomas Lavault, 3 Giorgi Beria, 2 Maxime Lamothe, 1 Jean-Baptiste Gros.
Replacements: 16 Valentin Seille, 17 Franck Lascassies, 18 Lucas Guilermin, 19 Alban Roussel, 20 Mathieu Tixier, 21 Arthur Vignolles, 22 Matteo Rodor, 23 Simon Desaubies.
England: 15 Nick David, 14 Arron Reed, 13 Fraser Dingwall, 12 Sam Spink, 11 Caden Murley, 10 Kieran Wilkinson, 9 Will Porter, 8 Sam Moore (captain), 7 Aaron Hinkley, 6 Tom Willis, 5 James Scott, 4 Joe Tunney, 3 Joe Heyes, 2 Will Capon, 1 Tom Rowland.
Replacements: George Head, 17 Beck Cutting, 18 Nick Rigby, 19 Josh Basham, 20 Richard Capstick, 21 Ollie Fox, 22 Cameron Redpath, 23 Tom de Glanville.
Referee: Archie Sehlako (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Nathan Swartz (South Africa), Sinthemba Mrulwa (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)