- England North labour to win over Holland
- England South wear down lively Scotland
Photo: RFU Archive
England North and England South Under 16s were both made to work hard for victories by tenacious opponents in their opening matches at the Wellington International Festival in Berkshire today.
England North began with a 20-11 win over Netherlands Under 17s and England South came from behind to beat Scotland Under 16s 28-17.
England North scored four tries in their win but team manager John Cooper was from satisfied with the performance.
“We made a lot of basic mistakes and took some wrong decisions but the good thing is that we scored four tries,” he said.
The tries were evenly divided between the halves with prop Daniel Groves (Hillside HS and Lancashire) crossing from a close range maul and scrum-half Ben Williams (Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School, Hereford and North Midlands) darting over on a blindside break before half time.
Centre Jack McPhillips (Macmillan Academy, Middlesbrough and Yorkshire) scored out wide in the second half and replacement lock Harry Wheadon (Tonbridge School, Sevenoaks and Kent) rounded off the victory with a late close range effort.
England South relied on forward domination to wear down Scotland’s resistance after Scotland had opened up a four points lead at the interval.
Fly-half George Jones (Whitgift School, Sutton & Epsom and Surrey) kicked two first half penalties for England South before he crossed for a try in the left hand corner early in the second half.
Full-back Kane Ditchfield (Bridgewater HS, Warrington Wolves RL and Lancashire) increased the lead with England South’s second try followed by lock Stan South (Stanley Park HS, Sutton & Epsom and Surrey).
Jones converted South’s try and then moved into the centre when Connor Bullivant (Northampton School for Boys, Northampton Old Scouts and East Midlands) came on as a replacement fly-half.
Bullivant and Jones combined well in the final try with Jones gathering Bullivant’s crossfield kick to put centre Nick Rawsthorne (The Brooksbanck School, Old Brodleians and Yorkshire) over for the winning try after Scotland had pulled to within six points.
“It was a good start for both teams,” said England South manager Mike Pyrgos. “Scotland were tenacious in the tackle and strong in the ruck but our pack was better and we wore them down.”
England North play United States Under 17s in their next match at the Wellington International Festival on Tuesday April 10 (3pm). England South play Canada Under 17s on April 11 at 10am.