The U18 6 Nations Festival kicked off on Saturday at Hartpury College’s Gillman’s Ground.
Host nation England kicked things off against Wales before Ireland took on France, and the opening matchday finished up with Scotland’s game against France.
England got off to the perfect start, beating Wales 38-20 with their 10/12 axis of Sedbergh’s Tom Curtis and Beechen Cliff’s Orlando Bailey provided some real spark throughout the game, indeed between them they contributed 23 points, with Bailey scoring two tries and Curtis slotting five conversions and a penalty.
The battle between Curits and his opposite number, Ed Dunford of Whitgift, was one of the most hotly anticipated of the entire opening round and the pair exchanged early penalties before England broke loose with Bailey’s brace and a further try for Denstone College’s Joe Browning. Clifton College’s Ioan Lloyd responded for Wales, but England took a healthy 24-10 lead into the half time break.
St Ambrose College’s Raphael Quirke, half back partners with Curtis at Sale Sharks, crossed for England in the second half before Bailey’s Beechen Cliff and Bath teammate John Stewart crossed for England’s fifth of the game.
Wales were more than in the game though, making it a cracking contest and scored further tries either side of Stewart’s, first through Dylan Davies before outside centre Mason Grady finished the scoring late on.
After the game England U18 Head Coach Jim Mallinder spoke to www.englandrugby.com saying: “It was a good positive start for us. We played some really good rugby in that first half and scored some good tries. Possession dried up a little in the second half and credit to Wales who came back into the game but I thought our defence was outstanding.”
“It’s a good start to the tournament, the players will learn a lot from the experience and it gives us a good platform from which to build on. We need to sort out our set piece and that is understandable as this is a relatively new group who have only come together recently and we need to have a look at our attacking structure as we left a few tries out there. In defence we need one or two little tweaks but overall we are really happy with that performance.”
Ireland v France
Ireland lost out to France narrowly in the second game of the day, fighting back from 22-7 down at half time but still finishing up on the losing side, 29-24.
By half time the French had scored four tries, a brace from Maxime Baudonne with Alexandre Borie and Thomas Ployet also on the scoresheet, Ireland responding though captain and number 8 Alex Kendellen.
Nolan Legarrec scored first in the second half for the French, but then Ireland came absolutely roaring back with tries through Tom Stewart and Jamie Osbourne, but sadly for them despite the huge momentum swing it was not quite enough to turn the game around.
Scotland v Italy
A late Fabio Schiabel try broke Scottish hearts as the Lafert San Dona man gave Italy a 19-18 victory over Scotland in the final game of the opening day at the U18 6 Nations Festival.
Italy had taken an early lead through a Tomasso Di Bartolemeo score, but Scotland responded with a try for Matt Currie of Merchiston Castle, set up by his exceptional schoolmate Jamie Dobie, the skipper on the day and the man who so lit up the Rosslyn Park 7s.
His side scored again midway through the half through Fettes College wing Harry Patterson, sending Scotland into the break 12-7 up. Patterson added three points from a penalty after a Tommasso Menoncello yellow card early in the second half for a 15-7 lead and did so again shortly after for 18-7.
However Italy responded in dramatic fashion as Andrea Pancini scored with just a minute left to play for 18-14. Even then, Scotland must have felt safe, but with the clock well into the red Schiabel sunk the dagger into Scottish hearts to give Italy the most dramatic of 19-18 victories.
Speaking to www.scottishrugby.org, Scotland U18 Head Coach Ross Miller said:
“The players are disappointed not to get the result but it was a good learning experience for them. I thought there were some real positives in the way we attacked and how we kept possession, however, it is a credit to the Italian side as they took their opportunities in the second-half.”
