Wales U20 16 England U20 28
Posted by: Kath.
Date: 13/02/2009 21:50
England U20s survive scares to beat Wales at Bridgend
England completed their second leg of their RBS Under-20 6 Nations campaign by surviving some major scares to overwhelm Wales at Bridgend.
They lost two players to the sin-bin - Bath's Josh Ovens and Harlequins' Chris York - in the first half and gave away a string of penalties but still managed to put together enough fluent spells to score four well-taken tries.
Newcastle Falcons fly half Rob Miller provided a solo one and four conversions, with York, Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby) and captain Calum Clark (Leeds Carnegie) also touching down.
Wales drove prop Scott Andrews over for a second half try with Jason Tovey converting and kicking three penalties.
England, at least, could point to the major surgery undertaken on their squad following their opening win against Italy with five changes to the starting line-up.
Four of them were in the back-line with full back Tom Homer (London Irish), centre Greig Tonks (Leicester Tigers), fly half Miller (Newcastle Falcons) and scrum half Dan White (Leeds Carnegie) all starting. Flanker Josh Ovens (Bath Rugby) was the one change up front.
The changes followed the recall of players by their clubs for this weekend's Guinness Premiership games with three players outside the Under 20 Elite Player Squad coming onto the bench in London Wasps lock Peter Elder, Leicester scrum half Sam Harrison and Saracens centre Mike Stanley.
While England were beating the freeze and the Azzurri 17-0 at Worcester, Wales were edged out 18-17 by Scotland at Perth, despite scoring the only two tries in the game through impressive Ospreys wing Kristian Phillips.
In the opening stages at the Brewery Field, though, it was all England from the moment Homer cut loose from his first kick reception and although Tovey missed with an early penalty shot the visitors were in front after 13 minutes.
The try was a superbly engineered one, Miller's riding a tackle and offloading inside to Tonks who put York away on a 20 metre run under the posts before his side lost their way.
They lost first Ovens and then York to the sinbin for illegally contesting rucks in the 16th and 24th minutes but even playing briefly with 13 men they only conceded a single Tovey penalty with the Wales fly half missing another eminently kickable one.
With 14 men they added a second try five minutes before the break - some patient build-up play followed by Trinder's quickly-taken penalty and burst to the line.
And with York back on they struck again moments before half-time, Seb Stegmann's powerful break down the right followed by an offload inside for Clark to score, and Miller's third successful conversion made it 21-3 at the interval.
England couldn't control the ball in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, conceding more penalties with Tovey clawing three points back then converting after Scott Andrews barged over from the back of a lineout.
When they did build some momentum, they struck back immediately with Miller's dummy and sidestep sending him through the flat-footed defence and in behind the posts on the hour.
Tovey's 64th minute penalty hauled his side back into contention but although England survived for the remainder of the game they suffered more disciplinary problems with replacement flanker Tom Sargeant the third man sin-binned by Scottish referee Neil Paterson.
Wales U20: James Loxton (Blues & Glam Wdrs); Kristian Phillips (Ospreys & Neath), Scott Williams (Llanelli), Ashley Beck (Ospreys & Aberavon), Adam Hughes (Dragons & Bedwas); Jason Tovey (Dragons; Matthew Jarvis, Ospreys & Neath 72), Rhys Downes (Blues & Pontypridd; Tavis Knoyle, Neath 41); Aaron Coundley (Dragons & Ebbw Vale; Craig Attwell, Dragons & Newbridge 61), Rhys Williams (Blues & Pontypridd; Simon Gardiner, Scarlets & Llanelli 77), Scott Andrews (Blues & Glam Wdrs; Dan Watchurst, Dragons & Bedwas 61), James King (Ospreys & Aberavon; Sam Pailor, Pontypool 75), Ashley Sweet (Dragons & Cross Keys), Jake Thomas (Cardiff; Justin Tipuric (Ospreys & Aberavon 50), Josh Navidi (Blues & Glam Wdrs), James Thomas (Dragons & Ebbw Vale, captain).
Scorers: Try: Tipuric. Conversion: Tovey. Penalties: Tovey 2
England U20: Tom Homer (London Irish); Seb Stegmann (Harlequins), Henry Trinder (Gloucester Rugby; Freddie Burns, Gloucester Rugby 70), Greig Tonks (Leicester Tigers), Will Hurrell (Leicester Tigers); Rob Miller (Newcastle Falcons), Dan White (Leeds Carnegie); Ben Moon (Exeter Chiefs), Jamie George (Saracens; James Clark, London Irish 55), Bob Baker (London Wasps; Shaun Knight, Gloucester Rugby 72), James Gaskell (Sale Sharks; Peter Elder, London Wasps 73), Graham Kitchener (Worcester Warriors), Josh Ovens (Bath Rugby; Tom Sargeant, Harlequins 74), Calum Clark (Leeds Carnegie, captain), Chris York (Harlequins).
Replacements: Sam Harrison (Leicester Tigers), Mike Stanley (Saracens)
Scorers: Tries: York, Trinder, C Clark, Miller. Conversions: Miller 4
Yellow cards: Ovens 16, York 24, Sargeant 77
Referee: Neil Paterson (SRU).