Holt 2, Keyes, Ware, Johnson, Bastiman
Wear 1/3, Keyes 2/3
UNDER 16 TEST MATCH
The England Youth side secured a 30-4 victory over their Welsh counterparts at Sheffield’s Mount St Mary’s yesterday in a game that was played in difficult conditions. Three tries either side of halftime ensured England were never in trouble against a spirited Wales side who threw everything they had at the English defence.
It took less than two minutes for England to open the scoring, when Wakefield centre Kieran Holt capitalised on some early enterprising play to squeeze in down the left hand flank. It could have signalled the opening of the floodgates but Wales responded with passion and poured on the pressure. Twice held-up over the line, Wales looked certain to capitalise on a sustained period of pressure but poor handling allowed England to relieve the pressure and they didn’t need a second opportunity to pounce.
Stand-off Joseph Keyes scored a superb individual effort when he broke through the first line of defence 50 yards out and showed an impressive turn of pace and nimble footwork to jink his way over the line. Scrumhalf Dominic Wear added the extras to give England a 10-0 lead. Second Row Jacob Ware then added a third for the home side minutes before the half-time whistle to give England a comfortable looking 14-0 halftime lead.
A blistering start to the second half saw England extend the lead to 18-0 with only 30 seconds played when winger Jack Johnson found himself in space down the left. That left hand combination proved fruitful again minutes later when Johnson combined with Holt before interchange Ashley Basitman crashed over from close range. Keyes took charge of kicking duty and showed impressive ability with the boot to slot both conversions from the corner line.
Holt scored his second of the game shortly after to extend the score line to 30-0. Welsh centre Calvin Wellington notched a consolation try for the visitors with less than 10 minutes to go and Wales could have added more had they not squandered two golden opportunities.
“I think the lads played with their hearts on their sleeves today,” said stand-in head coach Tony Drury. “They did some great things out there and they made some silly errors as well. “But these are young lads just starting out and you expect that but what really pleased me was that when they did make mistakes they stuck together and showed great spirit as a team.
“Wales came at us and they threw everything they had at us and our defence stood strong and I was happy with what they did today. There were some great individual performances but there was a great team display and that’s the most pleasing thing.”
Harry Tyson-Wilson, Frederick Bailey, Aron Manger, Kieran Holt, Jack Johnson, Joseph Keyes, Dominic Wear, Frazer Morris, Lewis Lord, Bradley Thompson, Will Carlos, Jacob Ware, Kane Ditchfield, Kane Young. Subs: Connor Adams, Jordan Hill, Louis Foster, Ashley Bastiman
Ben Jones, Regan Grace, Calvin Wellington, Sam Farrer-Evans, Benoit Kamden, Jake Carroll, Levi Quirke-Knowles, Jake Thomas, Ollie Vickers, James Little, Joe Gage, Bradley Mais, Connor Davies, Owain Lord. Subs: Tom Hawkins, Rhys Finney, Lewis Kirk, Joe Festa