Sam Costelow believes Wales Under-20s delivered a performance the nation could be proud of after his side edged past England 23-22 at Kingsholm.
The Leicester fly-half was named man of the match after his influential display under the Gloucester lights, racking up an impressive haul of 18 points to help Gareth Williams’ side over the line.
While it was the No.10’s late drop-goal that sealed Wales’ win – that now leaves them three points behind England in the table – his display extended far beyond his kicking, with the precocious 19-year-old also running in a thrilling solo try.
And Costelow, who is still establishing himself at Welford Road, says him and teammates channelled their patriotic spirit to clinch the dramatic late victory.
“Heart in Welsh is calon – that’s what we pride ourselves on and we showed that out there tonight,” he said.
“We spoke all week in the build-up about how we felt about this game, and our reaction on the final whistle showed just how much we wanted the win.
“It was just a pleasure to be out there, and the forwards put a massive shift in.
“They did a cracking job and the backline was superb as well.”
Costelow’s brilliant footwork got the ball rolling for the visitors as his score established a 7-0 lead, before Emmanuel Iyogun bulldozed over to hit back for England.
Bradley Roderick’s try on 35 minutes sent Williams’ team into the break with a 14-5 lead, before a pulsating second half ensued where the Red Rose crossed three times through George Barton, Sam Crean and Jack van Poortvliet.
And while the hosts went into the closing exchanges with a slender 22-20 lead Costelow had other ideas, dropping for glory in the 74th minute to ensure Wales stole a memorable win.
Welsh try-scorer Roderick was similarly delighted with the away side’s defiant performance.
“We’ve come here against a strong England side, and weeks in camp have come to this,” he said.
“I feel like we’ve developed as a side throughout those weeks and that obviously showed on the pitch tonight.
“We showed that character and that strength in depth, and hopefully there will be more wins to come.”
France were another side to win on Friday night as they battled past Scotland 29-22 at Netherdale, as Jordan Joseph, Erwan Dridi, Nathanael Hulleu and Joshua Brennan all dotted down for Sébastien Piqueronies’ side.
Rufus McLean, Jacob Henry and Euan Ashman scored for Scotland but it was not enough to prevent the visitors from surging to an impressive bonus-point victory.
Noel McNamara’s Ireland still sit at the summit of the Under-20s Six Nations table despite Friday night’s action, with France and England in pursuit a respective three and four points behind – having both played a game more.