England U20s slump to defeat against a roaring Welsh side
- Credit: Archant
There was disappointment for three of the district’s brightest rugby stars as a four-try blitz by Wales in the first half secured a 42-16 victory over England U20s .
England, who included OAs’ Max Malins, Oaklands College’s George Perkins and ex-Harpenden junior Jack Singleton, were left with a mountain to climb in their U20 Six Nations clash at Bristol City’s Ashton Gate ground.
Starved of the ball for the most part, Perkins’ frustrating day ended early, replaced in the second-half.
Singleton also departed before the final whistle but he can be pleased with a solid day with the set-pieces.
Malins on the other hand lasted the full 80 minutes but despite an energetic performance he could not prevent the Welsh from gaining their fourth win of the campaign.
It had started well for England, Matt Protheroe kicking a straight-forward penalty in the third minute.
But just 20 minutes later, Wales had scored three tries.
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First Shaun Evans went over from close range after a series of pick and go’s and then Harri Millard crossed after a well-worked backs move.
Daniel Jones had converted both and he was to convert his own try as well when space opened up for him out wide.
The fourth try of the half came from Keelan Giles who dived on a loose ball that had evaded the English defence.
A Malins break raised the Bristolian voices and the OAs full-back was looking the most likely to spark the shell-shocked English side.
However, it was through Singleton and his forwards that the hosts got their only try, Sam Smith finishing off a catch and drive before the break.
And that seemed to spur them on at the start of the second period.
England would spend most of the opening 12 minutes in Welsh territory.
But despite a number of line-outs in good field position, all England could muster was two Protheroe penalties.
A yellow card to the Welsh No.8 Harrison Keddie gave England hope they could cut the gap further.
But Wales saw out that period and as Keedie returned so Max Green departed with another sin-bin.
And unlike their hosts, the visitors from across the Bristol Channel took full advantage, the rested Keedie scoring from a 5 metre scrum.
Giles added his second try late on with a break away as England finished with a whimper.
England: Boyce, Singleton, Stuart, Taylor, Kitchener, Nott, Chick, Smith, Green, Protheroe, Thorley, Worth, Thacker, Perkins, Malins
Replacements: Langdon, West, Keast, Moon, Mercer, Waters, Simmonds, Odogwu
Penalties: Protheroe (3)
Wales: Domachowski, Hughes, Lewis, Lewis-Hughes, Beard, T.Phillips, Evans, Keddie, Morgan-Williams, Jones, Giles, Watkin, Millard, Gasson, Williams
Replacements: I.Phillips, Fawcett, Brown, Morgan, Sienawski, Smith, McBryde, Thomas
Tries: Giles (2), Evans, Millard, Jones, Keddie
Conversions: Jones (6)