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Home > News > England U16 beaten by late drop goal in Rome
Your News England U16 beaten by late drop goal in Rome

Wales U16 28 England U16 27

England were defeated by a Wales dropped goal in the last two minutes of a see-saw battle on the opening day of the annual Four Nations Tournament in Rome, Italy, today.

It was an agonising finish for the England team captained by flanker Harry Ledger who three days previously had tasted victory with his school Whitgift in the Daily Mail RBS U18 Cup final at Twickenham.

And though the result did not go their way, Ledger's England were thankful for the support of George Catchpole, the Norwich School centre who had been due to take part in the Four Nations until he broke an arm in another of Wednesday's schools finals.

Catchpole was able to travel with his family to Rome on a Saturday morning flight and was cheering his England squad-mates on at the Stadio Unione Rugby Capitolina as they replied to an early Wales penalty goal with a penalty from wide out by fly half Will Hooley for 3-3.

It was nip and tuck from that point forward and, after 20 minutes from a wheeled scrum, England scrum half Sam Pointon went through a blindside gap on the 22 and Hooley converted for a 10-3 lead.

A penalty and a converted try put Wales 13-10 up by half-time and England maintained the same XV for the second half.

Hooley kicked his second penalty in the first minute of the second half to make it 13-13, then Wales missed with a long-range dropped goal attempt. But while England had an injured player being tended to, Wales counter-attacked for a converted try and a 20-13 advantage.

England were inspired by full back Anthony Watson who caught a high Wales kick and made an excellent break before feeding Ledger who scored halfway out on the right-hand side, with Hooley converting to tie the scores again, 20-20.

Wales had a player in the sin bin and during this period Watson against showed great skill, sidestepping through the Wales defence to score near the posts. Hooley converted again for a personal total of 12 points and England were 27-20 in front.

But the Welsh scored a try from a slight defensive lapse to get within two points at 27-25. And England had a lineout and scrum on the Wales line without making the most of their chances, before the late and decisive Welsh dropped goal.

"As a pure spectacle it was a great game but obviously disappointing for us to lose, and particularly that way," said Phil Stanlake, England U16 head coach.

"We have some small things to work on but we were very pleased with the way the boys applied themselves.

"The scrummaging was outstanding and the lineout went well. It was just that we gave up field position from time to time which put us under pressure."

England next face France on Tuesday followed by a meeting with hosts Italy on Saturday at Rome's Stadio Flaminio.

England Under 16 (school, schools CB, club, academy/elite player development group where applicable):

15 Anthony Watson (St George's College , Surrey , - , London Irish)

14 Jack Arnott (St Boniface College, Devon , Devonport Services, Exeter Chiefs)

13 Tom Wallace (RGS High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, - , London Wasps)

12 Tom Stephenson (Bloxham School , Buckinghamshire, Buckingham, London Wasps)

11 Oliver Cicognini (Ermysted's Grammar School, Yorkshire , Otley, Leeds Carnegie)

10 Will Hooley (The Leys School, Eastern Counties , Cambridge , Northampton Saints)

9 Samuel Pointon (Rugby School , East Midlands , - , - )

1 Tom Smallbone (London Oratory School , Middlesex, London Irish, London Irish)

2 Jamie Charlton-Little (Perins School , Hampshire, Winchester , London Irish)

3 James Thraves (Highfields School Derbyshire, Notts Lincs & Derbyshire, Derby , Leicester Tigers)

4 Matt Thomas (Shiplake College , Oxfordshire, - , London Wasps)

5 Jake Oldaker (King Edward's School Bath , Dorset & Wilts, Corsham, Bath Rugby)

6 Harry Ledger (Whitgift School, Surrey , Sutton & Epsom, Harlequins)(captain)

7 Gabriel Carroll (St Joseph's College, Eastern Counties, Sudbury, Northampton Saints)

8 Alex Bradley (Bishop Wordsworth School, Hampshire, Andover, London Irish).

Replacements used:

Callum Braley, Scrum half; Colston's, Bristol, St Mary's Old Boys, Bristol Rugby

Max Crumpton, Hooker; The King John School, Essex, Westcliff, Saracens

Scott Wilson, Tight-head prop; Eyemouth High School , Northumberland, Berwick, Newcastle Falcons

Unused replacements:

Marcus Webber, Full back; The Manchester Grammar School, Cheshire , - , Leeds Carnegie

Jordan Burns, Wing; Epsom College, Surrey, Cobham, Harlequins

Jordan Husband, Centre, Northampton School for Boys, East Midlands, Old Northamptonians, Northampton Saints

Jonathan Burn, Fly half; The Duchess's Community High School , Northumberland, Alnwick, Newcastle Falcons

Damon Poole, Loose-head prop; Bromsgrove School , North Midlands, Worcester , Worcester Warriors

Adam Peters, Lock; Pangbourne College , Buckinghamshire, - , -

Hugo Peterson, Flanker/No.8; Sedbergh School , Cumbria , Otley Zebras, Newcastle Falcons

Jack Allcock, Open-side flanker; Sedbergh School , Cumbria , - , - .

England U16: tries: Pointon, Ledger, Watson; cons: Hooley 3; pens: Hooley 2.

Four Nations Tournament fixtures, Rome, Italy, April 3-10, 2010 (kick-offs local time):

Saturday April 3, Stadio Unione Rugby Capitolina:

Italy 8 France 48

Wales 28 England 27.

Tuesday April 6, Stadio Tre Fontane:

Italy v Wales (2.30pm)

England v France (4.30pm)

Saturday April 10, Stadio Flaminio:

Wales v France (2.0pm)

Italy v England (4.30pm).

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