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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Tuesday, July 13th 2021

U20 Grand Slam title for Bears Academy trio

Jack Bates, Alex Groves and Deago Bailey are Grand Slam winners after England U20 Men sealed the Under 20 Six Nations title with a bonus-point 27-17 win over Italy.

Centre Bates scored one of four England tries at Cardiff Arms Park to secure their first title since 2017, cutting a devastating line to power over from close range.

Some early England pressure resulted in a try in the sixth minute when full back Orlando Bailey used a hitch kick to create half a yard of space and rode two tackles to cross, with fly half Tommy Mathews adding the extras.

Mathews stretched England’s lead a few minutes later with a penalty from 40 metres out, before more pressure on the Italian try line saw a slick handling move reach try-scorer Bailey who delayed his pass to send Bates through a gap to score.

It was England who dominated territory and possession in the first 40 minutes but Italy’s defence was well-marshalled to keep England with just the 17-0 lead at the break.

The first points of the second half came from the boot of Mattia Farrarin’s penalty as Italy got on the scoreboard for the first time, but England’s response came almost immediately from a well-worked backline move off a scrum and wing Arthur Relton dived over in the corner.

The Azzurri got their first try just a couple of minutes later in a frantic start to the second half as Ion Neculai powered over from close range, and Farrarin slotted the simple conversion.

Italy’s second came after a penalty was reversed, they kicked to the corner and the driving maul saw replacement Tommaso Di Bartolome dot down and Farrarin’s extras made it 22-17.

On the 65th minute Nicolo Piantella was shown a yellow card after a number of penalties in a row were conceded by Italy, and after Tarek Haffar’s effort was ruled to be held up, from the resultant scrum the ball was worked to the left wing for Relton’s second – his sixth try of the tournament.

Flavio Pio Vaccari’s was shown a yellow card for hitting Relton in the air from the restart of his try but England retained possession in the closing stages for the victory.

The win means it’s England’s seventh title since the inception of the Under 20s Championship in 2008, making them the most successful side in the tournament. 

SCORERS

ENGLAND (17) 27

Tries: O Bailey, Bates, Relton 2 Cons: Mathews Pens: Mathews

ITALY (0) 17

Tries: Neculai, Di Bartolome Cons: Farrarin 2 Pens: Farrarin

TEAMS

England: 15 Orlando Bailey, 14 Tom Roebuck, 13 Jack Bates, 12 Dan Lancaster, 11 Arthur Relton, 10 Tommy Mathews, 9 Jack van Poortvliet (C); 1 Fin Baxter, 2 Sam Riley, 3 Harvey Kindell-Beaton, 4 Arthur Clark, 5 Alex Groves, 6 Ewan Richards, 7 Jack Clement, 8 Nahum Merigan.

Replacements: 16 Archie Vanes, 17 Tarek Haffar, 18 Luke Green, 19 Freddie Thomas, 20 Josh Gray, 21 Ollie Stonham, 22 Tom Carr-Smith, 23 Fin Smith, 24 Phil Cokanasiga, 25 Deago Bailey, 26 Charlie Atkinson. 

Italy: 15 Lorenzo Pani, 14 Tommaso Menoncello, 13 Filippo Drago, 12 Fabio Schiabel, 11 Simone Gesi, 10 Mattia Ferrarin, 9 Alessandro Garbisi; 1 Luca Rizzoli, 2 Matteo Baldelli, 3 Ion Neculai, 4 Fabrizio Boschetti, 5 Nicola Piantella, 6 Luca Andreani (C), 7 Giovanni Cenedese, 8 Lorenzo Cannone.

Replacements: 16 Tommaso Di Bartolomeo, 17 Mirco Spagnolo, 18 Valerio Bizzotto, 19 Giacomo Ferrari, 20 Ross Micheal Vintcent, 21 Manfredi Albanese, 22 Leonardo Marin, 23 Flavio Pio Vaccari, 24 Andrea Angelone, 25 Giulio Marucchini, 26 Michele Brighetti.

ENGLAND'S U20 SIX NATIONS FIXTURES


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