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U20 Six Nations: How England & Scotland are shaping up

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

With the England U20s trip to Franklin’s Gardens to host Scotland now just days away, the competition is shaping up nicely with England currently occupying top of the table after securing bonus point wins in all three rounds of the U20 Six Nations competition so far.

The future England stars began their campaign at Sandy Park as they played host to France while scoring nine tries in their impressive win.

England led 31-3 at half-time after a blistering opening 40 minutes in which they scored five tries through Joe Cokanasiga, Ben Earl, Will Butler, Tom Curry and Max Malins.

France took an early lead but struggled to cope with England’s power, pace and intensity at Exeter’s Sandy Park. The sides traded tries in the second period through Selevasio Tolofua and Max Wright while Baptiste Pesenti crossed with 10 minutes remaining.

However, Malins continued his fine afternoon, converting his own late try while Sam Aspland-Robinson flew over down the left wing and Tom Parton also crossed as England had the final say.

Heading to Colwyn Bay for round two, England battled back from 13-0 down against Wales in Colwyn Bay, with Ben Jones scoring all of Wales' early points, to lead 24-13 at the break through tries from Harry Randall, Max Wright and Will Butler as well as nine points from the boot of Jacob Umaga.

Wales then responded in the second period through Chris Coleman's try and a further Jones penalty.

And despite losing Randall and Curtis Langdon to the sin bin Zach Mercer's 73rd-minute try earned the bonus point and settled England's nerves, while James Grayson added the conversion and a penalty to seal victory.

England, then, secured their third bonus-point win of the 2017 Six Nations with an eight-try 46-0 victory over Italy at the Northern Echo Arena.

The hosts led 17-0 at half-time scoring three tries through their forwards Jamie Blamire, Ben Curry and captain Zach Mercer while Jacob Umaga added the extras in an opening half played in tough conditions.

England improved in the second period as Sam Aspland-Robinson scores with Josh Bayliss and Tom Parton both crossing twice before the final whistle.

Scotland, on the other hand, currently reside in fifth position in the table after having lost all three of their games so far.  

In a frustratingly tight game, a late try from Ireland’ Paul Boyle and a conversion from man of the match Johnny McPhillips earned Ireland Under-20s a narrow victory over their Scottish counterparts at Broadwood Stadium.

Cameron Hutchison's early try and 14 points from the boot of Josh Henderson had looked like being enough for Scotland but the fly-half missed a late penalty to nick it at the death after Tadgh McElroy and Boyle both crossed in the second half to put Ireland ahead while McPhillips slotted ten points from the kicking tee overall to claim Ireland's late victory.

Scotland’s trip to France proved to be a less tight affair with the home side eased to a 36-8 victory over their guests.

With 17-year-old fly-half Romain Ntamack pulling the strings, Les Bleuets led 10-3 at the break, with scrum-half Baptiste Couilloud crossing early in the second half.

Scotland fought back with a try from hooker Fraser Renwick, but France were then able to pull away with tries from Faraj Fartass and then Arthur Retière with a late double.

The young Scotland’s third round game saw the huge scoreline of 34-65 but it swung in the favour of their guests Wales in a 14 try epic as Broadwood Stadium.

Wales and Scotland scored 14 tries between them but it was the visitors who put defeat to England last time out behind them with a second win of this year's Championship.s

As for Scotland, they had to make do with another losing bonus point as they made it three losses from as many matches.


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