- England Under 17 get the better of Georgia
- Hat-trick for Nick Rawsthorne in 34-12 win
England U17 34-12 Georgia U18
Prince Henry’s Grammar school full back Nick Rawsthorne scored a hat trick of tries as England Under 17 overcame a physical Georgia Under 18 side 34-12 at Broadstreet RFC.
The game was marred by a knee injury to Wellington College fly half Brett Herron, who looks set to miss the FIRA/AER European Championship which kicks off next week.
Georgia achieved parity in many facets of play for a large part of the game, and even edged some of the collisions in the first half, before England cut loose in the final quarter.
Rawsthorne's first was scored after good work from St. Joseph's college wing George Wacokecoke who chipped brilliantly for Rawsthorne to hack on and score.
Georgia then hit back with a try of their own through flanker Badri Dangadze after some powerful forward carries.
With England trailing, and struggling to make advances over the gain line, they reverted to their powerful driving maul. Locks Huw Taylor and Josh Peters provided plenty of lineout possession and eventually Georgia's defence buckled when prop Lewis Boyce crashed over.
England went in 12-7 ahead at the break, with plenty of work still to be done.
Herron added a penalty early in the second half, before Georgia made life uncomfortable once more on the scoreboard with another try, this time prop Davit Pkhakadze benefited from some powerful driving play.
But Georgia were beginning to tire, and England's elusive runners were given a little more space. It was only a matter of time before they scored and Rawsthorne grabbed his second after a tidy back line move saw the full back cut an incisive line to score.
Leicester Tigers flanker Charlie Beckett put his name on the score sheet when he found himself at the back of a powerful England maul, before Rawsthorne grabbed a memorable hat trick when he fortuitously gathered a cross field kick.
It was a tough test for this England side against an aggressive and older Georgia team that had only just lost to Hartpury college earlier in the week.
England Head Coach John Fletcher said: "We knew when we took this fixture on that it was the right fixture for this group of players. Georgia are a good side - in the European U18 tournament last year they finished fifth, so we knew it would be a significan test and that's what it proved to be."
On the forthcoming FIRA/AER festival he added: "Our Aim is to play well and if we win it then that's great. We just want to build on the recent performances against Scotland and Wales."
Points: Rawsthorne 3T, Boyce 1T, Beckett 1T; Herron 1P, 3C.
England Under 17 starting XV
1. Lewis Boyce (Prince Henry's & Leeds Carnegie) 2. Ollie Adams (St.Paul's Catholic College & London Irish) 3. Ciaran Parker (St. Ambrose & Sale Sharks) 4. Huw Taylor (Old Swinford Hospital & Worcester Warriors 5. Josh Peters (Oundle & Northampton Saints) 6. Charlie Beckett (QE Leicester & Leicester Tigers) 7. Sam Smith (Old Swinford Hospital & Worcester Warriors) 8. Henry Cheeseman (Whitgift & Harlequins) 9. Jack Maplesden (Woodhouse Grove & Saracens) 10. Brett Herron (Wellington College & London Irish) 11. Austin Beckett (St. Joseph's College & Northampton Saints) 12. Rory Jennings (Bryanston & Bath) 13. Lucas Slowik (Filton College & Bristol) 14.George Wacokecoke (St. Joseph's College & Northampton Saints) 15. Nick Rawsthorne (Prince Henry's Grammar School & Leeds Carnegie)
Replacements (All used): 16. Charlie Piper (Cranleigh & Harlequins) 17. Seb Olule-Adeniran (Wellington College & Harlequins) 18. George Edgson (Hartpury College & London Wasps) 19. Joe Maksymiw (QE Leicester & Leicester Tigers) 20. Matt Blandford (Tonbridge & London Wasps) 21. Rotimi Segun (Northampton School for Boys & Northampton Saints) 22. George Perkins (Oaklands & Saracens) 23. Richard Galloway (Sherborne & Bath)