England men U20s were defeated 23-22 by Wales in the U20 Six Nations Championship at Gloucester’s Kingsholm Stadium.
The hosts trailed 14-5 at the break with Wales scoring tries via Sam Costelow and Bradley Roderic, while Emmanuel Iyogun crossed for Alan Dickens’ side.
Second-half scores from George Barton, Sam Crean and Jack Van Poortvliet put England ahead but Costelow’s late drop goal, as well as two earlier penalties sealed victory.
It was a second successive loss for Dickens’ side following their defeat to Ireland in round three.
Wales struck first, as Costelow jinked his way through for the opening try of the game, also converting his own score.
Iyogun bundled over from close range but Wales had a second try, Bradley Roderick finishing off Costelow’s initial break to give his side a nine-point advantage at the break.
Barton ran a fine line and darted over in the corner to get England back in the game but Costelow sent over a penalty immediately after for 17-10.
England had a try disallowed for an earlier forward pass, before losing full back Freddie Steward for 10 minutes due to a high tackle.
Crean had England’s third try, diving through a ruck to dot down, but Barton’s conversion struck the post and soon after Costelow’s penalty took the score to 20-15.
Van Poortvliet finished off Josh Gillespie’s break to seal a bonus point and Haydon-Wood’s conversion put England ahead before Costelow’s late drop goal gave Wales a slender advantage.
England looked to score another late try to win the game but were penalised for a forward pass in the final minute with the match finishing 23-22 to the visitors.
Last year England slipped to a 21-13 defeat despite leading 10-3 at half-time as Sinckler eventually reacted to relentless goading led by Alun Wyn Jones. #ENGvWAL #GuinnessSixNations ??????????????https://t.co/pHiVd2NoFs
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 7, 2020
Head coach Alan Dickens said: “Tonight’s game highlights the fine margins between winning and losing and unfortunately we were on the wrong side of the result.
“We were a lot better in the second half, we scored some good tries and put them under pressure and the key learning from tonight is when we score and then receive the kick off we need to get out of our third. We didn’t do that efficiently enough and we were punished.
“The players are hurting and they need to learn how to channel that the next time they get an opportunity and the feeling in the dressing room is of immense disappointment. We feel we left two or three tries out there and weren’t clinical enough.
“I want the players to be proud of what they’ve achieved over the past few weeks and they need to go back to their clubs and work hard and get some game time under their belts as that is the best way of improving as a player.”
England U20s: Tries – Iyogun, Barton, Crean, Van Poortvliet Cons – Haydon-Wood
Wales U20s: Tries – Costelow, Roderick Cons – Costelow 2 Pens – Costelow 2, Drop goal – Costelow
England men U20s: 15. Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers), 14. Gabriel Hamer-Webb (Bath Rugby), 13. Connor Doherty (Sale Sharks) – captain, 12. Max Ojomoh (Bath Rugby), 11. Tom Roebuck (Sale Sharks), 10. George Barton (Gloucester Rugby), 9. Sam Maunder (Exeter Chiefs), 1. Emmanuel Iyogun (Northampton Saints), 2. Theo Dan (Saracens), 3. Cal Ford (Sale Sharks), 4. Hugh Tizard (Harlequins), 5. George Hammond (Harlequins), 6. Rob Farrar (Newcastle Falcons), 7. Richard Capstick (Exeter Chiefs), 8. Rusiate Tuima (Exeter Chiefs).
Replacements: 16. Sam Riley (Harlequins), 17. Sam Crean (Saracens), 18. Harvey Beaton (Saracens), 19. Alex Groves (Bristol Bears), 20. Jack Clement (Gloucester), 21. Jack Van Poortvliet (Leicester Tigers), 22. Will Haydon-Wood (Newcastle Falcons), 23. Josh Gillespie (Northampton Saints).
Wales U20s: 15 Jacob Beetham (Cardiff Blues), 14 Frankie Jones (Aberavon), 13 Bradley Roderick (Ospreys), 12 Aneurin Owen (Dragons), 11 Mason Grady (Cardiff Blues), 10 Sam Costelow (Leicester Tigers), 9 Ellis Bevan (Cardiff Met); 1 Theo Bevacqua (Cardiff Blues), 2 Will Griffiths (Dragons), 3 Ben Warren (Cardiff Blues), 4 James Fender (Ospreys), 5 Ben Carter (Dragons), 6 Ioan Davies (Cardiff Blues), 7 Jac Morgan (Scarlets – CAPT), 8 Morgan Strong (Ospreys).
Replacements: 16 Dom Booth (Scarlets), 17 Callum Williams (Scarlets), 18 Harri O’Connor (Scarlets), 19 Ed Scragg (Dragons), 20 Gwilym Bradley (Cardiff Blues), 21 Dafydd Buckland (Dragons), 22 Joe Hawkins (Ospreys), 23 Luke Scully (Worcester Warriors).
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