Plymouth Albion / Rugby

Albion back Shepherd helps England Counties to opening win

Matt ShepherdPLYMOUTH Albion full-back Matt Shepherd kicked two conversions as England Counties opened their tour of Canada with a 41-0 win over BC Bears in Vancouver.

Former Albion forward Williams, who spent last season playing for Torquay, scored a first half try in the match played in hot conditions.

England Counties led 27-0 at half-time, with Sam Winter, Williams and Leo Fielding  scoring tries and Devon-born fly-half Freddie Gabbitass, who once turned out for Albion, kicking three conversions and two penalties.

After the interval, England added further tries by Chris May and Winter, both converted by Shepherd.

“It was a pleasing result considering it was our first game together,” said team manager Matt Long.

“Our pack was dominant throughout which provided good ball for our backline and we were pleased with the defence and discipline shown.

“It also gave us a chance to slot in some new players and I was impressed by all the players, especially considering the heat.”

Shepherd said: “I think we left a lot out there. Next game we have a lot to work on. We have to keep building and be the team we want to be.”

England Counties will now travel to Kelowna for outreach work before playing Prairie Wolfpack on Tuesday, June 7 at 7pm local time (Wednesday, 2am BST).

The team will then take on Ontario Blues on Saturday, June 11 at 3pm local time (8pm BST).

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