ENGLAND won the Student Four Nations title for a third successive year, topping the table with a 100 per cent record.
Pole position was secured with a 34-14 victory over Wales – who needed to win by 28 points to head the final standings – on Saturday, England thereby maintaining their 100 per cent record after having disposed of Scotland and Ireland during the week.
There was some solace for Wales, however, with Head Coach Latham Tawhai’s side finishing second – despite losing two of their three games – ahead of Ireland and Scotland on points’ difference.
All games were played at Edinburgh University.
Monday 13 June 2016
HOOKER Sam Druce raced over for a hat-trick as the holders got off to a blistering start in the defence of their trophy.
It was, though, Ireland who drew first blood, with Jordan Hylton crossing in the corner off Conor Mackey’s long pass.
England, however, established a lead they were destined not to relinquish when Jack Howdle benefited from fine work by Matty Brewer, the latter adding the extras.
James Woodburn-Hall sent Druce over to extend the advantage, and tries by Jed Goddard and Zack McComb, with Brewer landing his third goal, left Ireland trailing 22-4 at the break.
Howdle grabbed his second on the restart, again courtesy of Brewer’s involvement, and Brewer then pulled off a 90-metre interception try, Woodburn-Hall inexplicably missing the simple conversion.
Woodburn-Hall’s telling kick, however, led to Brewer pouncing, and a fine break by Brad Kislingbury led to Druce grabbing his second score.
McComb also completed a brace with a grand solo effort, and Druce grabbed his third try as the fixture drew to a close, Brewer landing his sixth conversion.
ENGLAND: Jacob Morgan, James Hill, Zack McComb, Jason Bass, Jed Goddard, Matty Brewer, James Woodburn-Hall, Liam Wood, Sam Druce, Matt Ross, Jack Howdle, Marcus Stock, Jack Lazenby. Subs: Danny Fallon, Charlie Greene, Malikhi Lloyd-Jones, Josh Hamilton, Brad Kislingbury.
IRELAND: Ethen Moloney, Matt Connolly, Elliott Munnelly, Alan McMahon, Jordan Hylton, Conor Mackey, James Kelly, Ryan Healy, Wayne Kelly, Andrew Keating, Ben Alexander, Matt Cahoon, Matt McKelvey. Subs: Sam Boyd, Ryan Guilfoyle, Ben O’Ryan, Shane Heffernan, Richie McHugh.
Referee: Simon Ellis
WALES’ young new-look side opened the tournament with an impressive victory, founded on a 28-point blitz in the first 20 minutes.
Curtis Davies supplied the final pass for both Tom Morgan and Fraser Robinson to cross, Lloyd Selby-Smith swept in when the ball was spread wide, and Lewis Willacott raced over following an audacious interception.
Alec Wheatley scooped up his own grubber to send Robinson over for his second score, Marcus Webb adding his fourth goal, and matters got worse for Scotland when Wheatley sent Lewis Hughes over.
The host country, however, were given something of a boost when Craig Robertson nipped over to reduce the deficit at the interval to 34-4, bur Wales resumed their authority on the resumption, Sion Jones breaking to send Connor Davies over, and Wheatley firing a kick for Ieuan Jones to pounce.
Scott Plumridge burrowed over by way of response, and Luke Walters followed suit shortly afterwards.
Between-times, though, Ieuan Jones grabbed his second touchdown. And Wales closed in style with late tries by Lewis Hughes – courtesy of Cobi Green’s pass – and Sion Jones, who raced 70 metres from a scrum, Webb adding his eighth goal.
SCOTLAND: Finlay Hutchinson, Craig Robertson, Charlie Leask, Scott Plumridge, Nigel Kelly, Doug Heseltine, Jamie Park, Sam Heron, Luke Walters, Toby Williams, James Hassel, Fionn O’Donnell, Dan Turland, Scott Derrick. Subs: Tom Plance, Niall Hall, Gregg Hamilton, Cameron Harrison.
