- Stanlake delighted with England win
- Jennings shines in Parma
England U16 31 Italy U17 20
England Under 16s made an impressive start to their short international programme with a confident 31-20 win over Italy Under 17s in Parma today.
England used a stiff downfield wind to their advantage, building a 12-6 lead into the breeze at half-time and then cutting loose with at their backs by scoring three tries in the third quarter.
Italy rallied with two converted tries while England were reduced to 14 men after replacement flanker Jacob Conner was yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on but there was plenty of encouragement for lead coach Phil Stanlake and also areas for improvement ahead of the second and final international against Wales Under 16s at Wellington College on Wednesday April 11 (2.30pm).
“I was pleased with the way that we put some shape into the game in the first half,” Stanlake said.
“When we got some pace on the ball we were quite difficult to handle for a time in the second half. Italy came back into it in the last ten minutes and that is something that we will have a look at when we review this game.
“Playing your first game is always difficult, particularly away, but I was very pleased with the performance.
“I don’t like to single out individuals and a lot of players played well for us. But I felt that we were very creative in midfield. Rory Jennings at fly-half and centres Max Clark and Brett Herron worked well together to create opportunities for others and the forwards also created opportunities through their ball retention and hard work.
“There is room for improvement and that’s something that we will look at in the cold light of day when we review the video of this match when we get back to England on Sunday.
“But if we can work on the areas we need to improve on and continue to grow as this side has in the time that we have been together, then I am looking forward to a better performance against Wales.”
Italy twice led in the opening stages through penalties but Herron (Wellington College, London Irish Academy and Berkshire) scored the opening try, crashing through from ten yards out after patient approach work.
Clark (Bryanston School, North Dorset and Dorset & Wilts) gave England the lead for the first time when he latched on to a perfectly-timed pass from Jennings (Bryanston School, Salisbury and Dorset & Wilts) and crashed over.
England extended their lead early in the second half when Jennings chipped over the advancing Italian defence and left wing Austin Beckett (St Joseph’s College, Sudbury and Eastern Counties) gathered and touched down.
England captain and hooker Jack Walker (Settle College, North Ribblesdale and Yorkshire) set up scrum-half Stuart Townsend (Ivybridge Community College, Kingsbridge and Devon) for England’s fourth try with Jennings scoring the fifth, taking two defenders over the line with him.
Jennings converted two of England tries and Herron landed one conversion.
England Under 16s v Italy Under 17s
15 Tristan Rawcliffe (Culford School, Colchester and Eastern Counties)
14 Harry Lightfoot-Brown (Claremont Fancourt School, Teddington and Middlesex)
13 Max Clark (Bryanston School, North Dorset and Dorset & Wilts)
12 Brett Herron (Wellington College, London Irish Academy and Berkshire)
11 Austin Beckett (St Joseph’s College, Sudbury and Eastern Counties)
10 Rory Jennings (Bryanston School, Salisbury and Dorset & Wilts)
9 Stuart Townsend (Ivybridge Community College, Kingsbridge and Devon)
1 Lewis Boyce (MacMillan Academy, Middlesbrough and Yorkshire)
2 Jack Walker (Settle College, North Ribblesdale and Yorkshire - captain)
3 Sebastian Adeniran-Olule (Whitgift School, Sutton & Epsom and Surrey)
4 Guy Borrowdale (Tapton School, Sheffield Tigers and Yorkshire)
5 James Catlin (St Gregory’s School Bath, Corsham and Dorset & Wilts)
6 Charles Beckett (Merchant Taylors’ Crosby, Waterloo and Lancashire)
7 Sam Underhill (Sir Thomas Rich’s School, Longlevens and Gloucestershire)
8 James Thacker (Bishop’s Stortford College, Bishop’s Stortford and Hertfordshire)
Replacements used: Matthew Radley (Arnold School, Fylde and Lancashire), Henry Cheeseman (Whitgift School, Chipstead and Surrey), Jacob Conner (Northampton School for Boys, Old Northamptonians and East Midlands), Will Goodrick-Clarke (Chipping Campden HS, Stow on the Wold and Gloucestershire), Jay Tyack (Penair School, Truro and Cornwall), Richard Galloway (Bournemoth GS, Bournemouth and Dorset & Wilts), Will Homer (Sherborne School and Dorset & Wiltshire).