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Home > News > Wootton hat-rick as England U16 A crush Belgium
Your News Wootton hat-rick as England U16 A crush Belgium

England U16 A 52 Belgium U18 3

A hat-trick from right wing Alex Wootton helped the England U16 A team to their first win in the Wellington College Festival and their first in four outings this season following today's match (Tues Apl 6) against Belgium U17 at the top Crowthorne, Berkshire, based academic establishment.

The Sedbergh School and Cheshire wing touched down either side of the break and helped England to a 47-0 lead with his third.

Afterwards he said: "It made me feel on top of the world. I've scored hat-tricks in school games but I've never dreamt of doing it in an international.

"But, it was a good performance from the boys. Effort after effort from the forwards who played very well, phase after phase, and gave the backs clean ball and allowed us to do our job well.

"It's the only win we've had this season and it's got our confidence up for the game against France on Friday.

Belgium showed in the opening quarter that they would be no pushovers and it took England time to settle before finally taking the lead on 17 minutes.

Flanker Harry Nuttal was at the heart of the build-up and having already played a part in the initial stages he was on hand to take No.8 Harry Wells inside pass and ship it on to lock James Bloxham.

He brushed aside a tackle to run around behind the posts and touch down and give skipper and fly half Jonathan Taylor an easy conversion attempt.

A big burst up the wing from Wootton sent full back Lee Melotti flying over for the second try and he had grabbed a second, this time converted by Taylor, before Wootton embarked on his individual try scoring efforts just before half-time.

The wing polishing off a patient build-up in the Belgium 22 for his first, converted by Taylor, to extend England's lead to 26-0 as Portuguese referee Alphonso Noguiera signalled the interval.

Five minutes into the second-half he had added his second as England smartly whipped the ball along their line and with Melotti joining in from the back created the overlap from which Wootton raced over.

Again Taylor added the extras as he did to England's sixth try when the forwards took and drove from a line-out deep in the Belgium 22 and hooker Harry Thacker eventually peeled off the maul and drove over.

Within a minute of the restart they had scored again, this time with another of the England substitutes prop Matt Beaumont's thunderous drive setting up Wootton for his hat-trick as he cruised in under the posts before being replaced.

Taylor once more obliged with the conversion but couldn't manage to kick the additional points after flanker Steve Uren had completed the England rout with the eighth and final touchdown.

"I'm pleased with it overall," said England U16 A coach Steve Shortland afterwards. "We knew it wasn't going to be a push-over and we were just trying to play phase play and earn the right to go wide and make space and take space.

"We've worked hard to do that by, probably, getting more people over the ball than we did against Scotland and put our scrum-half in an armchair and then allowing ourselves to express ourselves out wide, which I think we did very well.

"They boys needed a win. They've played some difficult fixtures and were probably frustrated and disappointed by the way we played in the second half against Scotland as we felt we had opportunities to win that game."

England U16A now face France A in their final match of the Festival on Friday, 1pm kick-off.

England U16 A: Lee Melotti (William Parker School/East Midlands); Alex Wootton (Sedburgh School/Cheshire), Ralph Dowds (King Edward V11 & Queen Mary, Lytham/Lancashire), Nick Carpenter (Clevedon School/Somerset), Saeed Agboke (Denstone College/Staffordshire); Jonathan Taylor (Cheadle Hulme School/Cheshire), Simon Sexton (Wellington College/Surrey); Tom Rhodes (Flegg High School/Eastern Counties), Luke Cole (Hipperholme & Lightcliffe High School/Yorkshire), Kieran Davies (Sidmouth College/Devon); James Bloxham (Millfield School/Somerset), Tom Hilton-Stevens (RGS Guildford/Surrey); Steve Uren (Higham High School/Bristol); Harry Nuttall (The King's School Worcester/North Midlands), Harry Wells (The King's School Peterborough/Notts/Lincs/Derby). Reps:- Matt Beaumont (Bradford Grammar School/Yorkshire), Harry Thacker (Leicester Grammar School/Leicester), Alex Gale (Coombeshead College/Devon), Daniel Grange (Ilkley Grammar School/Yorkshire), Gus Jones (Eton College/Oxfordshire), Rory Anderson (Eton College/Surrey), Seb Tullie (Bradford Grammar School/Yorkshire), Oliver Claxton (Adams' Grammar School/Staffordshire), Niall Crosley (Bishop Rawstorne High School/Lancashire), Andrew Hodgson (The Kings School, Macclesfield/ Cheshire), Alex Smith (Colfe's School/Kent).

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