WALES: Fraser Robinson, Lewis Hughes, Ieuan Jones, Lloyd Selby-Smith, Lewis Willacott, Marcus Webb, Curtis Davies, Brandon Lamb, Liam Rice-Wilson, Harry Boots, Tom Morgan, Chris Jones, Sion Jones. Subs: Connor Davies, Matt Davies, Liam Cashman, Alec Wheatley, Cobi Green.
Referee: Harry Neville
Wednesday 15 June
WALES coach Latham Tawhai, seeking to rotate his squad in the second of three games inside five days, made several changes to the side that swept past Scotland 48 hours earlier – and Ireland took full advantage.
The Irish were 18-0 up in double-quick time, thanks to three tries in the first 12 minutes as Wales struggled to deal with high bombs.
Matt Cahoon, Jordan Hylton and, from dummy-half, Ben Alexander opened for Ireland, James Kelly improving each effort on his way to a five-goal haul, before Wales rallied to within four points.
Fraser Robinson sent Tom Davies over for the Welsh, and Connor Davies offloaded to Harry Boots, with Liam Rice-Wilson also popping over and Cobi Green adding a goal.
Ireland, though, hit back through Elliot Munnelly, Hylton palming back a bomb, before Wales’ Marcus Webb and Irishman Conor Mackey were sin-binned following an altercation.
Tom Davies got his second try after Wales moved the ball wide, Green converting, only for Alexander to respond in kind.
Eathon Moloney then pounced on a James Kelly grubber for a stunning score, and the pair linked up again, Moloney collecting Kelly’s pass, before Matt Connolly closed the account.
IRELAND: Ethen Moloney, Matt Connolly, Richie McHugh, Alan McMahon, Jordan Hylton, Elliott Munnelly, James Kelly, Sam Boyd, Ryan Guilfoyle, Andrew Keating, Ben Alexander, Ben O’Ryan, Matt Cahoon. Subs: Paddy Healy, Aaron Murray, Wayne Kelly, Ryan Healy, Conor Mackey.
WALES: Fraser Robinson, Evan Wynne, Ieuan Jones, Lloyd Selby-Smith, Tom Davies, Marcus Webb, Cobi Green, Sion Jones, Curtis Davies, Harry Boots, Tom Morgan, Matt Davies, Connor Davies. Subs: Liam Rice-Wilson, Liam Cashman, Chris Jones, Lewis Hughes, Brandon Lamb.
Referee: Harry Neville
ENGLAND dominated the second period after a keenly-contested first half to emerge as competition favourites after Wales’ surprise defeat at the hands of Ireland.
There was no score in the opening half-hour, James Woodburn-Hall breaking the deadlock with a fine solo score in which he held off the cover in a thrilling race to the line, Matty Brewer adding the extras.
Scotland restored parity when Finlay Hutchinson raced to the posts from the touchline, Scott Plumridge improving.
That, though, was as good as it got for the host country as already poor weather conditions deteriorated further.
Hooker Sam Druce burrowed over from dummy-half to restore England’s lead, and Jason Bass then went over in the corner off Jacob Morgan’s astute pass.
Morgan then scored a try of his own, Brewer intelligently popping the ball over his shoulder and adding his fourth goal from as many attempts.
Lewis Lord sent James Hill over as England took a grip, but established total control, Scotland hitting back when Luke Walters bustled in at the corner.
But Morgan – the man of the match – sent Hill through with a memorable cut-out pass, before England wrapped matters up when Josh Hamilton powered over and Brewer kicked his sixth goal.
ENGLAND: Jacob Morgan, Jason Bass, Brad Kislingbury, Jack Lazenby, James Hill, Matty Brewer, James Woodburn-Hall, Josh Hamilton, Sam Druce, Matt Ross, James Mason, Marcus Stock, Danny Fallon. Subs: Lewis Lord, Charlie Greene, Zack McComb, Malikhi Lloyd-Jones, Liam Webb.
SCOTLAND: Finlay Hutchinson, Nigel Kelly, Craig Robertson, Scott Plumridge, Damien Genocchio, Doug Heseltine, Jamie Park, Sam Heron, Luke Walters, Toby Williams, Dan Turland, Fionn O’Donnell, Tom Plance. Subs: Scott Derrick, Terry Skeet, Niall Hall, Gregg Hamilton, Cameron Harrison.
