U20 Six Nations Wrap: Round Three

Date published: March 1 2016

Wales moved to the top of the Six Nations U20 table and are the only unbeaten side after securing a home victory over France.

The win means Wales are at the top of the table with six points, two ahead of France and Scotland who beat bottom-placed Italy in their fixture.

England and Ireland are level in the standings, just below France and Scotland, after Ireland beat England in their clash.

England 20-26 Ireland
Kingston Park

Ireland staged a superb second-half fightback which handed them their first win in England at this level in six years.

Nigel Carolan's troops trailed 20-6 just after the interval but tries from James Ryan, Matthew Byrne and Andrew Porter after the break claimed a magnificent U20s Six Nations victory.

Matthew Protheroe had pulled the strings in impressive fashion for England in the opening period as Sam Smith and George Perkins both crossed.

After winning a scrum penalty against the head the ball went to the corner and a driving maul took flanker Smith over for the score. Protheroe added the extras and inside five minutes the writing appeared to be on the wall with the hosts 7-0 ahead.

Johnny McPhillips reduced ther arrears with a penalty for the visitors but Protheroe then made Ireland pay, the fly-half breaking the line before releasing his winger Perkins for the score under the posts.

Protheroe again added the extras for a 14-3 lead but in a cagey first half, they failed to press home their advantage. McPhillips added a second penalty to make it 14-6 before Protheroe added a penalty and a drop goal either side of half-time for the hosts. I

reland then gained the upperhand when Smith was yellow-carded and they came roaring back into the contest after Conan O'Donnell returned after a spell in the sin bin. Skipper James Ryan broke off the back of a driving maul for a try and when O'Donnell returned, Ireland soon had their second – this time it was Byrne going over in the corner.

Replacement Brett Connon slotted the extras and all of a sudden, from a position of strength England were tottering, leading only 20-18. Ireland prop Andrew Porter then charged over from close range to put his team in front for the first time in the game and although Connon missed with the conversion attempt he sealed the win with a late penalty.

The scorers:

For England:
Tries: Perkins, Smith
Cons: Protheroe 2
Pen: Protheroe
Drop goal: Protheroe

For Ireland:
Tries: Ryan, Porter, Byrne
Con: Connon
Pen: McPhillips 2, Connon
Yellow card: O'Donnell

England: 15 Max Malins, 14 George Perkins, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Charlie Thacker, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Mathew Protheroe, 9 Max Green, 8 Callum Chick, 7 Samuel Smith, 6 Archie White, 5 George Nott, 4 Huw Taylor, 3 Will Stuart, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Tom West
Replacements: 16 Curtis Langdon, 17 Jake Pope, 18 Billy Keast, 19 Stanley South, 20 Jack Willis, 21 Jamie Shillcock, 22 Joe Simmonds, 23 Paolo Odogwu

Ireland: 15 Jack Power, 14 Hugo Keenan, 13 Shane Daly, 12 Jimmy O'Brien, 11 Conor O'Brien, 10 Johnny McPhillips, 9 Stephen Kerins, 8 Greg Jones, 7 Will Connors, 6 Cillian Gallagher, 5 James Ryan, 4 Peter Claffey, 3 Conan O'Donnell, 2 Adam McBurney, 1 Andrew Porter
Replacements: 16 Shane Fenton, 17 James Bollard, 18 Ben Betts, 19 Sean O'Connor, 20 Kelvin Brown, 21 John Poland, 22 Brett Connon, 23 Matthew Byrne

Italy 14-24 Scotland
Stadio Plebiscito, Padova

Scotland returned to winning ways in Padova as they overcame an early deficit to see off Italy 24-14 in the U-20s Six Nations.

Italy made a dream start as they scored the game's opening try when Luca Sperandio crossed after only five minutes to put the hosts firmly in control. On nine minutes Scotland edged themselves back into the game thanks to a penalty from Rory Hutchinson to bring the score back to 7-3.

On 20 minutes Scotland scored the game's second try – Matt Smith broke off the back of a lineout and gave the ball to Darcy Graham who ran the length of the field to score, with Hutchinson adding the extras to make it 10-7.

The visitors' pressure finally told on the stroke of half-time as prop Murray McCallum scored his third try in as many games as he burrowed over from close range, with Hutchinson adding the extras to make the interval score 17-7. Scotland saw their lead reduced on 44 minutes to 17-14 as Italy were awarded a penalty try in front of the posts after a succession of decisions went against the visitors.

