Saracens centre Nick Tompkins admitted it took a mature performance for England to gain some measure of revenge against Wales in the World Rugby Under 20 Championship on Saturday.
Wales rocked the Red Rose on the opening night of the Under-20s Six Nations, winning by 21-15 at Colwyn Bay, but there would be no repeat in Calvisano over the weekend.
Bath Rugby centre Max Clark, Northampton Saints flyer Howard Packman and Exeter Chief Stuart Townsend all touched down within the first half-hour to leave Wales stunned.
The second half was a much more even affair – Exeter’s Sam Skinner scoring England’s only try – but allied to Rory Jennings’ ten points from the tee, the result was never in doubt.
The game ended 30-16 in the reigning champions’ favour, meaning their clash with France on Wednesday is for the right to top Pool A.
Tompkins is one of the most senior players in England’s squad – having made 11 Aviva Premiership Rugby appearances last season – and he believes their first-half ruthless streak bodes well for the future.
“There was a period in the first half where we really kept our composure,” he said. “When we had the chance, we struck and were really clinical.
“Credit to both the backs and forwards, the boys up front put together some good stuff.
“Then when they had a purple patch, we took advantage.
“Wales really worried us at times. We have a lot to look back on and get right before our next game, but I thought we stuck in and defended our line really well.”
The game was wrapped up after Skinner surged over from the back of a rolling maul in the 67th minute – and Tompkins was the first to congratulate his pack.
“That just shows the fortitude of our forwards,” added Tompkins, who won the World Under-20 Championship with England last year. “We went back to process, stuck it in the corner and they delivered. That’s what they do time and again.
“It shows that there are different dimensions to this side, but we’ve also got a lot to learn and take into the France game.”