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Northumberland turn on style to claim National U20 crown

04 May 2014

  • Adamson turns in perfect kicking performance for Northumberland with 24 points
  • Win represents a reversal of their loss to Yorkshire in the 2006 final
Northumberland v Yorkshire in the National U20 Championship final

Photo: Capture the Event

Rhodri Adamson kicked 24 points as Northumberland blew Yorkshire away with a 39-10 victory in the National Under-20 Championship final.

Adamson finished with a 100 per cent kicking record as Northumberland took the title for the first time – having lost to Yorkshire in the 2006 final.

Yorkshire have a proud record in this competition, having won six of the previous 11 finals and been runners-up in another two, but found Northumberland too hot to handle on the day.

And winning captain Nicholas Cairns declared: “It was our composure that got us there. With their two yellow cards I thought we got into their heads a little bit, but it was also a combination of everyone doing their individual jobs.

“The first half went by so quickly that I didn’t have a chance to really think about the fact we were playing at Twickenham. I’m so proud of the boys and it was emotional leading them out.

“I’d say we went into the game as underdogs, but equally we didn’t have anything to lose.”

Despite a bright start from Northumberland, it was Yorkshire who drew first blood when full back Lewis Minikin went over in the corner after phase play of the highest order.

Northumberland quickly forced their way back into opposition territory and Adamson reduced the arrears with a well-struck penalty.

Adamson then missed with a difficult attempt from out wide, but he made amends second later by converting Rob Parker’s superb solo score after a scything break from the halfway line.

Scrum half Adamson gratefully accepted three more easy points when referee Rob Warburton penalised Yorkshire’s set-piece in front of their own posts.

Matters worsened for Yorkshire as Warburton sin-binned captain Guy van den Dries for repeated infringements eight minutes from half time.

But the next try went their way less than two minutes into the second period as Jack Allcock touched down from a driving maul.

It was only brief respite, however, as Northumberland hit back with two tries in as many minutes.

First, replacement Charlie Popp sensed a gap around the fringes of a ruck to dart over unopposed, with Adamson converting again.

From the subsequent kick-off, hooker Louis Frankland sliced the defence wide open and released skipper Nick Cairns for another seven-pointer.

Adamson continued an excellent kicking performance by stroking over three more penalties that opened up a 26-point margin, and Northumberland were home and dry.

On a day when little went right for Yorkshire, they lost Josh Burridge to a yellow card for stamping, before Adamson kicked his sixth and final penalty to add further gloss to the score line.

Disappointed Yorkshire coach Anthony Posa admitted: “We’re obviously disappointed. Credit to Northumberland; they won the physical battle on the game line and I was disappointed with that.

“I’m still proud of our boys, though. The occasion and Twickenham maybe got to us a little bit, but we’ve had a magnificent season and it’s just a shame that on the day we didn’t put in a performance.”

Captain Van den Dries added: “We’ve got a lot of young guys in that side and a lot of them will be playing next year. There is real quality in there and I’m sure they will be back.”

Yorkshire U20s

15 Lewis Minikin
14 Alexander Beaumont
13 Cameron Hudson
12 Alexander Heard
11 Joshua Prell
10 Jamie Guy
9 Dan Jeffrey

1 Joe Lowcock
2 Josh Greenfield
3 Alex Keeton
4 Stuart Nel
5 Joshua Redfern
6 Joshua Burridge
7 Jack Allcock
8 Guy van den Dries (c)


16 Sam Allen
17 Joshua Walker
18 Ben Sullivan
19 Jacob Robinson
20 Oliver Harrison
21 Alex Dawson
22 Harrison Lloyd

Northumberland U20s

15 George Adams
14 Oliver Foster
13 Gary Andrews
12 Peter Weightman
11 Oliver Walker
10 Robert Parker
9 Rhodri Adamson

1 Samuel White
2 Louis Frankland
3 Richard Elliott
4 Joshua Hedley
5 Callum McCulloch
6 Ethan Wilson
7 Joe McKenzie
8 Nicholas Cairns (c)


16 Andrew Lawson
17 Charles Popp
18 Robert Lenderyou
19 Anthony Harrison
20 Dan Laventure
21 Oliver Hearn
22 Aston Whitlow