NEC Harlequins Wanderers faced England Under 18's at Staines Rugby Club yesterday (Sunday 20th February). This fixture was arranged to assist England in their build-up to their forthcoming internationals.
The Wanderers got off to an impressive start and completely dominated the early exchanges. The pressure finally led to the opening try of the afternoon scored by lock George Robson from close range.
England then started to settle into their game and some poor defending from the Wanderers allowed them to score their first try. This was closely followed by a second score, both of which were converted that gave England a 14-5 lead.
Quins continued to look the better side but unforced errors meant that a lot of scoring opportunities were wasted. However, flanker Darren Clayton then added to the Wanderers tally with a try that was converted by Luke Cousins, though England converted a penalty before half-time to give them a 17-12 lead at the break.
England played with more cohesion in the second half and had soon added a drop goal and a second penalty to their total to stretch their advantage to 11 points (23-12). Quins seemed to regain their control on the game during the last quarter but again let scoring chances go to waste. Lock Alex Ayling did manage to force his way over towards the end of the match, to make the final score 23-17 in England's favour.
The Wanderers have a chance of revenge when they play the other Under 18 squad on Sunday 6th March at Aldershot.
NEC Harlequins Wanderers: R. Cooper, C. Turner, J. Read, A. Ayling, G. Robson, B. Wolfe, D. Clayton, J. Redmanye, S. Jay, L. Cousins, Chuko, N. Ampofo, C. Amesbury, D. Richards, M. Brown
Replacements: A. Fisher, M. Surman, P. Burgess, B. Young, C. Butt, T. Roberts
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.