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Home > News > England U20 power past Wales
Your News England U20 power past Wales

England U20 41 Wales U20 14

Harlequins prop Joe Marler led the way as England's powered past Wales in the opening game of the RBS U20 Six Nations.

The loose head from Sussex powered his way over for two tries as England pulled away from a dangerous Welsh side in the second half - then held on after Newcastle Falcons No. 8 Alex Gray was sent off for stamping.

Marler was followed over by hooker Jamie George (Saracens), captain Jacob Rowan (Leeds Carnegie) and replacement centre Jonny May (Gloucester Rugby).

Fly half Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby) added three conversions and two penalties and Tom Homer (London Irish) a further two conversions.

Wales had opened the scoring, fly half Matthew Jarvis kicking three penalties and wing James Loxton sliding over in the first half.

England were uncertain in the opening quarter, making some unforced errors and giving Jarvis three shots at goal - the first of which he took - before Burns levelled the score after a dominant scrum was pulled down by the visitors.

They had some bright moments moving the ball with Clegg and Homer releasing Sam Smith down the left and Gray involved wide on the right but Wales were sharp enough to take advantage of the one opening that came their way.

Some decent lineout possession was followed by England committing too many defenders in midfield, giving Loxton the opportunity to sprint in and slide triumphantly over down the left.

They settled nearer half-time, stringing some phases together and giving Burns the opportunity to add a second penalty in the 36th minute.

Wales, though, were feisty all over the field, pouncing on errors and even pinching some lineout ball just when Rowan's side were developing some momentum.

The tempo was raised substantially in the second half as England struck twice in 10 minutes following some accurate and ambitious build-ups.

Smith's break set up the position for the first, the ball moved back infield with Marler popping up to accelerate past one covering defender and powering his way over under the posts in the 42nd minute.

The Harlequins wing was involved again for England's second, with Burns also cutting Wales open before Clegg's cross-kick was pounced on by hooker Jamie George wide on the right.

Burns converted both tries and only lapses in defence kept Wales in it with Jarvis adding further penalties in the 45th and 52nd minute.

But England were moving ambitiously through the gears and immediately added a superb third try counter-attacking from deep in their own 22.

Again Smith set the move sweeping down the left with the unlikely combination of lock Calum Green and prop Shaun Knight offloading to send Rowan streaking in.

England were down to 14 men in the final quarter when Gray was dismissed on the advice of the touch judge for stamping.

But their immediate response was to increase their workrate with a succession of drives finished when Marler - a prolific scorer on loan at Esher this season - forced his way over again.

May surged over for England's fifth try on his debut seven minutes from time and Homer clipped over two fine conversions.

England U20: Tom Catterick (Newcastle Falcons; Jonathan Joseph, London Irish 52); Will Hurrell (Leicester Tigers), Tom Homer (London Irish), Rory Clegg (Harlequins), Sam Smith (Harlequins); Freddie Burns (Gloucester Rugby; Jonny May, Gloucester Rugby 56), Sam Harrison (Leicester Tigers; Sam Stuart, Harlequins 76); Joe Marler (Harlequins), Jamie George (Saracens; Rob Buchanan, Harlequins 75), Shaun Knight (Gloucester Rugby; Lee Imiolek, Sale Sharks 57), Calum Green (Leicester Tigers; Charlie Matthews, Harlequins 71), James Gaskell (Sale Sharks), Will Welch (Newcastle Falcons; Jackson Wray, Saracens 67), Jacob Rowan (Leeds Carnegie, captain), Alex Gray (Newcastle Falcons)

Scorers: Tries: Marler 2, George, Rowan, May. Conversions: Burns 3, Homer 2. Penalties: Burns 2

Wales U20: Dan Fish (Blues); James Loxton (Blues), Owen Williams (Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Kristian Phillips (Ospreys); Matthew Jarvis (Ospreys), Rhys Downes (Blues); Dan Watchurst (capt, Dragons), Rhys Williams (Blues), Simon Gardiner (Scarlets), Macauley Cook (Blues), James King (Ospreys), James Thomas (Dragons), Josh Navidi (Blues), Morgan Allen (Pontypool).

Replacements: Ieuan Davies (Glamorgan Wanderers), Trystan Davies (Scarlets), Lloyd Peers (Ospreys), Toby Faletau (Dragons), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Lee Rees (Scarlets), Matthew Pewtner (Dragons).

Scorers: Try: Loxton. Penalties: Jarvis 3.

Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU)

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