Wales U18 bounced back from their heart-wrenching defeat to South Africa Schools to beat England 26-20 in round 2 of the Aon U18 International Series.
The victory in Stellenberg condemned England to a second defeat, having already been beaten by France in the opening round. The two now head into their final games on Saturday at SACS, with Wales taking on a France side that have won two on the spin after defeats of England and then on Tuesday the host nation South Africa, 28-21. England meanwhile will take on the hosts in the final game of the series.
At 26-20 the game ended up a close one, but it was Wales who were in the greater try scoring form, scoring four tries to England’s two, however some excellent kicking from George Barton and Tom Curtis for England kept the game close.
There was a late change for Wales as Oakham’s Sam Costelow came into the starting line up, having also started last time out. The young Leicester Tiger was bang in form, scoring an excellent try and adding 3 conversions.
Coleg Sir Gar hooker Cameron Lewis opened the scoring steaming in to finish a superb move after just a quarter of an hour, with Costelow converting before adding his own spectacular scything try followed by another conversion for a 14-0 lead.
Dean Close’s George Barton got England on the scoreboard shortly after with a penalty but Wales had stretched things out again to 19-3 not long after through Sir Gar’s Osian Knott.
Barton was really starting to fire though and a sizzling dart from him brought England’s first try and a simple conversion to send the sides in much close at half time, with Wales 19-10 ahead.
England’s performance level increased in the second half as they denied Wales possession and inevitably drew penalties from that, Barton again capitalising on 46 minutes to close things to 19-13. England were on the up but it was Wales that would make the next incisive play, securing front foot ball from the driven lineout before running through the phases, allowing Glantaf second row Teddy Williams to score their fourth and final try of the game. For a 26-13 lead with Costelow’s conversion.
England kept coming back though, scoring though Sutton Valence’s star prop Harvey Beaton, with Sedbergh’s Tom Curtis converting to close things to 26-20. Ultimately though it was to prove to little too late from England, who will now look ahead to South Africa School on Saturday desperate to finish the tournament on a high.
Wales meanwhile will head into a tough one against an unbeaten and powerful French side, but with this win behind them and that oh so close defeat to South Africa, Wales will fancy their chances.
Speaking to www.englandrugby.com after the game, England U18 coach Jim Mallinder said:
“We went a few points down in the first half, Wales played well and put us under a lot of pressure. However, in the second half we showed real spirit, the finishers who came off the bench made a really good impact and on another day we would have won the game. We created three fairly clear-cut chances but just couldn’t take those. It was a big improvement from last Friday and we are moving in the right direction.“
“We want the team to improve and develop but we also want them to win but sometimes that doesn’t happen. We are disappointed but we’ll analyse the game, move forward, train hard and look to end the series on high against South Africa on Saturday.”
England U18 20-26 Wales U18
England U18 XV:
15 Will Haydon-Wood (Sedbergh & Newcastle Falcons)
14 Jack Bates (SGS Filton College & Bristol Bears)
13 Tom Roebuck (Wirral GS & Sale Sharks)
12 Phil Cokanasiga (St Pauls Catholic College & London Irish)
11 Josh Gillespie (Millfield & Northampton Saints)
10 George Barton (Dean Close & Gloucester)
9 Raffi Quirke (St Ambrose College & Sale Sharks)
1 Rowan Mullis (Hartpury College & Gloucester)
2 Sam Riley (St George’s Weybridge & Harlequins)
3 Jack Hughes (Uppingham & Northampton Saints)
4 George Hammond (Whitgift & Harlequins)
5 Chunya Munga (Leighton Park & London Irish)
6 Archie Smeaton (Hymers College & Yorkshire Carnegie)
7 Fin Rossiter (Wellington College & London Irish, captain)
8 Jack Clement (Cheltenham College & Gloucester)
Replacements: 16 Alfie Barbeary (Bloxham & Wasps), 17 James Whitcombe (Woodhouse Grove & Leicester Tigers), 18 Harvey Beaton (Sutton Valence & Saracens), 19 George Martin (Brooksby Melton College & Leicester Tigers), 20 Harry Dugmore (Whitgift & Harlequins), 21 Nahum Merigan (Beechen Cliff & Bath), 22 Callum Pascoe (Gosforth Academy & Newcastle Falcons), 23 Tom Curtis (Sedbergh & Sale Sharks), 24 Josh Hallett (New Hall & Saracens), 25 Louis Lynagh (Hampton & Harlequins), 26 Lennox Anyanwu (Christ’s Hospital & Harlequins).
Wales U18 XV:
15 Ioan Lloyd (Clifton/Bristol/Exiles)
14 Harri Doel (Coleg Sir Gar/Scarlets)
13 Osian Knott (Coleg Sir Gar/Scarlets)
12 Aneurin Owen (Ysgol Gwynllyw/Dragons)
11 Louis Rees-Zammit (Hartpury/Gloucester/Exiles)
10 Sam Costelow (Oakham/Leicester Tigers/Exiles)
9 Ellis Bevan (Bryanston/Exiles)
1 Callum Williams (Maes y Gwendraeth/Scarlets)
2 Cameron Lewis (Coleg Sir Gar/Ospreys)
3 Ben Warren (Coleg y Cymoedd/Cardiff Blues)
4 Teddy Williams (Glantaf/Cardiff Blues)
5 Jac Price (Coleg Sir Gar/Scarlets)
6 Oliver White (Llandovery College)
7 Jac Morgan (Coleg Sir Gar/Scarlets, captain)
8 Carwyn Tuipulotu (Sedburgh/Scarlets)
Replacements: 16 Llew Phillips-Taylor (Coleg Sir Gar/Scarlets), 17 Luke Yendle (Newport High/Dragons), 18 Garyn Phillips (Colege Gwent/Dragons), 19 Archie Griffin (Marlborough/Bath/Exiles), 20 Rob Brookson (Coleg Gwent/Dragons), 21 Ioan Davies (Coleg y Cymoedd/Cardiff Blues), 22 Morgan French (Bromsgrove/Worcester/Exiles), 23 Dan Babos (Dragons Academy/Dragons), 24 Evan Lloyd (Coleg Gwent/Dragons), 25 Ewan Rosser (Coleg Gwent/Dragons), 26 Morgan Richards (Newport High/Dragons), 27 Joe Roberts (Coleg Sir Gar/Scarlets).
Aon U18 International Series Fixtures (all KOs BST):
Friday 10th August – Boland Landbou
England 21-41 France
South Africa Schools 43-40 Wales
Tuesday 14th August – Stellenberg
England 20-26 Wales
South Africa Schools 21-28 France
Saturday 18th August – SACS
France v Wales – 11.15am
South Africa Schools v England – 1.05pm
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