Referee: Simon Ellis
Saturday 18 June 2016
England made sure that Wales, who needed to win comfortably to take the title, would be disappointed by posting the game’s first try, on 14 minutes, for Brad Kislingbury, Matty Brewer adding his side’s only goal of the match.
Wales levelled five minutes later, Harry Boots crossing after a Tom Davies break and Marcus Webb, like Brewer, kicking his side’s only goal. But England took control with three unanswered tries before the break, an 18-6 lead effectively sealing the title.
James Hill grabbed the first after a sweeping move, Sam Druce nipped in from dummy-half, and Zack McComb claimed an opportunist score when he was first to James Woodburn-Hall’s grubber.
Wales hit back early in the second period, Lewis Willacott racing in after a touchline raid, but the English were determined to clinch the title in style.
Woodburn-Hall replied immediately, courtesy of fine play by Lewis Lord, and an interception by Brewer led to Charlie Greene crossing.
Jason Bass romped over from his own half on the hour and, with 10 minutes left, Hill closed the account. Wales had the last word when Webb sent Evan Wynne over but it was too little, too late for Tawhai’s men.
ENGLAND: Jacob Morgan, James Hill, Zack McComb, Brad Kislingbury, Jason Bass, Matty Brewer, James Woodburn-Hall, Liam Wood, Sam Druce, Matt Ross, Jack Howdle, Marcus Stock, Charlie Greene. Subs: Malikhi Lloyd-Jones, James Mason, Lewis Lord, Josh Hamilton.
WALES: Fraser Robinson, Lewis Hughes, Tom Davies, Lloyd Selby-Smith, Lewis Willacott, Marcus Webb, Connor Davies, Brandon Lamb, Liam Rice-Wilson, Harry Boots, Tom Morgan, Chris Jones, Sion Jones. Subs: Matt Davies, Liam Cashman, Alec Wheatley, Cobi Green, Evan Wynne, Curtis Davies.
Referee: Matthew Rossleigh
IRELAND, who went into their final match of the tournament with the title a real possibility after their stunning win on Wednesday over Wales, had their hopes shattered by one man.
Centre Craig Robertson raced over for six tries to help Scotland register their only win of the week, while England’s victory later in the day over Wales meant that Irish ambitions would have been thwarted in any event.
Scotland were 24-0 ahead in double-quick time, with Robertson grabbing his first three tries and Nigel Kelly and Scott Plumridge also crossing, the latter adding a couple of conversions.
Ireland replied through Alan McMahon, only for Robertson to claim his fourth score, Plumridge improving.
The Irish, to their credit, clawed their way back to only 34-26 adrift. Ryan Guilfoyle sparked the rally, racing over from 85 metres, and although Fionn O’Donnel promptly replied, three straight Ireland tries suggested a real recovery could be possible.
Richie McHugh and twice, for his hat-trick, McMahon, crossed in a heartening salvo, but it was Scotland who closed in style, Robertson garnering his last two touchdowns and prop Sam Heron steaming over, Plumridge breaching the half-century with his last three goals.
SCOTLAND: Finlay Hutchinson, Damien Genocchio, Craig Robertson, Scott Plumridge, Nigel Kelly, Doug Henderson, Jamie Park, Toby Williams, Luke Walters, Sam Heron, Dan Turland, Fionn O’Donnell, Connor, Greg Hamilton. Subs: Tom Plance, Terry Skeet, James Hassall, Niall Hall, Charlie Leask.
IRELAND: Eathon Moloney, Matt Connolly, Richie McHugh. Alan McMahon, Jordan Hylton, Elliott Munnelly, James Kelly, Ryan Healy, Ryan Guilfoyle, Sam Boyd, Ben Alexander, Ben O’Ryan, Matt Cahoon. Subs: Conor Mackey, Matt McKelvey, Shane Heffernan, Andrew Keating, Wayne Kelly.
Referee: Jamie Jones