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Saturday, October 23, 1999 Published at 21:11 GMT 22:11 UK

Sport: Rugby League

England rack up half-century

England 50-20 France

England have romped to a nine-try victory over France in the return leg of the rugby league Lincoln International Challenge in Hull.

Bradford Bulls scrum-half Paul Deacon took the man-of-the-match award and bagged a try as the free-scoring men in white ran riot.

And Leeds' fullback Marcus St Hilaire scored an outstanding hat-trick - two of his tries coming in the space of five minutes.

Pryce is right

It was a totally different story to the away leg, when England were forced to fight back from a 10-point deficit to claim a 28-20 win.

The match was beyond doubt after just 10 minutes as England stretched out a 12-point lead then cruised for the rest of the match, scoring whenever the mood took them.

Coach John Kear, who is preparing his side for the forthcoming World Cup, singled out Deacon and his teenage Bradford team-mate Leon Pryce for special praise.

"Paul has matured three years in the last 10 days. He has gained so much in experience and it showed tonight as he put together one of several impressive performances," he said.

He also said 18-year-old Pryce, who scored a try in the opening four minutes, "looked as though he'd been playing international football all his life".


England: St Hilaire, Pryce, Maloney, McAvoy, Rogers, Orr, Deacon, Molloy, Newton, Sampson, Farrell, Haughton, McNamara. Substitutes: Jackson, Harland, Sykes, Blakeley.

France: Millet, Benausse, Marc Garcia, Dulac, Houles, Frayssinous, Devecchi, Sands, Wulf, El Khalouki, Guisset, Tallec, Carrassco. Substitutes: Teixido, Emmanuel Cassin, Sort, Borlin.

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