U18 6 Nations Festival Fixtures/Results (all live on FreeSports):
Matchday 1 – Saturday 13th April, Gillman’s Ground, Hartpury College
England 38-20 Wales
Ireland 24-29 France
Scotland 18-19 Italy
Matchday 2 – Wednesday 17th April, Sixways, Worcester Warriors
France v Italy – 11.10am
Ireland v England – 1.40pm
Wales v Scotland – 4.10pm
Matchday 3 – Sunday 21st April, Kingsholm, Gloucester
Scotland v Ireland – 11.10am
England v France – 1.40pm
Italy v Wales – 4.10pm
U18 6 Nations Festival – Unofficial Table:
Matchday 1 Teams:
15 Joe Carpenter (Woodhouse Grove & Yorkshire Carnegie), 14 Joe Browning (Denstone College & Leicester Tigers), 13 Louis Hillman-Cooper (Cheltenham College & Gloucester), 12 Orlando Bailey (Beechen Cliff & Bath), 11 Tom Roebuck (Wirral GS & Sale Sharks), 10 Tom Curtis (Sedbergh & Sale Sharks), 9 Jack van Poortvliet (Oakham & Leicester Tigers), 1 Harry Fry (Hartpury College & Gloucester), 2 Sam Riley (St George’s College, Weybridge & Harlequins), 3 Fin Baxter (Wellington College & Harlequins), 4 George Martin (Brooksby Melton College & Leicester Tigers, captain), 5 Archie Benson (Dean Close & Gloucester), 6 Jack Clement (Cheltenham College & Gloucester), 7 Josh Gray (Dean Close & Gloucester), 8 Nahum Merigan (Beechen Cliff & Bath).
Replacements: 16 John Stewart (Beechen Cliff & Bath), 17 Phil Brantingham (RGS Newcastle & Newcastle Falcons), 18 Luke Green (St Paul’s Catholic College & London Irish), 19 Ewan Richards (Millfield & Bath), 20 Will Trenholm (Cranleigh & Harlequins), 21 Raphael Quirke (St Ambrose College & Sale Sharks), 22 Phil Cokanasiga (St Paul’s Catholic College & London Irish), 23 George Worboys (Beechen Cliff & Bath).
15 Ioan Lloyd (Clifton College & Bristol Bears), 14 Carrick McDonough (Dragons), 13 Mason Grady (Cardiff Blues), 12 Bradley Roderick (Ospreys, captain), 11 Morgan Richards (Dragons), 10 Ed Dunford (Whitgift & Exiles), 9 Ethan Lloyd (Cardiff Blues), 1 Sam O’Connor (Llandovery College & Scarlets), 2 Oliver Burrows (Ospreys), 3 Iestyn Haskins (Cardiff Blues), 4 Rhys Anstey (Cardiff Blues), 5 Ben Carter (Dragons), 6 Harri Deaves (Ospreys), 7 Ethan Fackrell (Cardiff Blues), 8 Harry Breeze (Whitgift & Scarlets).
Replacements: 16 Rhodri King (Scarlets), 17 Theo Bevacqua (Eastbourne College & Exiles), 18 Lewys Jones (Ospreys), 19 James Fender (Ospreys), 20 Carwyn Tuipulotu (Sedbergh & Scarlets), 21 Alex Mann (Cardiff Blues), 22 Tom Mathews (Hartpury College & Exiles), 23 Dan John (Millfield & Exiles), 24 Dylan Davies (Dragons), 25 Ioan Evans (Cardiff Blues). 26 Louis Rees-Zammit (Hartpury College & Gloucester) – Played for Gloucester.
15 Chris Cosgrave (St. Michael’s College/Leinster), 14 Jamie Osbourne (Naas CBS/Baas RFC/Leinster), 13 Karl Martin (St. Mary’s School Drogheda/Boyne RFC/Leinster), 12 Ben Carson (Wallace High School/Ulster), 11 Aaron Leahy (CBC Cork/Munster), 10 Nathan Doak (Wallace High School/Ulster), 9 Conor McKee (Sullivan Upper/Ulster), 1 Jack Boyle (St. Michael’s/Leinster), 2 Tom Stewart (Belfast Royal Academy/Ulster), 3 Oscar Egan (Coleraine Grammar/Ulster), 4 Alex Soroka (Belvedere College/Leinster), 5 Darragh Murray (Colaiste Chiarán/Buccaneers/Connacht), 6 Will Hickey (St. Michael’s College/Leinster), 7 Reuben Crothers (Wallace High School/Leinster), 8 Alexander Kendellen (PBC Cork/Munster, captain).
