- Cardinali brace sets up wing
- Midlands beaten at Broadstreet
Two tries from left wing Alex Cardinali helped London & South East beat the Midlands 26-14 in a competitive second match at Sunday’s Under 16 Divisional Festival at Broadstreet RFC near Coventry.
Cardinali, of St Columba's College and Hertfordshire, crossed twice in the space of three minutes at the end of the first of three 20-minute periods.
London recovered well after falling behind to an early try from Midlands wing Rotimi Segun (Northampton School for Boys and East Midlands) and were 26-7 up before the Midlands pulled back a try in the final period through full back Will Sutton (Caistor GS and Notts, Lincs & Derbyshire).
The match was not as free-flowing as the opener, which saw South West beat the North 43-26, but there was still plenty of enterprise with Segun and his fellow wing Paolo Odugwu (KES Birmingham and Staffordshire) both catching the eye.
But London were competitive up front and tenacious in defence, which forced the Midlands into handling errors.
They also regained their composure quickly after Segun had crossed after five minutes and Daniel Bhatti (Bedford Modern school and East Midlands) converted.
Centre Loewy Simmons (St Richard's Catholic College and Sussex) pulled back five points when he jinked through after 15 minutes.
Cardinali put London in front when he rounded off a superb handling move that started deep in their own territory and fly half George Worth (Wymondham College and Eastern Counties) added the conversion.
Cardinali was in support to pick up and drive over from close range to score his second try right at the end of the first period, which Worth again converted.
London right wing Dominic Morris rounded off a sustained attack with their fourth try early in the second period, which Worth again improved but the game lost some of its shape as both sides brought on replacements.
That proved to be London’s last score and Sutton, who hit the line at pace, ensured that the Midlands ended the game as strongly as they had started it with a fine individual try. Fly half Patrick McDuell (Bedford Modern School and East Midlands) added the extras.
All players were given game time and the chance to impress the watching England selectors, who will now choose a 70-man squad to train at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire in the February half-term holiday.
During the training camp an England Under 16 squad to prepare for the internationals against Italy Under 17s at Lichfield on April 1 and Wales Under 16s at Oxford University on April 6 will be announced as well as squads for England North and England South for the Wellington International Festival in Berkshire from March 30 to April 5.
Charlie Venables (Denstone College, Stafford RFC and Staffordshire)
Ricky Bailey (Burton Borough School, Newport RFC and North Midlands)
Connor Adams (Burton Borough School, Newport RFC and North Midlands)
Harry Bassett (Warwick School and Warwickshire)
Dan Bhatti (Bedford Modern School, Bedford Junior Blues and East Midlands)
George Furbank (Kimbolton School, Huntingdon RFC and East Midlands)
Paolo Odugwa (King Edward's Birmingham, Walsall RFC and Staffordshire)
Will Sutton (Caistor GS, Lincoln RFC and NLD)
Paddy McDuell (Bedford School, Bedford Junior Blues and East Midlands)
Rotimi Segun (Northampton School for Boys, Old Northamptonians RFC and East Midlands)
Henry Peck (Vandyke School, Leighton Buzzard RFC and East Midlands)
Freddie Davison (Bedford School, Bedford Junior Blues and East Midlands)
Charlie Robinson (South Bromsgrove HS, Newport RFC and North Midlands)
Garth Spencer (Biddenham School, Bedford Junior Blues and East Midlands)
Xavier Parker (St Peter's School, Huntingdon RFC and East Midlands)
Joe Green (Loughborough GS, Syston RFC and Leicestershire)
John Hawkins (Manshead School, Dunstablians RFC and East Midlands)
Tim Cardell (Prince William School, Oundle RFC and East Midlands)
Stone Priestley-Nangle (Worksop College, Paviors RFC and NLD)
Will Allman (Trent College, Melbourne RFC and NLD)
Jake Byrne (Trinity School and Warwickshire)
Charlie Pirie (Priory Ruskin Academy, Kesteven RFC and NLD)
George Adamson (Redbourne School, Harpenden RFC and East Midlands)
James Pollard (Bedford Modern School, Bedford Junior Blues and East Midlands)
George Cox (Stamford Boys School, Stamford RFC and NLD)
London & SE
Mathew Gallagher (Colfe’s School and Kent)
Dominic Morris (New Hall School and Essex)
Loewy Simmons (St Richard’s Catholic College and Sussex)
Oliver Parker (The Perse Upper and Eastern Counties)
George Worth (Wymondham College and Eastern Counties)
Conor Dolan (St Benedict’s Ealing and Middlesex)
Alex Cardinali (St Columba’s College and Hertfordshire)
George Jackson (Trinity School and Surrey)
Alex Patton (Bishop’s Stortford College and Hertfordshire)
Archie Leeming (Castle View School and Essex)
Mofe Wilkey (Trinity School and Surrey)
Aubrey Grimes (Litcham HS and Eastern Counties)
Bradley Ugodulunwa (Wimbledon College and Surrey)
Billy Walker (Great Baddow HS and Essex)
James Robinson (Morecambe HS and Lancashire)
Charlie Stonehill (Thornden School and Hampshire)
Archie White (Glyn School and Surrey)
Alex Munday (Berkhamsted School and Hertfordshire)
Jens Johansson (Tunbridge Wells GS and Kent)
William Evans (Wymondham College and Eastern Counties)
Alex Everett (Judd School and Kent)
Joe Hughes (Whitgift School and Kent)
Frazer Pegler (St Clement Danes and Hertfordshire)