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Dan's the man for England Students

24 February 2012

  • England Students 43 Wales Students 15
  • Westgate praise for Captain Sargeant

Dan Bibby set England Students on the way to a comprehensive five-try win over their Wales counterparts at the Stoop.

The full back from the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff scored two well-taken tries either side of half-time to settle a free-flowing contest.

Bath wing Sam Miller also touched down twice after centre Louis Messer had opened the scoring and Durham fly half Mike Ward added three conversions and four penalties.

 Sam Miller scored twice against Wales Students

Photo: Getty Images

Wales briefly hauled themselves back in the game with an interception try midway through the first half from Bridgend wing Tom Williams, and a conversion and penalty by Rhys Roberts (Cardiff Met). Cardiff’s Ross Wardle got their late consolation.

The visitors looked dangerous enough when they got the ball but England’s forwards – including flanker Josh Beaumont, the son of former England captain Bill Beaumont – were too strong and mobile an influence with former England Under 20 flanker Tom Sargeant leading from the front.

“They’ve got a good team spirit and they worked really hard tonight,” said head coach Paul Westgate. “And Tom Sargeant at seven was an inspirational leader - winning turnovers and making big tackles.

“We made a few mistakes but we worked hard to subdue Wales and when we got over the gain line we played some good rugby. Forty three points and five tries? We’ll happily take that.”

Wales trailed 19-10 19 minutes before the interval after Messer followed up Hartpury prop Richard Barrington’s break to score the opener with Ward converting and kicking four penalties in quick succession.

Miller opened up some breathing space with his strike, then Bibby – training with the England Sevens squad this season – scored the third with an elusive run down the left before putting his side out of sight when he pounced on a loose ball Wales couldn’t control.

At 38-10 up with more than half-an-hour left the floodgates might have opened but Wales dug in, the game lost some structure and Miller’s second score – a simple touchdown in the left hand corner – was all they could add before Wardle’s last minute effort for Wales.

England Students: Dan Bibby (UWIC); Ryan Edwrds (UWE), Tom Shiel (Durham), Louis Messer (UWIC), Sam Miller (Bath); Mike Ward (Durham), Andrew McCulla (Durham); Richard Barrington (Hartpury), Richard Townsend (Hartpury), Jordan Saunder (UWIC), Phil Hoy (Hartpury), Jamie Collins (Bath), Josh Beaumont (Durham), Tom Sargeant (Exeter, captain), Graeme Lawler (Hartpury).
Replacements: Tom Meatyard (Bath) for Saunder 55, Mungo Strachan (Newcastle) for Townsend 65, Anthony Maka (Bishop Burton) for Lawler 55, Liam Wilkinson (UWE) for Hoy 65, Donald Blake (Cambridge) for McCulla 70, Zak Winnicombe (Bath) for Ward 65, Tom O’Toole (Cambridge) for Messer 70.

Tries: Bibby 2, Miller 2, Messer. Conversions: Ward 3. Penalties: Ward 4.

Wales Students: Luke Treharne (Exeter); Will Jones (Cardiff), Leighton Bellamore (Cardiff Metropolitan), Ross Wardle (Cardiff), Tom Williams (Bridgend); Rhys Roberts (Cardiff Metropolitan),  Tom Rowlands (Swansea); Brynley Toms (Cardiff Met), Jon Howard (Cardiff Met), Ian Williams (Swansea), Jon Barley (Swansea), Josh Tyler (Cardiff Met), James Thomas (Cardiff), Craig Attwell (Univ of Wales), Sam Cross (Cardiff Met).
Replacements: Joe Tomlinson (Cardiff Met), Rhodri Clancy (Swansea), Josh Jacas (Cardiff Met), Kyle Tayler (Cardiff Met), Aled Lewis (Swansea), Ianto Griffiths (Swansea), Rhys Howells (Cardiff).

Tries: Williams, Wardle. Conversion: Roberts. Penalty: Roberts

Referee: Andrea Spadoni.