Despite losing Hutchinson, who was sent to the sin bin, Scotland scored their third try of the night on 53 minutes as Ally Miller broke from the base of a scrum deep in the visitors' half, before offloading to Robbie Nairn to bolt home. Hugh Fraser took on the kicking duties in the absence of the sin-binned Hutchinson and extended Scotland's lead to 24-14 with a smart conversion.

The scorers:

For Italy:

Tries: Sperandio, Penalty try
Cons: Mantelli 2

For Scotland:
Tries: McCallum, Smith, Nairn
Con: Hutchinson 2, Fraser
Pen: Hutchinson
Yellow card: Hutchinson

Italy: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Pierre Bruno, 13 Roberto Dal Zilio, 12 Marco Zanon, 11 Luca Sperandio, 10 Leonardo Mantelli, 9 Charly Trussardi, 8 Gabriele Venditti, 7 Davide Ciotoli, 6 Davide Fragnito, 5 Samuele Ortis, 4 Leonard Krumov, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Marco Manfredi, 1 Daniele Rimpelli
Replacements: 16 Nicolo Broglia, 17 Damiano Borean, 18 Giosue Zilocchi, 19 Giordano Baldino, 20 Michael De Marco, 21 Matteo Panunzi, 22 Peter Boris Mokom, 23 Antonio Rizzi

Scotland: 15 Ruari Howarth, 14 Ben Robbins, 13 George Taylor, 12 Tom Galbraith, 11 Darcy Graham, 10 Rory Hutchinson, 9 Hugh Fraser, 8 Ally Miller, 7 Matt Smith, 6 Scott Burnside, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Andrew Davidson, 3 Callum Sheldon, 2 Lewis Anderson, 1 Murray McCallum
Replacements: 16 Fraser Renwick, 17 George Thornton, 18 Adam Nicol, 19 Callum Hunter-Hill, 20 Stephen Ainslie, 21 Charlie Shiel, 22 Chris Lines, 23 Robbie Nairn

Wales 16-10 France
Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay

George Gasson's superb debut try gave Wales Under-20s a dramatic victory over 14-man France at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay.

In the battle of the two unbeaten teams the second-half red card to France winger Gabriel Ngandebe proved decisive and Wales are now three from three and in line for a Grand Slam.

Two Billy McBryde penalties had put Wales 6-0 to the good at the interval – the only other moment of note a first yellow to Ngandebe for a dangerous tackle. But when the winger returned in the second half France hit the front after centre Alex Arrate's try – converted by Anthony Belleau.

But Wales hopes of a first win over their French counterparts since 2013 were given a huge boost when Ngandebe tripped Keelan Giles and was given his marching orders for a second yellow. McBryde kicked his third penalty to make it 9-7 to the hosts but Belleau responded with a penalty of his own and it looked like France might hold on to a narrow victory.

But then the game's moment of magic arrived, Wales breaking out from under their own posts with Giles streaking clear. And when the ball came back right Gasson grabbed the try on his U20s Six Nations debut. Man of the match McBryde drilled the conversion and was not made to rue a late missed penalty as Wales held on for a massive win.

The scorers:

For Wales:
Try: Gasson
Con: McBryde
Pens: McBryde 3

For France:
Tries: Arrate
Con: Belleau
Pen: Belleau
Red card: Ngandebe

Wales: 15 Rhun Williams, 14 George Gasson, 13 Joe Thomas, 12 Harri Millard, 11 Keelan Giles, 10 Billy McBryde, 9 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 8 Harri Keddie, 7 Shaun Evans, 6 Tom Phillips, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Dafydd Hughes, 1 Corey Domachowski
Replacements: 16 Ifan Phillips, 17 Rhys Fawcett, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Bryce Morgan, 20 Morgan Sieniawski, 21 Declan Smith, 22 Kieran Williams, 23 Joe Gage

France: 15 Romain Buros, 14 Gabriel Ngandebe, 13 Atila Septar, 12 Alex Arrate, 11 Elliot Roudil, 10 Anthony Belleau, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Baptiste Pesenti, 7 Anthony Jelonch, 6 Judicael Cancoriet, 5 Mathieu Tanguy, 4 Florian Verhaegue, 3 Michaël Simutoga, 2 Beato Mauvaka, 1 Clement Castets
Replacements: 16 Emerick Setiano, 17 Pierre Bourgarit, 18 Elias El Ansari, 19 Theo Hannoyer, 20 Matthieu Voisin, 21 Alexandre Pilati, 22 Damian Penaud, 23 Baptiste Couilloud

With thanks to the Six Nations website/Sportsbeat