47 hours ago - 3 Likes
England 26 France 10
Former Leeds Rhinos winger Mark Calderwood made a triumphant return to Headingley with a two-try display to help England to victory in their opening Federation Shield match.
The Wigan Warriors flier, who scored more than 100 tries in his time at the Rhinos, made up for the disappointment of missing out on a place in Great Britain?s Gillette Tri-Nations squad by touching down in each half as England made light work of the Catalans Dragons-dominated French team.
While Calderwood provided the finishing touches, England?s architect was Wakefield Trinity WIldcats? Jamie Rooney, who scored one try and set up two others, despite playing out of position at scrum-half.
Paul Cullen?s team, with an average age of just 22, made the best possible start, with full-back Lee Smith taking Rooney?s pass and cutting through a yawning gap in the French defence after only 102 seconds.
Rooney kicked the first of three goals and Smith then made a try for Calderwood, haring 60 metres into space after picking up a loose ball near his own line.
But the French regrouped and hit back just before half-time when debutant Australian stand-off James Wynne, who qualifies through residency, went over from dummy half after centre Teddy Saddaoui had been brought down short of the line.
Substitute Maxime Greseque added the goal to make it 10-6 at the break but it was largely one-way traffic in the second half as England and Rooney in particular made their class tell.
Rooney jinked his way over from first receiver within three minutes of the re-start and second rower Jamie Jones-Buchanan took Matt Diskin?s pass to crash over on 52 minutes.
And, as France continued to struggle in the greasy conditions, Rooney then produced a 60-metre kick with uncanny accuracy to gift Calderwood his second try.
At least the French had the consolation of ending the match on a high, with Wakefield forward Olivier Elima taking Aurelien Cologni?s pass to grab a second try.
Federation Shield Table
England 2pts +16
Tonga 2pts +8
Samoa 0pts -8
France 0pts -16
England v Tonga 29.10 at Twickenham Stoop, London
France v Samoa 29.10 at Benichou Stadium, Colomiers