Jubb scores twice in landslide win
TOM Jubb crossed the whitewash twice as England U18s hammered Italy 64-0.
The Oaklands College prospect scored his first just before half-time and doubled his tally late on in England’s comprehensive victory.
Despite the huge scoreline, England were made to work hard for their win at Heywood Road, Sale, but Italian flanker Lorenzo Favaro’s 50th minute red card opened the flood gates for the home side.
England were 29-0 ahead at that point but struggling to contain the Italian forwards at the breakdown. However, Favaro’s blatant punch, which floored England hooker Nathan Morris, incensed the England players and rightly led to his instant dismissal.
The Azzurri started the game well and dominated the opening 15 minutes, competing in the scrum and causing England problems all over the field. But for the poor place kicking of fly half Canna they would have led on six minutes after England were penalised at the ruck.
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After that England began to settle and finally put some phases of play together. Man of the Match, prop Luke Cowan-Dickie scored the first try from close range on 21 minutes and fly half Henry Slade duly converted.
Eight minutes later loose head Cowan-Dickie penetrated the Italian defence again and sent outside centre Mark Jennings in for a try on his home ground. Slade’s conversion looked so simple that when he struck the post and missed, it drew gasps from the crowd.
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The Exeter Chiefs No.10 made amends however six minutes later slotting a penalty from just outside the 22 and then added another to give him seven points for the half when he converted lock Jubb’s try just before half time, sending the home side in 22-0 ahead.
Italy began the second half as they had done the first, pressurising England into a kickable penalty which Canna missed.
England’s response was immediate, with Slade skipping inside from the right wing and stepping on the gas to score an impressive try, which he duly converted to give his side a 29-0 lead.
Step forward Favaro to punch Morris square in the face, an act of indiscipline which effectively ended the game as a contest. Morris was led from the field and replaced by Scott Spurling.
Although still somewhat hesitant at the breakdown, England made their superior numbers count very soon afterwards when skipper Dominic Barrow scored the first of two tries, which Slade converted again, giving England a 36-0 lead.
Both sides had named nine substitutes and began to make wholesale changes, interspersed by two more England tries. First No.8 Jack Clifford struck straight from a scrum ten yards out, then full back Jack Nowell showed his footballing skills to outpace the Italian defence and go in under the posts. Two conversions from Will Hooley, on for Slade, made the score 50-0.
In the last five minutes, both Jubb and Barrow doubled their try tallies, with easy conversions for Hooley to make the final score 64-0.
Head Coach John Fletcher gave his players credit for coping with Italy’s physical style and said: “We didn’t start well, they got in amongst us, as we knew they would and we struggled all day at the breakdown so we did well to score 64 points. But we knew if we had enough quick ball we had the players to hurt them.
“We played well in patches, but we know we can play a lot better than that too. We had pretty much parity in the scrums, the breakdown was hard all day but their guys are a year older so some of them were big men, so we’re pleased with how our lads coped physically.
“The punch was a moment of stupidity by their number six, Nathan is pretty bashed up and that spoilt it as a contest.”
Captain Dominic Barrow echoed his coach’s comments: “We always know what Italy are going to bring - they’re a very physical outfit so we’re very pleased to get through the game having scored that many points.”