8 June 2018
London Irish’s Matt Williams scored a second-half try to help England to a 35-10 bonus point victory over Scotland in Beziers last night in the World Rugby U20 Championship.
England had already been confirmed as winners of Pool B following two bonus-point victories over Argentina and Italy and will play South Africa in the semi-finals on Tuesday 12 June (kick-off 6pm BST) live on ITV4.
Gabriel Ibitoye flew over in the corner after showing great power and pace to dot down for his second tournament try which Hardwick converted inside five minutes.
Thompson missed a penalty soon after but reduced the deficit to 7-3 for a later infringement.
England had a second try, hooker Cutting barging over off the back of a driving maul, following a penalty kicked to the corner.
Scott rolled over in the corner after England went through multiple phases, showing patience before their lock forward went over for a third try.
James Grayson was yellow carded for a high tackle as England were reduced to 14 men with 15 minutes of the half remaining.
Scotland had their first try of the game Rowe getting to Thompson’s kick behind the England defence which was also converted for 17-10 at the break.
Ibitoye scored a superb individual score in the corner, powering through three tackles before showing fine agility to touch down by the corner flag.
Hardwick landed a penalty just before the hour mark and with 10 minutes remaining Scotland were reduced to 14 men with Devante Onojaife sin binned for a high tackle.
And England capitalised on it, as Kpoku crashed over from close range before replacement Williams scored England's sixth, sealing the deal.
Head coach Bates believes his side are getting better as the tournament progresses but feels there is still more to come from England.
"We've steadily improved over the course of the three games and today's match was a further indicator of that," said Bates.
"Credit to the players for putting together another good performance and for achieving a third bonus-point victory as well as sealing top spot.
"I'm not sure we're at our full potential so we've got to raise it again for the semi-final."
On the challenge of the semi-final, he added: "We played South Africa a few weeks ago in Worcester, but I don't think that result will have any bearing on Tuesday's fixture. We know they will be physical, but we are a different side to the one we put out. It will heighten our focus but I don't think it will affect us.
"This competition is really intense, you have four days inbetween matches, so we have to recover, analyse and prepare correctly so we are at our best for Tuesday's game. We have to raise our performance to another level as we're in the knockout phase of the tournament."
15. James Grayson (Northampton Saints), 14. Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins), 13. Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers), 12. Will Butler (Worcester Warriors), 11. Ben Loader (London Irish), 10. Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers), 9. Ben White – captain (Leicester Tigers), 1. Ciaran Knight (Gloucester Rugby), 2. Beck Cutting (Worcester Warriors), 3. Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints), 4. Joel Kpoku (Saracens), 5. James Scott (Worcester Warriors), 6. Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors), 7. Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester Rugby), 8. Tom Willis (Wasps).
16. Gabriel Oghre (Wasps), 17. Alex Seville (Gloucester Rugby), 18. Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), 19. Josh Basham (London Irish), 20. Ben Curry (Sale Sharks), 21. Rory Brand (London Irish), 22. Matt Williams (London Irish), 23. Tom Parton (London Irish).
England U20 fixtures:
England 39-18 Argentina
England 43-5 Italy
England 35-10 Scotland
Semi-finals and ranking play-offs - Narbonne and Perpignan, 12 June
Finals day - Beziers, 17 June