- Six-try haul leads England youth side to victory
- Coach Mapletoft praises clinical performance and superb attitude
Photo: Getty Images
A storming try scoring display from full back Sam Edgerley and twin touchdowns from skipper Henry Staff and right-wing Alex Lewington eased the Regional Academies team to a comfortable win over the touring Australian Schools squad at Hartpury on Wednesday afternoon.
The U19 Academies side, drawn from the 14 England Rugby Academies, scored six tries in all and had the game in the bag after an hour leading 31-5.
It’s the third success for the home teams in a week against the tourists following last Sundays Regional Academies win at Lymm and Wednesday’s England U18 victory.
England’s U20 Head Coach Mark Mapletoft who also coached the Regional Academies side was extremely pleased with his side’s performance saying: “It was a very clinical performance in certain aspects. The attitude the players turned up with was superb, they wanted to keep the ball alive and play rugby. The conditions were not great and it was very greasy but they showed a lot of endeavor.
But he also added: “There were one or two areas we needed to sharpen up on and, in particular, our pick and go was not the best, but, for a side that had only come together in the last 24 hours and had only about an hour’s training, it was a good performance.”
England took the lead after just six minutes when left-wing Earl Collins opened up the visitors’ defence for the first time.
Fly-half Sam Stanley couldn’t add the extra points but slotted his second conversion attempt after right-wing Alex Lewington had intercepted a pass and sprinted the length of the pitch for a 25th minute touchdown.
Three minutes later they had pulled away even further to open up a 19-5 gap after man of the match Sam Edgerley tore through the Australian defence and Stanley again kicked the conversion.
“Sam did very well,” admitted Mapletoft. “Overall his positioning was good and his speed off the mark was special along with his game awareness.”
With wing Alex Lewington grabbing a fourth and his second on 35 minutes, the Regional Academies men took a commanding 24-5 lead into the second-half while it took another 20 minutes before Staff, leading from the front, finally forced his way over for try number five, converted by Stanley.
Although the visitors finally pulled a try back through lock Curtis Browning, it was Staff who rounded off a fine individual display and see his side to a comfortable win.
On Saturday (19 December) it will be the turn of the England Academies team to face the Australian Schools in their final tour match when the two sides clash at Cinderford RFC, kick off 2pm.
Regional U19 Academy XV: Edgerley (London Irish) ; Lewington (Leicestre Tigers), Armitage (London Irish), Staff (Saracens), Collins (Worcester Warriors); Stanley (Saracens), Cook (Bath); Cowan-Dickie (Exeter), Stevens (Leicester Tigers), Collier (Harlequins); Low (London Irish), Lockley (Exeter Chiefs); Casson (Gloucester Rugby), Jones (London Wasps). Reps – Williams (Worcester Warriors), Hannan (Leeds), Normandale (Bristol Rugby), Kzesic (Worcester Warriors), Glynn (Sale Sharks), Robson (Gloucester), Jones (London Wasps).
Australia Schools Squad: Paul Alo-Emile (QLD), Curtis Browning (QLD), Jack De Guingand (VIC), Rodney Esekia(VIC), Joel Faulkner (QLD), Chris Feauai (QLD), Tyson Frizell (NSW), Matthew Garland (QLD), Liam Gill (QLD - c), Kyle Godwin (WA), Angus Hamilton (VIC), Marcus Heather (NSW), Matthew Ika (QLD), Luke Jones (NSW), Jack Kimmance (QLD), Tom Kingston (NSW), Matt Lucas (QLD), Ross Marias (QLD), Nathan Paila (VIC), Greg Peterson (NSW), Hugh Roach (NSW), Rohan Saifoloi (QLD), Scott Sio (NSW), Kimani Sitauti (QLD), Nic Stirzaker (NSW), Jordan Taupoo (QLD), Joe Welsh (NSW), Jacob Woodhouse (NSW).