England see off Scotland to notch first win of the Championships


England produced a solid display to overcome Scotland 11-8 and record their first win of the Championships.

The boys led from early in the first, and while the advantage was always comfortable, Scotland never let up, pushing the game all the way to the end.

Scotland took an early lead from their opening possession, but from then on England looked to dominate the game in some hot and humid conditions.

A long, settled possession brought the first score, Zac Guy drawing his man and flipping left to Alex Russell to score on the bounce before Jak Wawrzyniak finished off a quick transition move with a laser pole goal assisted by Tim Collins.

Two more goals soon followed, both from attackman Nick Watson, finding himself free at the end of good passing sequences to go in to the end of Q1 4-1 to the good.

A quiet start to the second period was ended by a two-goal run for the opposition closing the game up, before a concerted push from England saw Zac Guy and Josh Sherry-Brennan both cracking long-range bounce shots before Sam Russell got his first of the championships giving a 7-3 half-time lead.

Over exuberance from Ryan Sweetman off the restart gave an early EMO which Scotland converted and was soon followed by a second with the gap quickly closing to two.

There was more Scotland pressure to follow; however, after a good save from Hal Dwobeng, Pete Hayes picked up on the loose ball to set England on a fast break and after a couple of passes, the ball ended up back with Hayes to complete the move.

Sherry-Brennan and Sweetman both also found the net again – Sweetman for the second time in two days driving from the halfway line through the heart of the defence to score – while Scotland continued to fight, ending Q3 at 10-6.

The final quarter proved a rather frustrating period for both sides as they began to tire in the heat, although Watson did complete his hat-trick finishing off a good move involved a BTB pass from Guy and assist from Will Hardy.

A number of errant passes from both sides saw the game begin to break down, which favoured England, as Scotland were unable to build up any real head of steam to mount a comeback with the England defence doing a good job to see things out and the attack taking time out of the game.

Luke Laszkiewicz and Sean Darroch were able to add a couple of consolations for Scotland towards the end, but England closed it out to secure the first win and set up a crucial head-to-head with old rivals Australia.

England (1-2) will take on Australia (1-2) at 4pm today UK Time with the winner on course to remain in contention for the championship, while the loser will be heading into the 5th-8th place play-offs.

England Points: Zac Guy (1,3), Nick Watson (3,0), Josh Sherry-Brennan (2,0), Alex Russell (1,1), Sam Russell (1,1), Jak Wawrzyniak (1,0), Pete Hayes (1,0), Ryan Sweetman (1,0), Will Hardy (0,1)