IRB Junior World Championship: Winning start for England
Last Updated: 05/06/13 7:59pm
England got their IRB Junior World Championship off to a winning start with a dogged 30-6 victory over the hosts France.
England dominated for long periods but they were guilty of not taking their chances - particularly in the opening periods.
Henry Slade, though, slotted over 15 points, while Luke Cowan-Dickie and Jack Clifford (2) crossed for tries.
Slade missed a couple of kickable chances to reward England's promising start with some points.
However he settled the nerves at the third time of asking before France No 9 Baptiste Serin somehow put his kick from in front of the posts wide.
England moved 10-0 clear when they drove over the France line from a textbook catch and drive move - with Cowan-Dickie emerging with the ball. Slade converted.
Serin replied with a three-pointer for the home side, only for Slade to added his second penalty.
However just when France threatened to force their way back into the game Alban Placine was sin-binned for use of the boot.
Serin cut the deficit to just seven points with another penalty at the start of the second half.
England captain Clifford edged his side clear, though, with a superb finish on 55 minutes. Slade added the conversion to make it 20-6.
France raised their game in response and desperate defence from Jack Nowell and Henry Purdy denied Stephen Parez in the corner with 10 minutes left.
Paul Jedrasiak and Vincent Mallet also threatened but Slade effectively settled the game with a penalty with three minutes left.
And Clifford, who scored a hat-trick against France in the Six Nations earlier this year, then sprinted away for his second in the last seconds after an interception. Slade converted
Wales opened up their campaign with a 42-3 rout of Samoa, with Hallam Amos, Jack Dixon, Carwyn Jones, Sion Bennett, Ieuan Jones and Elliot Dee crossing for tries, while Sam Davies added two penalties and three conversions.
A try from Rory Scholes proved to be vital as Ireland edged out Australia 19-15. Tom Daly made sure of the win with four penalties and the conversion.