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Dream debut for Ma'asi at Murrayfield

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Samson Ma'asi got his England career off to a winning start at the weekend, as his Under-18 debut saw the Red Rose produce a 64-0 win over Scotland.

With the game's original location, Stirling RFC, unplayable due to the weather conditions, the fixture was moved to the grander stage of BT Murrayfield – but the occasion certainly didn't affect England as they stormed to a 26-0 lead at the break.

Two first-half tries from Jack Reeves and one each for Harry Barlow and Connor Doherty, alongside three Josh Hodge conversions, put the away side on the front foot. Then a hat-trick after half-time for Alfie Barbeary and tries for Rus Tuima, Blake Boyland, Jacob Morris, as well as four Hodge conversions, sealed victory. 

And with Ma’asi performing well at hooker, England U18s’ head coach John Fletcher was pleased with his side’s performance.

“The players were pretty excited when they found out they were playing at Murrayfield, it’s a big pitch and that suits the way we want to play,” he said.

“We trained well over the past couple of days on an artificial pitch and that prepared us well for this game.

“This is a new group of players and they are a young squad. The majority of them will go on to the Six Nations festival in Wales and they played well. In attack we caused Scotland problems in lots of different areas and we scored lots of different tries.

“There are things we will get better at both sides of the ball, but ultimately we want them to express themselves and they did that. We were as good in attack as we were in defence.”

Following Sunday’s fixture the U18s will next be involved against Wales on 25 March at Sardis Road, Pontypridd (KO 4.15pm) before the ‘Six Nations Festival’.

The festival, based in Wales, will see England U18s play Scotland at Ystrad Mynach (31 March, KO 12pm), Italy at Cardiff Arms Park (4 April, KO 12pm) and France at the same venue on 8 April (KO 5pm).

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