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Round-up: Under-20s Six Nations Round Four

Round-up: Under-20s Six Nations Round Four

Round-up: Under-20s Six Nations Round Four
  • Ireland now chasing Grand Slam after securing Championship in Round Four
  • Ireland fly-half Ben Healy urges team to push through for perfect campaign
  • England and Scotland looking to finish on a high after Round Four wins

Ireland will look to complete a perfect Under-20s Six Nations campaign in Round Five after clinching the title this weekend.

Their 2019 title was confirmed after their tight 31-29 win against France, while Scotland also beat Wales 27-20 to guarantee the trophy would be heading to Dublin.

Elsewhere England bounced back from Round Three defeat to Wales by seeing off Italy 35-10 at Goldington Road.

Here we look back over this weekend’s action, where the destination of the title was decided with a week to spare.


Healy: Ireland’s attention is on U20s Grand Slam

Ireland fly-half Ben Healy has urged his teammates to continue their pursuit of the perfect Under-20s Six Nations campaign, after securing the title by beating France 31-29 in Round Four.

A Josh Wycherley double did most of the damage as they secured the 2019 Championship at Irish Independent Park.

It could not have been closer as France led at half-time – but scores from prop Wycherley, adding to his other before the break, and replacement Callum Reid put the hosts clear.

Kevin Viallard touched down as the clock wound down but the visitors could not quite edge past the hosts.

Irish No.10 Healy was integral as he kicked 16 points – before switching his focus to Wales in Round Five once they secured the win.

“It just sums up the group there. We had about two minutes of celebrating and then it was all back in the huddle,” he said.

“There is a Grand Slam on the line and that was the message from the coaches and the players.

“We feel we are a team that can go on and win the Grand Slam, we are not happy with just winning the Championship. The mood is very good now but all heads are in for next week.”


Bates delighted by England’s resolve

England Under-20s head coach Steve Bates hailed his side’s second-half surge as they powered past Italy 35-10.

The hosts had led 12-10 at half-time in Bedford, as tries from Kieran Wilkinson and Tom Seabrook were cancelled out by Federico Mori and Michele Peruzzo in the opening period.

But they stepped up a gear after half-time with Ollie Fox and Ollie Sleightholme crossing, while they played some powerful defence to ensure Italy did not score in the second half.

Josh Hodge added ten points with the boot as England moved up to third in the table ahead of their final match against Scotland.

Bates said: “I thought it was a really strong performance in difficult conditions.

“To come in at 12-10 at half-time was a significant factor in the game, scoring those two tries gave us a good foundation in the second half.

“In the second half I thought we created pressure and played high up the field but we didn’t finish as well as we’d like.

“The players have made huge progress and it will be really nice to see them show the extent of their progress next week against Scotland where we will be looking to build a bit more continuity in the game.”


We deserved to win, says Scotland coach Hogg

Wales’ Championship hopes were dashed by Scotland in Round Four as they ran out 27-20 winners at Meggetland.

And Scotland Under-20s coach Carl Hogg believes the hard work of his side merited the result, as they dominated the match on home turf from the early stages.

Captain Connor Boyle led the way for the hosts, scoring an early opener before Robbie McCallum and Rory McMichael got in on the act before half-time.

The tries kept coming and Jack Blain secured a bonus-point after the break, while replacements Will Griffiths and Sam Costelow added scores near the end as Wales rallied – but it came too late.

“We’ve seen glimpses of what they can achieve in recent games, but they’ve not been able to do it over an 80-minute timeline, but I thought for 75 minutes, we were excellent,” Hogg said.

“We always looked the dominant side and looked in control and we did the simple things very well.

“I’m just delighted for the players because it’s them who have put in the hard work over the last five or six weeks and they’ve got their just rewards.”