England U20s were victorious in the Tri-Nations Cup, defeating Canada 24-15 at Loughborough University.
Report and photo: RFU/Neil Kennedy
Canada themselves then led 15-7 through tries from Emma Feldinger, Lizzie Gibson as well as Shoshana Seumanutafa's penalty, however tries from Ebony Jefferies, Holly Cunningham and Jessica Thomas won the game for England.
The opening score came via Mallard, who burst through the pack of Canada to cross before relentless pressure after half-time saw Feldinger cross for the visitors.
Gibson scored a second Canada try with a Seumanutafa penalty giving them an eight-point lead.
Jefferies’ try and a Skuse conversion reduced that deficit to a point, while Cunningham finished a hard-fought and well worked try.
And late on Thomas sealed victory, touching down in the corner for a 24-15 win.
England coach Jo Yapp said: “Overall the tournament has been brilliant for the players' development. Being in this environment for over two weeks and being able to play two games and back up those two games is a really important part of their learning - you can see that in the way the girls have come together.
“In terms of this particular game, we knew Canada was going to be a tough encounter and that they are a strong and physical side. It was everything we expected it to be. We didn't make it easy for ourselves at times and made quite a lot of mistakes but what we're really proud of is the mental resilience that the team had.
"Even when we went down on the scoresheet, to come back and show belief we could turn it around is something we're very happy with.”
England U20: 15. Carys Cox (Worcester Warriors Women/ Cardiff Metropolitan University); 14. Beth Wilcock (Harlequins Ladies/ Brockenhurst College); 13. Phoebe Murray (Bristol Bears Women/ Bristol University (Vice-captain)); 12. Ellen Ramsbottom (Loughborough Lightning/ Loughborough College); 11. Cara Clarke (Worcester Warriors Women/ University of Bath); 10. Lucie Skuse (Bristol Bears Women (Bristol Bears Women (Vice-captain)); 9. Jodie Mallard (Loughborough Lightning/ Loughborough College); 1. Akina Gondwe (Worcester Warriors Women/ University of Worcester); 2. Connie Powell (Gloucester-Hartpury Women/ Hartpury College); 3. Florence Long (Bristol Bears Women/ SGS College Filton); 4. Iona Antwis (Gloucester-Hartpury Women/ Hartpury College); 5. Hollie Cunningham (Bristol Bears Women/ Exeter University); 6. Ebony Jefferies (Bristol Bears Women/ University of Exeter); 7. Tabitha Copson (Gloucester-Hartpury Women/ Hartpury College (Captain)); 8. Anya Richmond (Loughborough Lightning/ Loughborough College); )
16. Eleanor Febrey (Gloucester-Hartpury Women/ Hartpury College); 17. Lauren Leatherland (Worcester Warriors Women/ University of Worcester); 18. Jessica Thomas (Bristol Bears Women/ University of Exeter); 19. Bryony Field (Loughborough Lightning/ Loughborough College); 20. Amelia Harper (Loughborough Lightning/ Loughborough College); 21. Flo Robinson (Pulborough RFC); 22. Emma Hardy (Loughborough Lightning/ Loughborough University); 23. Megan Varley (Worcester Warriors/Coventry University)
Canada U20: 1 Idia Ihensekien 2 Claudia Fulton 3 Maya Montiel 4 Keegan Brantner'c' 5 Lyric Atchison 6 Noemie Tremblay 7 Lizzie Gibson 8 Emma Feldinger 9 Berlyn Seselja 10 Alayna Scramstad 11 Angie Olukunmi 12 Shoshanah Seumanutafa 13 Sarah-Maude Lachance 14 Kally King 15 Brogan Mior
16 Holly Phillips 20 Callie Harder 17 Hanna Nicholl 21 Justine Blatt-Janmaat 18 Rori Wood 22 Jasmine Baxter 19 Rayann D'aguiar 23 Maya Addai