Replacements: 16 Lee Barron (St. Michael’s College/Leinster), 17 George Saunderson (Sullivan Upper School/Ulster), 18 Mark Donnelly (CBC Cork/Munster), 19 Donnacha Byrne (Summerhill College/Sligo RFC/Connacht), 20 Oisin McCormack (Garbally College/Connacht), 21 Ben Murphy (Presentation College Bray/Leinster), 22 Cian Whooley (CBC Cork/Munster), 23 Harry O’Riordan (CBC Cork/Munster), 24 Diarmuid McCormack (Clongowes Wood College/Connacht), 25 Shane Jennings (Garbally College/Connacht), 26 Diarmuid Killcommins (Coláiste Bhaile Chláir/Corinthians RFC/Connacht).
15 Borie, 14 Desert, 13 Marguarit, 12 Parisien (vc), 11 Farissier, 10 Michet, 9 Legarrec, 1 Tixeront, 2 Baudonne, 3 Haddad-Victor (vc), 4 Brennan (c), 5 Ployet (vc), 6 Mallez, 7 Camilleri, 8 Augeix.
Replacements: 16 Ventura, 17 Idoumi, 18 Lagane, 19 Halagau, 20 Tronc, 21 Idhellidaine, 22 Debaes, 23 Retière, 24 Darthout, 25 Valles.
15 Nathan Sweeney (Loretto), 14 Harry Patterson (Fettes College), 13 Matt Currie (Merchiston Castle), 12 Scott King (Heriot’s), 11 Finlay Callaghan (GHK), 10 Alex Harley (George Watson’s College), 9 Jamie Dobie (Merchiston Castle, captain), 1 Ben Mace (Stirling County), 2 Scott Clelland (Ayr), 3 Dan Gamble (Merchiston Castle), 4 Alex Samuel (Madras/St Leonard’s), 5 Struan Whitaker (Edinburgh Accies), 6 Gregor Brown (Robert Gordon’s College), 7 Harri Morris (George Watson’s College), 8 Ben Muncaster (Rugby/Leicester Tigers).
Replacements:16 James Johnstone (Preston Lodge/Preston Lodge HS), 17 Jamie Drummond (Marr), 18 Cole Lamberton (The Royal HS), 19 Jamie Campbell (Kelvinside Academy), 20 Rory Jackson (Kelvinside Academy), 21 Cameron Scott (Preston Lodge), 22 Joseph Strain (Dumfries Saints), 23 Cameron Furley (Saracens/St Albans), 24 Josh King (Queen Victoria/Stirling County), 25 Jordan Craig (Hamilton Bulls), 26 Tom Jones (Bristol Bears/SGS Filton College).
15 Luca Filippo Gruttadauria (Stade Toulousain), 14 Andrea Pancini (Cavalieri Union R.Prato Sesto), 13 Tommaso Menoncello (Benetton Treviso), 12 Filippo Drago (Mogliano Rugby 1969), 11 Simone Gesi (Livorno Rugby), 10 Mattia Ferrarin (Argos Petrarca Rugby), 9 Manfedi Albanese Ginammi (S.S. Lazio Rugby 1927), 1 Dorin Tica (Kawasaki Robot Calvisano), 2 Tommaso Di Bartolomeo (Argos Petrarca Rugby), 3 Ion Neculai (Cavalieri Union R.Prato Sesto), 4 Luca Adorni (Rugby Parma F.C. 1931), 5 Riccardo Favretto (Benetton Treviso), 6 Andrea Angelone (Avezzano Rugby), 7 Luca Andreani (Rugby Rovato), 8 Lorenzo Cannone (Florentia Rugby).
Replacements: 16 Matteo Fontana (Amatori Parma), 17 Matteo Sassi Thomas (Toscana Aeroporti I Medicei), 18 Giacomo Ravagnan (Pesaro Rugby), 19 Marco Ruffato (Rugby Bassano), 20 Matteo Meggiato (Cus Padova), 21 Stephen Varney (Gloucester & Hartpury College), 22 Nicholas Bordin (Femi-Cz Rovigo), 23 Leonardo Marin (Moliano Rugby 1969), 24 Daniele Ulisse (S.S. Lazio Rugby 1927), 25 Fabio Schiabel (Lafert San Dona), 26 Umberto Marocchi (Primavera Rugby).