- Red Rose team win 10-try spectacle
- Valuable home quarter-final place in the bag
Lancashire claimed the Pool 1 title in the National Under 20 Championship, a home quarter-final tie in the competition against North Midlands and this season’s bragging rights over their Roses rivals when they won a 10-try affair 37-25 against Yorkshire at Broughton Park on Sunday afternoon (February 24).
Defending National Champions Yorkshire needed to replicate their handsome Roses win last season at Doncaster to progress, but when the Red Rose team established an 18-0 lead after 28 minutes, that target was always beyond them.
A brace of tries in three minutes just before half-time by prop Adam Tamanis (Hull) and full back Robbie Davidson (North Ribblesdale) when Lancashire were reduced to 13 men by a brace of sin-bin sanctions raised Yorkshire morale and when lock Guy van den Ries (Darlington Mowden Park) crossed 10 minutes into the second-half to cut the deficit to 18-15, a successful White Rose revival became a possibility.
But though Yorkshire added two further tries through flankers Henry Forbes (Darlington Mowden Park) and Ollie Roberts (Leeds University) to take their tally to five, Lancashire regained control as Preston Grasshoppers flanker Oliver Farley drove over for his second try after good work from wingman Connor Trueman (Cardiff Met University) and wingman Ben Rath (Fylde) also crossed.
Sedgley Park’s Connor McGrath completed a good day for the front row when he added the final try to match his fellow prop James Keegan (Sefton), who had claimed Lancashire’s opening try from a lineout drive.
Fly half Lewis Allen (Preston Grasshoppers) finished with 12 points from two penalties and three conversions.
The victory takes Lancashire into top spot in Pool 1 above Cheshire and earns them a home quarter-final against North Midlands on April 7, while Cheshire will travel to Pool 2 winners Gloucestershire on the same day.
“Yorkshire came back into it really well, they started to dominate set-piece wise, they had us in the scrum a little bit towards the end of the first half,” said Lancashire Coach Scott Barrow. “It was nip and tuck all the way to the end. They fought hard, but they were always chasing the game, as we always had a little bit of a cushion to fall back on.
“They would have been a happy team at half-time, even though we still had the lead, as they had their tails up. We told the boys we had to get a foothold back in the game, and when the lads came back on after the sin-binning, I thought we came back into it quite well.
“We were under pressure at the two sin-bins, but apart from that, towards the end I think we showed some good character. Yorkshire came within five points in the last 20 minutes and we turned round and put points back on the board both times, which was a telling factor in the game.
“I thought Sam Peet played really well, Charlie Cook in the second row, carried the ball really hard all day, but I think everyone worked hard for each other and it means a lot after last year, when we got a drubbing over there, so it means a lot to the boys today.”