Bath Rugby starlet Charlie Ewels admits reigning World Rugby Under-20 Championship holders England will have to up their game against Wales this weekend despite getting off to a winning start against Japan on Tuesday.
England Under-20s got their defence off to a flawless start when Saracens wing George Perkins sliced under the posts to score with just 37 seconds on the clock at Stadio San Michele in Calvisano, Italy.
And that was the catalyst for an impressive first half with six more tries following at regular intervals, another Saracen in Aaron Morris and Exeter Chiefs scrum-half Stuart Townsend grabbing two each to rack up a 45-0 half-time lead.
Jack Walker and Wasps’ Tom Howe also crossed in the first half for the Red Rose, but Japan were persistent and dominated possession for long periods of the second period.
Though Exeter’s Sam Skinner capped a length-of-the-field move minutes after the restart, the Brave Blossoms replied via a penalty try.
And England Under-20s captain Ewels insists better concentration and accuracy will be required against Wales on Saturday.
“We always focus on performance and I think first half we got a lot of things right,” said the lock. “The scoreboard reflected that.
“Second half not so much, but then fair play to the Japanese, they came out and put us under some real pressure.
“We’ve been working really hard on attack in training so it was nice to start off at set-piece and score.
“Things clicked and went Exeter Chiefs’ well from there [until half-time] but then they weren’t so good in the second half.
“We’re still after that 80-minute performance because ultimately, to beat the best teams in this tournament, you need to perform for 80 minutes.”
England, who beat South Africa 21-20 in a dramatic final in last year’s championship, fell to defeat the last time they faced Wales in the first game of this year’s Six Nations in February.
But Ewels is confident they can turn the tables this time round.
“We’re a different side to what we were back then.” Ewels added. “We talk about building through competitions and we built through that Six Nations.
“Hopefully we’ve kicked on from where we finished against France in the last game of that tournament and we are a better side again.
“Both teams have had more time together but we definitely want to put that result right.
“It wasn’t a good way to start the Six Nations so hopefully we can put a performance in.”