England and France moved clear at the top of the U20 6 Nations this weekend after both collected bonus point wins.
Ireland also picked up a bonus point victory against Italy, though they had to stave off the nerves after a storming Italian comeback.
France look like the form side though, having beaten Ireland in the opener they put a stunning 69 points past Scotland on Friday evening for a 69-19 win. They away side led 34-0 at the half time break and went on to score a total of nine tries, with inside centre Adrien Seguret scoring a hat-trick.
Scotland did manage to cross the line three times in the second half, but were unable to find a fourth that would at least have given them the bonus point, as it stands they are at the foot of the table, without a point.
England’s win was harder fought, but impressive nevertheless. They beat Wales, who last week beat Scotland, but a strong 37-12 margin. Wales had scored first early on through seventeen year old scrum half Harri Morgan, but England came storming back at Kingston Park.
They took an 18-5 lead into half time through scores from captain Ben White and a schoolboy of their own, Sedbergh’s Cameron Redpath, plus eight points from the boot of fly half James Gryason.
They then flew out of the traps in the second half, Harlequins wing Gabriel Ibitoye, a late call up for the injured Ben Loader, scoring a stunning individual try as he outpaced and outmuscled the French defence to run in from halfway, before his other wing, Jordan Olowofela added a sizzler of his own.
Rio Dyer converted a cross-field kick for Wales, but another late England call up, Aaron Hinkley, powered over from short range to complete the 37-12 win.
Over at Donnybrook in Ireland there was a bizarre game. Just nine minutes in Italy were reduced to fourteen men as flanker Jacopo Bianchi saw red. Unsurprisingly, Ireland then pulled away to a 31-15 half time lead that became a 38-15 lead shortly after the break.
Suddenly though, Italy found inspiration. They scored 19 unanswered points to narrow the gap to just four points at 38-34 with time in the red. They away side had to go the length of the field to score though, and just couldn’t pull off what would surely have been one of the all-time great 6 Nations comebacks.
U20 6 Nations Round 2 Results:
England 37-12 Wales
Ireland 38-34 Italy
Scotland 19-69 France
U20 6 Nations Table:
Home Nations’ Teams:
15 Tom Parton (London Irish), 14 Jordan Olowofela (Leicester Tigers), 13 Fraser Dingwall (Northampton Saints), 12 Cameron Redpath (Sale Sharks), 11 Gabriel Ibitoye (Harlequins), 10 James Grayson (Northampton Saints), 9 Ben White (Leicester Tigers, captain), 1 Toby Trinder (Northampton Saints), 2 Henry Walker (Gloucester), 3 Joe Heyes (Leicester Tigers), 4 Dino Lamb (Harlequins), 5 Sam Lewis (Leicester Tigers), 6 Josh Basham (London Irish), 7 Aaron Hinkley (Gloucester), 8 Sam Moore (Sale Sharks).
Replacements: 16 Gabriel Oghre (Wasps), 17 Alex Seville (Gloucester), 18 Ehren Painter (Northampton Saints), 19 James Scott (Worcester Warriors), 20 Ted Hill (Worcester Warriors), 21 Rory Brand (London Irish), 22 Tom Hardwick (Leicester Tigers), 23 Matt Williams (London Irish).
15 Michael Silvester (Dublin University/Leinster), 14 Peter Sullivan (Lansdowne FC/Leinster), 13 Tommy O’Brien (UCD RFC/Leinster, captain), 12 Angus Curtis (Queen’s University RFC/Ulster), 11 James McCarthy (UL Bohemian/Munster), 10 Harry Byrne (UCD RFC/Leinster), 9 Hugh O’Sullivan (Clontarf FC/Leinster), 1 Jordan Duggan (Naas/Leinster), 2 Ronan Kelleher (UCD/ Leinster), 3 Jack Aungier (St. Mary’s College RFC/Leinster), 4 Cormac Daly (Clontarf FC/Leinster), 5 Jack Dunne (Dublin University FC/Leinster), 6 Sean Masterson (Corinthians RFC/Connacht), 7 Matthew Agnew (Ballymena RFC/Ulster), 8 Jack O’Sullivan (UCC RFC/Munster).
Replacements: 16 Eoghan Clarke (Wanderers FC/Leinster), 17 James French (UCC RFC/Munster), 18 Tom O’Toole (Banbridge RFC/Ulster), 19 Charlie Ryan (UCD RFC/Leinster), 20 Ronan Foley (UCD RFC/Leinster), 21 Paddy Patterson (UCD RFC/Leinster), 22 Conor Dean (St.Mary’s College RFC/Leinster), 23 Angus Kernohan (Ballymena RFC/Ulster).
15 Paddy Dewhirst (Ayr), 14 Logan Trotter (Stirling County), 13 Stafford McDowall (Ayr, vc), 12 Callum McLelland (Edinburgh Rugby), 11 Kyle Rowe (Glasgow Hawks), 10 Ross Thompson (Glasgow Hawks), 9 Charlie Chapman (Gloucester), 1 Shaun Gunn (Edinburgh Accies), 2 Robbie Smith (Ayr, captain), 3 Finlay Richardson (Edinburgh Accies), 4 Ewan Johnson (Racing 92), 5 Jamie Hodgson (Watsonains), 6 Archie Erskine (Boroughmuir), 7 Guy Graham (Hawick), 8 Devante Onojaife (Northampton Saints).
Replacements: 16 Bradley Clements (Ealing), 17 Nathan McBeth (Lions), 18 Murphy Walker (Dundee HSFP), 19 Harry Butler (Hartpury College), 20 Rory Darge (Melrose), 21 Kaleem Barreto (Marr), 22 Rory McMichael (Glasgow Hawks), 23 Sam Yawayawa (Glasgow Hawks).
15 Carwyn Penny (Gloucester), 14 Rio Dyer (Dragons), 13 Callum Carson (Ospreys), 12 Ben Thomas (Cardiff Blues), 11 Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets), 10 Cai Evans (Ospreys), 9 Harri Morgan (Ospreys), 1 Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues), 2 Iestyn Harris (Cardiff Blues), 3 Rhys Henry (Ospreys), 4 Jack Pope (Bridgend), 5 Max Williams (Dragons), 6 Tommy Reffell (c) (Leicester Tigers), 7 Dan Davis (Scarlets), 8 Morgan Morris (Ospreys).
Replacements: 16 Will Griffiths (Dragons), 17 Josh Reynolds (Dragons), 18 Sam Wainwright (RGC), 19 Morgan Jones (Scarlets), 20 Taine Basham (Dragons), 21 Aaron Hemmings (Scarlets), 22 Max Llewellyn (Cardiff Blues), 23 Tomi Lewis (Scarlets).