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Home > News > England U18 Clubs & Schools 39 - Northampton Saints Academy 36
Your News England U18 Clubs & Schools 39 - Northampton Saints Academy 36

Four tries from winger Jordan Burns was not enough to overcome Northampton Saints Academy who clinched victory with a try in the closing minutes in yesterdays warm up fixture.

The England Clubs and Schools squad met for the first time on Friday morning but in bright weather conditions, which favoured a high tempo match of end to end rugby, they demonstrated real potential.

Burns showed unrivalled pace for his four breakaway tries, however team effort created the attacking opportunities and big tackles in all areas of the field ensured a strong Northampton side had to work hard to win and maintain possession.

Fly half, Louis Grimoldby, started the score board ticking over inside the first five minutes when he slotted a penalty from the half way line. A period of Northampton pressure followed but Englands drift defence proved effective until they conceded two penalties in succession. A quick tap and go within five metres allowed Northampton to drive over in the corner.

England replied minutes later when Burns intercepted a Northampton pass by the halfway line, sped down the outside channel and looped in under the posts, ensuring an easy conversion for Grimoldby.

Northampton continued to move the ball out wide and twice winger Linford Brock used the whitewash to Englands advantage, bundling the Northampton attack into touch. Captain Henry Taylor used his boot to clear the lines but England were eventually turned over within their 22 and made to pay as Northampton crossed again.

Harry Sloan stood out for his strong defensive performance and a big hit caused the ball to run loose on the halfway. Burns capitalised with a perfectly weighted kick-through which he chased and gathered two metres from the line before touching down. Grimoldby added the extras.

It looked as if England would take the seven point lead into half time until ill discipline cost them again and the Saints' forwards repeated their try scoring antics, driving low to touch down at the foot of the posts. Northampton converted on the whistle to make it level pegging at the break, 17-17.

Saints were first to cross the line in the second half and kept England under pressure. Crucial tackles by James Flynn and Cameron Neild eventually forced turnover ball and the opportunity for England to build the phases from within their 22. Strong forward play set the platform for Taylor to feed Henry Purdy whose hand off created space for an offload to Burns. The winger accelerated past the Northampton defence for his hat-trick and the additional two points from the boot of Grimoldby put England back in front 24-22.

Mass substitutions took place with 20 minutes to go when the six players who featured in Saturday's Daily Mail RBS semi finals were allowed to take the field. Changes required Burns to move to scrum half but this did nothing to stop his scoring streak.

The forwards packed down on the halfway line and another strong drive from England secured the ball which Burns gathered before setting off on a darting run through the Northampton backs to touch down for his fourth. Grimoldby was unfortunate to hit the post and miss out on a clean sheet of conversions.

With six minutes to go and a 29-22 lead, a win was in sight but Northampton controlled possession and England were twice caught short out wide allowing the Saints to equalise 29-29 and then take the winning points 36-29.

Following a disappointing end to an exciting game, Head Coach David Reed said: We played with real spirit today. Prior to the match we set two goals: to have good communication and to be accurate in our execution. There were periods of the game when we ticked both boxes. We now need to ensure that were doing that for the full 70 minutes.

Today has shown that we have a lot to work on but when you take into account that due to the Daily Mail RBS semi-finals, we have only had four hours of training as a full squad, were in a good position. The boys have responded well in the last few days and Im looking forward to building on this match during our next training weekend in a fortnight.


Burns 4T, Grimoldby 1P, 3C

Starting Line Up:

15. Michael Haley (North, Sale Sharks)

14. Linford Brock (South West, Exeter College, Devon)

13. Henry Purdy (South West, Cokethorpe School, London Wasps)

12. Harry Sloan (London and South East, Skinners School, Harlequins)

11. Jordan Burns (London and South East, Epsom College, Cobham)

10. Louis Grimoldby (Midlands, Stamford School)

9. Henry Taylor (c) (South West, Cranleigh, Harlequins)

1. George Beale (Midlands, Bromsgrove School, Worcester)

2. Curtis Greene (Midlands, St Josephs College (Stoke-on-Trent), Trentham)

3. James Flynn (North, Stockport Grammar School, Manchester)

4. Morgan Robinson-Eames (Midlands, Bishop Burton College, Hull)

5. Matthew Spink (Midlands, Worcester Sixth Form College, Birmingham Solihull)

6. Jacob Nickson (North, Arnold School, Fylde)

7. Cameron Neild (North, Manchester Grammar School, Sale Sharks)

8. Guy Van Den Dries (North, Barnard Castle, Newcastle Falcons)


16. Gabriel Carroll (London South East, St. Josephs College, Sudbury, Northampton Saints) On at 53 minutes

17. Ed Taylor (Midlands, Old Swinford Hospital, Bridgenorth) On at 42 minutes

18. Dan Keat (South West, Hardenhuish, Chippenham) On at 55 minutes

19. Max Stelling (Midlands, Old Swinford Hospital, Moseley) On at 53 minutes

20. Chris Lord (London and South East, St. Josephs College, Bury St. Edmunds) On at 53 minutes

21. Joe Tarrant (London and South East, St. Josephs College, Colchester) On at 53 minutes

22. Shaquille Meyers (London and South East, St. Josephs College, Diss and Bedford Blues) On at 53 minutes

Remaining England Programme:

Friday 23 - Sunday 25 March: Squad Training: Surrey Sports Park

Friday 6th Saturday 7th April: Squad Training: Surrey Sports Park

Sunday 8th April: Warm-Up Fixture v Leicester Tigers Academy: Welford Road /The Oval (TBC) KO 13.00

Friday 13th April: Squad Training: Surrey Sports Park

Saturday 14th April: International Fixture v Ireland U18 Clubs: Old Merchant Taylors FC KO 12.00

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