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England beat Wales to win Student title

19th June 2015, 13:58

England beat Wales to win Student title

England retained their Student Four Nations title but it took a tough battle against worthy runners-up Wales.

STUDENT FOUR NATIONS

ENGLAND 42 WALES 26

 

England retained their Student Four Nations title but it took a tough battle against worthy runners-up Wales.

 

Both sides fielded players from professional clubs which led to a competitive and dynamic game throughout with South Wales Scorpions’ 18-year old twins Connor and Curtis Davies, both still in school at Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera, especially standing out.

 

It took 15 minutes for England to break the tough Welsh defence, but when they did, they stamped their authority on the game.

 

An unconverted Blake Mahovic try gave England the lead in the 15th minute and seven minutes later, Matt Ross, one of three Welsh-born players in the England side, ran over with Ben Stead converting to make it 10-0.

 

Wales hit back before the half-hour with an unconverted Josh Williams score but it was just respite as Ross, who along with James Mason were initially included in the Wales training squad but then decided to join England, added his second, which Stead converted, before England’s fourth through Mike Butt taking the score to 20-4 at the break.

 

England started the second half as they meant to go on. Mahovic grabbed his second try and from kick-off, Malakhi Lloyd-Jones added England’s sixth which Stead converted to make the score 30-4.

 

The game looked to be over as a contest but Wales weren’t collapsing. As soon as they regained the ball, they grabbed a try back through the outstanding Alec Wheatley.

 

Aaron Hall was next over for England with Stead adding the extras before a try scored and converted by Matt Davies brought the score back to 36-14.

 

That was Hall’s last big moment in the game as he, along with Wales’ Osian Phillips soon saw red following a brawl.

 

England’s final try was ironically from Cardiff-born Jacob Morgan who now studies in Leeds and thus qualifies for England as well as Wales. Stead’s conversion made it 42-14 but Wales scored two late tries to make the score more respectable.

 

Wheatley, a star in Swansea University’s championship winning side this year, grabbed his second, before Jordan Howells’ unconverted effort a minute before time, Davies converting both, completed proceedings.

 

Wales coach Latham Tawhai said: “It was a very good final game. I thought we played well, we won the second half but gave ourselves a bit too much to do after the break.

 

“It’s been a fantastic week, the players have been magnificent and have been great to work with. Hopefully the players will take the experience they’ve gained back home which will benefit their clubs.”

 

ENGLAND: Jacob Morgan (Leeds University),  Mike Butt (Manchester Metropolitan University), Dan Harrison (Nottingham Trent University), Blake Mahovic (Manchester Metropolitan University), James Hill (University of Liverpool), Tom Flanagan (Edge Hill University), Ben Stead (Leeds Trinity University), Josh Halstead (University of Birmingham), James Deighton (University of Hull), Aaron Hall (University of Central Lancashire), James Senkiw (University of Huddersfield), Joe Gilpin (University of Central Lancashire), Matt Ross (Nottingham Trent University). Subs: Malakhi Lloyd-Jones (Brunel University London), James Mason (University of Gloucestershire), Charlie Cregorve (St Mary’s University, Twickenham), Jake Reed (Leeds Beckett University).

 

Tries: Mahovic (15, 45), Ross (22, 37), Butt (40), Lloyd-Jones (48), Hall (61), Morgan (73),

Goals: Stead 5/8

 

WALES: Fraser Robinson (University of Bath), James Gahan (University of Gloucestershire), Jordan Howells (Cardiff Metropolitan University), Yousif Sulliman (University of South Wales), Tom Davies (Newcastle University), Curtis Davies (Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera), Marcus Webb (Bridgend College), Rhys Davies (Coleg Gwent), Efan Ellis (University of Wales Trinity St David), Morgan Evans (University of Bath), Matt Davies (Hartpury College), George Giles (University of Gloucestershire), Osian Phillips (University of South Wales). Subs: Connor Davies (Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera), Alec Wheatley (Swansea University), Nathan Rainer (University of Gloucestershire), James Exley (University of Bath).

 

Tries: Williams (28), Wheatley (51, 77), Ellis (65), Howells (79)

Goals: Davies 3/5

 

Referee: James Jones

Half-time: 20-4