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Home > News > England U18 clinch dramatic last gasp win
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Your News England U18 clinch dramatic last gasp win

England U18 dramatically secured their place in the final of the FIRA/AER Championship after overcoming neighbours Wales 38-34 at the Stade Jaques Fouroux in Auch, France.

With seconds left on the clock and England 34-31 behind, London Irish wing Anthony Watson touched down for John Fletchers men to clinch a tight win. At one point, England found themselves 17 points behind Wales, but clinical finishing in the final ten minutes ensured a memorable victory.

Exeter Chiefs full back Jack Nowell got England off to a dream start, showing a quick turn of pace to dart in between two Welsh players before touching down just wide of the post with one minutes on the clock. Fellow Chief Henry Slade added the conversion and then scored a penalty to give England a 10-0 lead.

Despite the early setback, Wales soon sprung into life and were eventually rewarded for their efforts, scoring two converted tries in quick succession to give them a 14-10 lead. Wales then added two penalties before the break to give them at 10-point cushion at half time, leading 20-10.

England needed to start the second half as they had done the first, but it was Wales who took the early initiative, scoring shortly after the restart to make the score 27-10.

Northampton Saints prop Danny Herriott then kick-started the England resurgence, burrowing over for Englands second try. But that was almost instantly cancelled out, courtesy of a breakaway fourth Welsh try scored soon after the restart to reestablish their 17-point lead.

With ten minutes left to play, England scored again through the lively Nowell, who touched down for his second try of the game. Northampton Saints fly half Will Hooley converted, but England still trailed by ten points.

Mark Jennings then scored his second try in as many games after a nice side-step move freed up a gap for the Sale Sharks centre to touch down near the posts, Hooley converted to bring England to within three points of Wales.

With 70 minutes on the clock (the games are 35-minutes each way), Watson used his explosive pace to its full effect, dodging several Welsh defenders before diving over between the posts to guarantee Englands spot in the final against Ireland in Tarbes on Saturday, April 23.

England points: Jack Nowell 2T, Danny Herriott 1T, Mark Jennings 1T, Anthony Watson 1T. Henry Slade 2C, 1P, Will Hooley 3C.

England U18 v Wales

Player

School

Club

15 Jack Nowell

Truro College

Exeter Chiefs

14 Anthony Watson

St Georges College

London Irish

13 Mark Jennings

Myerscough College

Sale Sharks

12 Sam Hill

Ivybridge College

Exeter Chiefs

11 Jack Arnott

Ivybridge College

Exeter Chiefs

10 Henry Slade

Plymouth College

Exeter Chiefs

9 Alex Day

St Josephs College

Northampton Saints

1 Alec Hepburn

Henley College

London Wasps

2 Scott Spurling

Harrow School

Saracens

3 Danny Herriott

Moulton College

Northampton Saints

4 Tom Jubb

Oaklands College

Saracens

5 Dominic Barrow

Prince Henrys Grammar School

Leeds Carnegie

6 David Sisi

St Pauls Catholic College

London Irish

7 Matt Hankin

Haileybury College

Saracens

8 Jack Clifford

RGS Guildford

Harlequins

Replacements

Player

School

Club

16 Max Crumpton

Oaklands College

Saracens

17 Tom Smallbone on for Danny Herriott

Harrow School

London Irish

18 Nathan Morris on for Scott Spurling

Sedbergh School

London Wasps

19 Joe Robinson on for David Sisi

Sedbergh School

Newcastle Falcons

20 Joe Buckle on for Matt Hankin

Bryanston

Bath Rugby

21 James Lightfoot-Brown on for Alex Day

St. Paul's Catholic College

London Irish

22 Will Hooley on for Henry Slade

The Leys School

Northampton Saints

23 Marcus Webber on for Jack Nowell

Manchester Grammar

Leeds Carnegie

24 Tom Stephenson

Moulton College

Northampton Saints

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