The Quins Academy boys have been in fine form once again, with a third try in as many games for George Lowe, a Man of the Match performance for Chris York, and tries for five of the seven England Under 18's. There were also some familiar faces on show for the loan-clubs last weekend...
England U20's 20 - 6 Scotland U20's
Harlequins Academy boys continued to impress in the final game of the U20's Six Nations tournament against Scotland, which saw the home side come away 20-6 winners. Joe Marler, Chris York and George Lowe were all in the starting line-up, with Tom Sargeant coming on as a replacement.
George Lowe scored the last try of the game, his third in as many games. After Rob Miller had kicked wide, Lowe pounced to touchdown, and ensured the win in an unstable game.
However, it was No. 8, Chris York, who received the plaudits after the game, who had a fantastic game, building on the potential he has shown throughout the tournament. A solid game was capped by a Man of the Match award, after he set up the second try for England by storming 20 metres up the pitch, flattened two defenders and offloaded out of the back of his hand for flanker, Jamie Gibson to score.
Speaking after the game, York, who started all five games of the tournament, said:
"We picked up a good win against Scotland, and this is a good high to build on going into the World Cup. There's lots of ability in this team and we'd back ourselves to take on any other sides in the world. At the start of the campaign, I wouldn't have expected to have played in five games. I haven't been as consistent as I would have liked, and we've had our ups and downs, but it's been great to be involved."
Whilst the win was far from convincing, it gives the young side a good platform as they prepare for the IRB Junior World Championship, with the pool stages taking place in Japan this June.
Quins Academy once again have a strong presence within the England U18's squads, and have been in fine try-scoring form.
Lock, Charlie Matthews (Hurstpeirpoint College), scrum-half, Sam Stuart ( Sedbergh School) and flanker, Joe Trayfoot (Epsom College), all scored in the impressive 63-0, 10 try victory over Scotland, with hooker, Rob Buchanan (St Bedes School) and lock, Sam Twomey (Dulwich College) also featuring in the Five Nations game.
The England side were in fine form once again last weekend, easily seeing off the challenge from Japan High Schools with a 71-7 win. 11 tries were scored in the process, with Stuart once again scoring just before half-time.
England will now head to the Five Nations festival, in Parma, Italy, in confident spirits, with the first game taking place against Italy on April 12th. England U18s Coach, John Fletcher, said: "We are pleased to get another win under our belts, although we did not play as well as we wanted. It's still very encouraging to be heading to Italy with two wins from two games, and I know that if we play as well as we can out there then we have got a serious chance of being successful."
England's Under 18 AER side have also been in impressive form. Quins prop, Will Collier (Cranleigh School and Surrey) and lock, Joe Launchbury (Christ's Hospital School and Sussex) were both in action, and both crossed the whitewash (Launchbury twice) to assist in the 50-14 win over Japan High Schools two weeks ago. The home side had eased to a 38-0 lead at half time, and used the second half to give game time to the 11 replacements allowed in this full cap international fixture.
Head Coach, Paul Mullan, was delighted with the workout his side had ahead of their opening match in the AER (Association Europeene de Rugby) Tournament against Georgia in Toulon on April 5th.
"We brought a lot of things we have worked on in training onto the pitch. There are still things we need to work on, particularly our decision-making around the contact areas, but I was really pleased with the ambition we displayed, the width we put on the game and the inter-linking between forwards and backs. We also scored some tremendous length-of-the-pitch tries, and it was a very useful exercise ahead of the game against Georgia."
Full details of all these results and the squads involved can be found at www.rfu.com
Loan Club Round-up
Joe Marler and Mickey Pointing were unable to stop Worthing falling to a 7-26 loss at home to Ealing at the weekend, after a second-half double from Ealing centre Joe Price completing the win for the away side. Worthing remain perilously close to the relegation zone, with only points for and against separating them from 11th placed Ldyney.
Dan Frazier had better luck, helping Rosslyn Park to a 26-6 home win over Canterbury, with tries from Adam Gates and Rob Jewell ensuring that the home side cantered past Canterbury. Frazier's side now sit second in the league, behind leaders London Scottish.
Seb Jewell started for Esher as they took on Sedgley Park, with George Lowe returning from International duty to take his place on the bench. The home side ran away with a 76-10 victory, with Robert Shaw leading an Esher rout as he scored three first-half tries. There were a number of ex-Quins Academy boys also playing, with Alex Rogers, James Inglis and Charlie Amesbury all crossing the whitewash, with Amesbury scoring twice, the later seeing him run the try in from his own half.
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.