Stooke has role in win over France
England U-20s 40
France U-20s 10
GLOUCESTER lock Elliott Stooke played a part in England Under-20s' five-try win over their French counterparts at Sixways.
The win keeps England second in the Under-20s Six Nations table with Wales leading the way after their 25-10 win against Italy.
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A hat-trick from England captain and number eight Jack Clifford provided the platform for while a penalty try, one from wing Henry Purdy and 15 points from fly-half Henry Slade's boot increased the deficit.
After both sides had missed two early penalties, Slade made no mistake with his third kick to make it 3-0 after 32 minutes, but France his straight back through scrum-half Baptiste Serin to level the scores.
As half-time approached, England regained the lead, Slade with his second penalty of the afternoon to make it 6-3 which brought the largely uneventful half to a close.
The hosts started the second half with real promise and put pressure on France early on.
With points on offer in front of the posts, England opted for the scrum and after continued dominance the referee awarded England the penalty try, which was converted by Slade.
With 50 minutes played, England extended the lead, Slade with his third penalty after a French infringement which saw centre Etienne Dussartre sent to the sin-bin.
But despite being a man down, the visitors created an overlap in the corner and wing Gabriel Lacroix dived over to score, which was converted by Serin to make it 16-10.
As the game approached the final quarter. England began to reassert some authority and a mix up in the French defence gave England the put in in front of the posts, and captain Jack Clifford peeled away from the back of the scrum to dive over to make it 23-10.
With ten minutes to go Clifford scored his second try, fluid passing - including a sublime tap-pass from prop Luke Cowan-Dickie - freed up the captain to dive over.
And Clifford completed his hat-trick with two minutes to play, touching down in the corner before wing Henry Purdy scored his first England try.