- East Midlands overpowered by Gloucestershire
- Warwickshire and Staffordshire beaten in Shield
It was a poor day for Midlands sides on the opening day of the revamped National Under 20 competition with East Midlands suffering a heavy home defeat against Gloucestershire in the Championship and Warwickshire and Staffordshire both going down in the Shield.
East Midlands, missing their Bedford Blues and Ampthill players, struggled to contain Gloucestershire, champions in 2008, '09 and '11 and beaten finalists last season, and were defeated 53-8 at Northampton BBOB.
Warwickshire paid the penalty for a sloppy first half performance and were beaten 25-5 by Oxfordshire at Henley and Staffordshire went down 12-10 to Oxford University at Walsall where a late try from the students settled a tight game.
East Midlands paid the penalty for missing too many first-up tackles which allowed Gloucestershire no.8 Jake Holcombe (Filton College) to score a hat-trick of tries in the first half.
East Midlands, who led briefly through a Rory Seymour (Old Northamptonians) , were 24 points adrift at half time.
They rallied briefly in the second half and full-back DeLaRey Veenendaal (Old Albanians) glided through for their only try but a youthful Gloucestershire side were never in danger and two tries from right wing Gerald Asante (Filton College) emphasised their superiority.
Former England international Dean Ryan was in the crowd at St Andrews Mill to watch his son Aaron (Old Patesians) who impressed as Gloucestershire’s blindside flanker.
Warwickshire struggled to get into the game at Henley and were 22-0 down by half-time.
They managed to deny Oxfordshire a try in the second half but a try from wing Ben Palmer (Bromsgrove) proved of no consolation to Warwickshire.
Wolverhampton number eight Rhys Morgan scored Staffordshire’s try at Walsall and his club-mate Will Jones kicked the conversion and a penalty.
But Staffordshire could not defend their lead and Oxford University snatched victory at the death when scrum-half Matt Shorthouse sneaked over for an unconverted try.