England Saxons 49-17 Russia, Churchill Cup
Seven-try Saxons smash Russia
June 10, 2010
Two-try hero Tom Varndell takes on the Russian defence
© Getty Images
England Saxons coach Stuart Lancaster couldn't help but be pleased with his side's Churchill Cup opener as Wasps wing Tom Varndell ran in two tries in a seven-try 49-17 victory over Russia in Denver.
Tries from flanker Andy Saull, full-back Nick Abendanon, No.8 Luke Narraway and Varndell, all converted by fly-half Stephen Myler, put the Saxons in a dominant position.
But Russia, who have qualified for next year's World Cup, battled bravely and three penalties from Yury Kushnarev and a well-taken try from wing Vasily Artemyev saw them only trail 28-14 at the break.
Fly-half Kushnarev did add another penalty for the Russians, but further tries from Varndell, Micky Young and Myler, who ended with 19 points to his name, completed a comfortable victory.
Lancaster praised his team's display: "I'm really pleased with that result. We had one or two errors which let Russia into the match but on the whole it was a good performance under tough conditions.
"You can't fault Russia's effort, they are a tough side and they've done well to come off the back of playing USA last weekend. We have to do the same and back up today's performance against the hosts on Sunday and that begins with getting our recovery right."
Meanwhile in Pool A, France A recorded a 43-10 win over Uruguay. Flanker Antoine Battut scored a brace while Stade scrum-half Julien Dupuy bagged some headlines of the right sort with a try on his return from a six-month gouging ban. Benjamin Kayser, Florian Cazenave, Yohan Audrin and Henry Chavancy all bagged tries.