Rugby Union: Emerging breed with look of familiarity

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The Independent Online
England Emerging Players. . . . . . . . . . . . .23

Canada A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

HERE is a cautionary tale of English rugby: England score a lovely try which demands more of the same but then cannot deliver. The emergent juniors had obviously been watching their seniors because, having happened at Twickenham on Saturday, it happened again at Richmond yesterday.

Not for want of trying, though; it was the execution rather than the intent that let England down once they had shown what they could do when Paul Grayson's break and combination with Nick Beal produced Paul Holford's try after 20 minutes. After that, their score mounted only through the incessant penalty- kicking of Grayson, who landed six from eight.

Sound familiar? England had a clear advantage in skill over the rugged Canadians who, as they have throughout their tour, sought to make up for this deficiency with a physicality that occasionally turned into excess. England were offenders, too, but though the Argentinian referee, Efraim Sklar, was liberal with his warnings it was too much to expect him to tinge his visit with controversy by taking the ultimate sanction.

Besides, the way Canada played gave the game a point for the young England players it would not otherwise have had. They did particularly well to hold their own in the close- quarter exchanges as well as to keep heads that might easily have been lost in the battering. This was something else after the 86-point romp in Spain last month.

Amid the occasional mayhem Rob Kitchin, who spends most of his time as Kyran Bracken's scrum-half reserve at Bristol, took his opportunity to impress and another Bristolian, the Emerging captain Derek Eves, contributed as ceaselessly as he invariably does for his club.

Emerging England: Try Holford; Penalties Grayson 6. Canada A: Penalties R Phillips 3.

ENGLAND EMERGING PLAYERS: A Tunningley (Saracens); P Holford (Gloucester), N Beal (Northampton), G Childs (Wasps), J Sleightholme (Wakefield); P Grayson (Northampton), R Kitchin (Bristol); D Crompton (Bath), R Cockerill (Leicester), A Deacon, R West (Gloucester), M Poole (Leicester), A Diprose (Saracens), L Dallaglio (Wasps), D Eves (Bristol, capt). Replacement: D Garforth (Leicester) for Deacon, 38.

CANADA A: R Phillips (Univ of British Columbia); R Wheeldon (Velox Valhallians), R Toews (Meralomas), D Clarke (Swilers), J Probe (Regina Lifesavers); G Rees (Newport), A Tynan (UBC); T Moen, M Cardinal (James Bay), R Bice (Vancouver Rowing), M James (Burnaby), I Cooper, A Phillips (Vancouver Rowing), G Ennis (Suntory, capt), J Hutchison (Yeomen). Replacement: S Lytton (Meralomas) for Clarke, 4.

Referee: E Sklar (Argentina).