- England Under 18s beat Wales 43-12 in Neath
- We attacked with real intent – Fletcher
Wales Under 18s 12 England Under 18s 43
England Under 18s put six tries past Wales at Neath RFC, beating their cross-border rivals 43-12.
George Perkins scored a first half hat-trick, while Henry Cheeseman, Max Clark and Lucas Slowik all scored a try apiece and Lloyd Evans added 13 points with the boot.
John Fletcher and Peter Walton’s side made the perfect start and were 14-0 up after ten minutes. Both came from Perkins, and both in similar fashion – the Saracens wing displayed good strength and pace to dive over, as Evans converted.
Good pressure from the pack preluded England’s third try – a quick tap and go penalty from scrum half Homer was given to Cheeseman who touched down.
Perkins completed his hat-trick minutes later, picking the ball up in midfield before smashing through two tackles to touch down between the sticks to make it 28-0 after Evans’ conversion.
Wales did give the home fans something to cheer just before the break, finally breaching the resilient English defence after a spell of heavy pressure.
Evans broke the deadlock with an easy penalty in the second period before Clark scored England’s fifth try and Slowik the sixth to make it 43-5. Leeds wing Taylor Prell impressed throughout and was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet, but was later named BMW Man of the Match.
Wales kept pushing though and had their second try after 62 minutes to make it 43-12 which is how it stayed until the end.
Head Coach Fletcher said: “Overall we are pleased with the way we played today, we attacked with real intent and scored some good tries. The forwards created a strong platform for our backs and some of the interplay was good. We improved defensively as the game went on.
“We lacked consistency and accuracy at times which will improve the more the players train and play together. We'll reflect on the game when we meet up on Thursday and then switch our focus to France on Friday, which will be another big challenge.”
Captain Jack Walker said: “I was massively proud of all the lads today – everyone put in a big shift and we’re pleased to get the result after a good performance.
"Wales put up a real fight and made it tough for us, but credit to our guys, we got over the gain-line well and deserved to get the win in the end.”
Points: Perkins 3T, Cheeseman 1T, Clark 1T, Slowik 1T; Evans 5C, 1P
England Under 18 starting XV against Wales
15 Will Hayward (Hartpury College, Gloucester Rugby), 14 George Perkins (Oaklands College, Saracens), 13 Max Clark (Bryanston School, Bath Rugby), 12 Charlie Thacker (Leicester Grammar, Leicester Tigers), 11 Taylor Prell (Giggleswick School, Leeds Carnegie), 10 Lloyd Evans (Dean Close, Gloucester Rugby), 9 Will Homer (Sherborne School, Bath Rugby)
1 Lewis Boyce (Prince Henry's, Leeds Carnegie), 2 Jack Walker (Prince Henry's, Leeds Carnegie, captain), 3 Ciaran Parker (St Ambrose, Sale Sharks), 4 Kieran Treadwell (John Fisher, Harlequins), 5 Josh Peters (Oundle School, Northampton Saints), 6 Charlie Beckett (QEW, Leicester Tigers), 7 Sam Underhill (Sir Thomas Rich’s School, Gloucester Rugby), 8 Henry Cheeseman (Whitgift, Harlequins)
16 Ollie Adams (St Pauls Catholic College, London Irish) on for Jack Walker 56 mins, 17 George Edgson (Hartpury College, London Wasps) on for Lewis Boyce 53 mins, 18 Seb Adeniran-Olule (Wellington College, Harlequins) on for Ciaran Parker 49 mins, 19 Joe Maksymiw (QEW, Leicester Tigers) on for Josh Peters 35 mins, 20 Joe Batley (Hartpury College, Gloucester Rugby) on for Cheeseman 25 mins, 21 Jack Maunder (Blundells, Exeter Chiefs) on for Will Homer 53 mins, 22 Lucas Slowik (Filton College, Bristol Rugby) on for Will Hayward 35 mins, 23 George Wacokecoke (St Joseph’s College, Northampton Saints) on for Perkins 33 mins