The Army Women once again welcomed the England U20s to Aldershot in what is now an annual ‘highlight of the season’ fixture and the full house at Aldershot witnessed great attacking flair and some massive ‘hits’ from both sides. Army Women’s Head Coach Captain Glyn Barraclough was able to pick his strongest XV including Welsh International Captain Gemma Rowland (Royal Artillery) who had been released from the Wales training camp, while England had picked a mix of tried and trusted ‘young guns’ and a good smattering of ‘new blood’.
England scored tries through Zoe Aldcroft, Zoe Harrison, Catriona McNaney, Leah Bartlett and a late Wyrwas double with Harrison knocking over four out of six conversions with an impressive kicking display for a total of 13 points was enough to take the win. The Army scored two tries of their own with wing Gunner Jess McAuley-Roberts (Royal Artillery) and England international Sergeant Bianca Dawson (Adjutant Generals Corps) both crossing the whitewash.
The RED’s took the lead in the ninth minute when McAuley-Roberts used her pace to dive over out wide and for the first fifteen minutes the Army looked comfortable with much of the possession and some early nerves showing from the young England team however they responded soon after when Aldcroft crashed over and extended their lead on the stroke of half time when Harrison spotted a gap in the opposition defence and she reached out to touch down.
After the break England came out firing and scored tries in the first ten minutes of the half through McNaney and Bartlett with Harrison adding the extras on both occasions.
Three minutes before the hour mark Harrison then broke through and fed Wyrwas who raced away to cross underneath the posts but Dawson then scored for the Army eight minutes later.
Wyrwas scored her second when she was on the end of a Harrison grubber seven minutes from time but the Army did register the final points of the match when Private Ellie Gattlin (Royal Logistic Corps) crashed over in the last play.
England Women U20 head coach Jo Yapp was delighted with her side’s performance ahead of the first of two matches against France Women U20s at Esher RFC next Saturday.
“We’re pleased with the way the players stepped up, the Army are such a physical test for us and we really value this fixture,” she said.