Saxons in romp over Canada
June 9, 2006

England Saxons 41 vs 11 Canada

England used a strong wind and some pace in the backs to build a 20-5 first half lead, and a final score of 41 - 11at the third game of the Barclays Churchill Cup in Toronto.

Delon Armitage had a pair of first half scores as England got the lead early and never relenquished it, booking themselves a shot at the consolation final against Ireland A. Scotland plays the New Zealand Maori in the championship final, while Canada will play the USA to determine fifth and sixth place finishing. All games will take place in Edmonton on June 17th.

England was on the attack when Richard Haughton gathered in a bouncing fingertip pass from Kai Horstmann at the three metre line, spinning as he did so, to fall across the line for Englands first score in the fifth minute.

Canada had useful patches, clearly benefiting from the return of Morgan Williams, but offside penalties continued to pepper the home side, negating some promising forays into the Saxon zone.

Dave Walder tried a tricky play when an England penalty at the Canadian five saw him dead centre of the posts. He put the ball on the ground - but did not nominate his penalty kick option and then tried a quick tap, but referee Olan Trevor would have none of it, calling the fly-half back and forcing him to take the kick, which he goaled, to extend the English lead to 8-0 after 14 minutes.

Matt Phinney was binned on the following kick-off as he threw a punch at second row Nick Kennedy, putting his side a man down for ten minutes and facing a gusting Toronto wind.

Walder appeared to score off a chip and chase into the tryzone, but Nik Witkowski got a hand in to get the homeside a 22 metre dropout.

Chris Bell had his second try in as many weeks called back in the same corner, a forward pass from Narraway taking away the score. Against Scotland Bell had a ball squib out in the same spot, for what would have been a match winning try.

Delon Armitage then scored in the 26th minute, getting a pass off a switch to go in for England's second try, but it was hardly proving to be the dominant display expected against the Canadians. The conversion was missed giving England a 13-0 lead.

Dave Walder found a seam in the Canadian defense, freezing the men in red with a feint pass before offloading to fullback Armitage, who got his second in as many minutes. Walder found his range on his third conversion attempt - building the Saxons advantage to 20-0.

Canada had a break late in the half - working together a number of phases before Ed Fairhurst flipped the ball to the left for Nik Witkowski to score in the left corner. Ander Munro played the wind well on the conversion attempt, but it drifted short right at the last second - Saxons 20 - Canada 5.

Canada threatened just before the half - organizing a number of driving mauls, before it went to ground and a penalty to prop Mike Barbieri gave England some much needed relief.

In the second half Canada benefited from an English hand in the ruck, with Morgan Williams instructing Ander Munro - the Scotsman, to go for goal with the wind aiding the short shot - 20-8 to the Saxons.

England played a number of good drives finally releasing Kai Horstmann - who lunged across the line as he was tackled - to touch down for the first English score of the second half. 27-8 to the Saxons -

A blow to the Canadian cause came when Ander Munro came off with a blood injury, moving David Spicer to fly-half, Craig Culpan to the wing and Mike Pyke to fullback, where he shone three days ago against Scotland.

Richard Haughton showed his thoroughbred pace burning his opposite number Mensah-Coker, before a flip pass to centre Chris Bell - who would not be denied on his third crossing of the tryline in this tournament. 34-8 to England.

Ben Johnston saw the England side go short-handed as a high tackle on Adam Kleeberger was in clear view of referee Trevor, leaving Canada with a shot at posts from fifteen metres. Munro - back from his blood substitution, slotted the goal to cut the account to 34-11 with 25 minutes to go.

Haughton was then steer wrestled by Canada into touch, but a last second duck by the Sarries wing took away the potential penalty.

Canada began to empty the bench, giving Morgan Williams and Nik Witkowski early exits in the 70th minute. Canada had few answers for the powerful English attack as their powerful backs began to expose the gaps in the home defense.

Well into injury time Matt Phinney got his second yellow card of the match - equalling a red card, and Canada suffered the consequences as Ben Wood scored in the 85th minute to make the final score 41-11 to England.

Canada will face the USA in the play-off for 5th and 6th spot in Edmonton.


Saxons: 41
Try: Richard Haughton, Delon Armitage (2), Kai Horstmann, Chris Bell, Ben Wood
Pen: Dave Walder (1)
Con: Dave Walder (4)

Canada: 11
Try: Nik Witkowski
Pen: Ander Munro (2)

England Subs:

6 Narraway for 19 Woods @10 mins
19 Woods for 6 Narraway @12 mins
17 Barnes for 3 Morris @54 mins
19 Woods for 7 Seymour @ 68 mins
22 Alex Crocket for 11Andrew Higgins @ 70 mins
16 James Buckland for 2 David Paice @ 70 mins
21 Sam Vesty for 14 Richard Haughton @ 76 mins
18 James Hudson for 8 Kai Horstmann @74 mins

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