England claimed a big win over France and there were victories for Ireland and Wales as well in the opening round of the U20 Six Nations.
England 59-17 France
England got their campaign off to a superb start when they claimed a deserved 59-17 victory over France at Sandy Park.
The home side dominated for large periods and raced into a 31-3 lead at the interval and eventually outscored les Bleus by nine tries to one, with Max Malins leadig the way with a 24-point haul courtesy of two tries and seven conversions.
The opening half was a one-sided affair and Malins, Joe Cokanasiga, Ben Earl, Will Butler and Tom Curry all crossed the whitewash for England, and Malins also succeeded with two conversions.
France’s only points during the half came via an early Thomas Darmon penalty.
England made a superb start to the second half when Max Wright scored their sixth try, after Malins played a prominent role in the build-up, but they soon took their foot off the pedal which allowed Selevasio Tolofua and Baptiste Pesenti to narrow the gap with tries for France.
Malins then beat several defenders before scoring his second try and England sealed their win with further tries from Sam Aspland-Robinson and Tom Parton.
Tries: Malins 2, Cokanasiga, Earl, Butler, Curry, Wright, Aspland-Robinson, Parton
Cons: Malins 7
Tries: Tolofua, Pesenti
Cons: Darmon 2
England: 15 Tom Parton, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Max Wright, 12 Will Butler, 11 Sam Aspland-Robinson, 10 Max Malins, 9 Harry Randall, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Ben Earl (c), 6 Tom Curry, 5 Nick Isiekwe, 4 Jack Nay, 3 Joseph Morris, 2 Joe Mullis, 1 Ollie Dawe
Replacements: 16 Jamie Blamire, 17 Jake Pope, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Justin Clegg, 20 Josh Bayliss, 21 Alex Mitchell, 22 Jacob Umaga, 23 Gabriel Ibitoye
France: 15 Romain Buros, 14 Geoffrey Cros, 13 Nathan Decron, 12 Théo Millet, 11 William Iraguha, 10 Thomas Darmon, 9 Arthur Retière, 8 Alexandre Roumat, 7 Julien Ruaud, 6 Selevasio Tolofua, 5 Mickaël Capelli, 4 Florian Verhaeghe (c), 3 Corentin Chabeaudie, 2 Florian Dufour, 1 Mathis Dumain
Replacements: 16 Léo Aouf, 17 Etienne Fourcade, 18 Ugo Boniface, 19 Baptiste Pesenti, 20 Killian Bendjaballah, 21 Batiste Couilloud, 22 Anthony Fuertes, 23 Théo Dachary
Scotland 19-20 Ireland
Ireland claimed an important away win when they edged out Scotland 20-19 Broadwood Stadium on Saturday.
Scotland drew first blood when their inside centre Cameron Hutchison scored early in the first half. The hosts then compounded their lead as fly-half Josh Henderson’s accurate with the boot ending the half in the lead 13-6.
The Irish came back with a vengeance in the second half after a sublime performance from mecurial number ten Johnny McPhillips, who kicked two penalties for the visitors in the first half.
Ireland scored first in the second half through hooker Tadgh McElroy who barged over the line from close quarters and McPhillips kicked the conversion which levelled the score 13-13 all.
Henderson then added two more penalties which looked as though it might have decided the game, but Paul Boyle closed the gap with a deserved try before McPhillips won the game for his side with a late penalty.
Pens: Henderson 4
Tries: Boyle, McElroy
Cons: McPhillips 2
Pens: McPhillips 2
Scotland: 15 Darcy Graham, 14 Robbie Nairn, 13 Craig Pringle, 12 Cameron Hutchison, 11 Ross McCann, 10 Josh Henderson, 9 Andrew Simmers, 8 Tom Dodd, 7 Matt Fagerson, 6 Luke Crosbie, 5 Callum Hunter-Hill, 4 Alex Craig, 3 Adam Nicol, 2 Fraser Renwick, 1 George Thornton
Replacements: 16 Robbie Smith, 17 Daniel Winning, 18 Fergus Bradbury, 19 Hamish Bain, 20 Jamie Ure, 21 Bruce Flockhart, 22 Charlie Shiel, 23 Stafford McDowall
Ireland: 15 Jack Kelly, 14 Jordan Larmour, 13 Gavin Mullin, 12 Ciaran Frawley, 11 Colm Hogan, 10 Johnny McPhillips, 9 Johnny Stewart, 8 Caelan Dorris, 7 Paul Boyle, 6 Cillian Gallagher, 5 Oisin Dowling, 4 Fineen Wycherley, 3 Peter Cooper, 2 Tadgh McElroy, 1 Joey Conway
Replacements: 16 Adam Moloney, 17 Rory Mulvihill, 18 Charlie Connolly, 19 Jack Regan, 20 Marcus Rea, 21 Jack Lyons, 22 Conor Fitzgerald, 23 Tommy O’Brien
Italy 5-27 Wales
Stadio Giovanni Mari
Defending champions Wales started their campaign in style as they outscored Italy by three tries to one at Stadio Giovanni Mari in Legnano.
Italy had the better of the early exchanges and opened the scoring in the 13th minute when Giordano Baldino scored the opening try from the back of a driving maul deep inside Wales’ half.
Antonio Rizzi missed with the conversion attempt but Wales soon took control of proceedings and they were soon in the lead when Rhys Carre scored the opening try which was converted by Ben Jones.
Wales’ fly-half also slotted a penalty late in the half which gave his side a 10-5 lead at the interval. Jones added his second penalty in the 51st minute to extend Wales’ lead and two minutes later, Ryan Conbeer rounded off a flowing move which put more daylight between his side and the hosts.
Wales finished the stronger and sealed their win in the dying moments when KIeran Williams crossed for their third try.
Tries: Williams, Conbeer, Carre
Cons: Jones 3
Pens: Jones 2
Italy: 15 Massimo Cioffi, 14 Andrea Bronzini, 13 Ludovico Vaccari, 12 Marco Zanon, 11 Giovanni D’Onofrio, 10 Antonio Rizzi, 9 Charly Trussardi, 8 Giovanni Licata, 7 Lorenzo Robin Masselli, 6 Jacopo Bianchi, 5 Edoardo Iachizzi, 4 Giordano Baldino, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Massimo Ceciliani, 1 Daniele Rimpelli
Replacements: 16 Alberto Rollero, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Giosue Zilocchi, 19 Gabriele Venditti, 20 Nardo Casolari, 21 Emilio Fusco, 22 Michelangelo Biondelli, 23 Roberto Dal Zilio
Wales: 15 Will Talbot-Davies, 14 Jared Rosser, 13 Ioan Nicholas, 12 Kieran Williams, 11 Ryan Conbeer, 10 Ben Jones, 9 Dane Blacker, 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Will Jones, 6 Morgan Sieniawski, 5 Max Williams, 4 Alex Dombrandt, 3 Kieron Assiratti, 2 Ellis Shipp, 1 Rhys Carre
Replacements: 16 Corrie Tarrant, 17 Steff Thomas, 18 Chris Coleman, 19 Jack Pope, 20 Aled Ward, 21 Declan Smith, 22 Phil Jones, 23 Cameron Lewis