England team performance praised by Jack Singleton and Max Malins
- Credit: PA WIRE
Harpenden’s Jack Singleton and former Old Albanian Max Malins both spoke passionately about the confidence of the England side – as they look to clinch a semi-final place in the U20 Rugby World Championships.
The pair arrived from the replacements bench with less than 20 minutes to go on Saturday in the 44-0 win over Scotland in rain swept Manchester.
But between them, they racked up 17 points in the last five minutes, with both men scoring a try, as England cruised to victory.
It was Singleton’s second try of the tournament, after grabbing one in the win over Italy on matchday one.
It adds to the five he scored during this year’s Six Nations which left him as that tournament’s top scorer.
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But speaking to the Herts Ad after the game, he was quick to deflect any attention away from his scoring exploits.
He said: “It was more of team performance. The boys in that first 60 minutes were on top of them. The defence was outstanding and we were clinical in attack.
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“It opened up a bit at the end and we managed to take our chances.
“I’m [scoring] off the back of mauls. It’s the guys in front of me that do all the hard work and I just get to dot it down.
“It’s nice to get a try but it’s much more important to get the win.”
Malins converted Singleton’s try and his own, as well as kicking a penalty.
He attributed his own score, storming through a gap on halfway before gliding between two defenders, as a result of tired legs against fresh ones.
But he agreed that the result was down to the entire team and not individuals.
He said: “Obviously you want to start and play for the team but if you’re on the bench, you’ve got to bide your time and wait for your opportunity.
“I think we both took them when they came, as did all the other subs. It was a real 23-man effort.”
England’s fate will be decided tonight (Wednesday).
A losing bonus point against Australia should be enough to guarantee their qualification to the semi-finals.
But Malins felt the confidence gained from the Italian and Scottish victories could be the key to success.
“Moving forward we want to carry on the good performances, keep that clinical edge in attack and keep pressuring people,” he said.
“The confidence all comes from our training. We do the hard work on the training pitch and we are confident in the way we play.
“We want to play a free and expansive type of rugby and that’s exactly what we showed.
“To score 44 points [against Scotland] in this type of weather is a great credit to our attack.
“We had to defend for long periods but the chances we got, we took.”