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France and Ireland stay perfect while England kickstart campaign on day two of the Six Nations Under-18 Men’s Festival

France and Ireland stay perfect while England kickstart campaign on day two of the Six Nations Under-18 Men’s Festival

France and Ireland stay perfect while England kickstart campaign on day two of the Six Nations Under-18 Men’s Festival

France and Ireland won big on the second day of the Six Nations Under-18 Men’s Festival while England secured a first win of the campaign.

France started proceedings with a terrific showing against Scotland before England’s clinical edge proved the difference against Italy.

The Energia Park home crowd had to wait a while to see their young stars but they certainly did not disappoint, putting on a show in the final game of the day against Wales.

France too strong for Scotland

Fantastic France continued their unbeaten start in the day’s first game with a commanding 50-7 victory
over 14-man Scotland.

A powerful French side ran in five tries in the first half and three in the second, several of which could be in contention for the try of the Men’s Festival.

The party started inside two minutes when centre Kalvin Gourgues spotted a gap on the outside of the Scotland defence before playing a simple inside pass for Ugo Pacome Nassar to dot down under the posts.

The forwards’ dominance yielded a penalty try a short while later and Johan Wasserman then scored a third, scorching the earth as he made his way towards the try line for his second try of the Festival.

Elyjah Ibsaiene added a fourth after a brilliant breakaway from Baptiste Britz, extending their lead to 26-0 after just 16 minutes.

Scotland were stunned but did well to stop the game from completely slipping away from them and registered their first points when Seb Stephen flopped over from the back over a driving maul.

But it was France who had the last word of the first half, with Gourgues bundling his way over a deft chip from Diego Jurd to put France 33-7 ahead at half time.

The centre was over again within minutes of the restart, as he again left the Scottish defence in his wake to complete an impressive finish.

Wasserman then scored his second before front row Ben White was shown a red card with fifteen minutes to play as things went from bad to worse for Scotland.

France then scored their eighth and final try of the afternoon as Xan Mousques touched down in the corner after a brilliant team move to leave France perfect heading into the final round.

England up and running with hard-fought win over Italy

England outgunned Italy 26-10 to secure their first win of this year’s Men’s Festival.

Italy trailed by just two points early on after an end-to-end start to proceedings but were unable to make use of their chances thereafter as England ran out comfortable winners in the end.

Charlie Myall opened the scoring after just two minutes, burrowing his way over the line after an enterprising start from an England backline packed full of canny distributors.

Italy weathered the early storm and then showed what they could do with ball in hand, going within inches of the England line.

With no way through, the Azzurre opted to take three points and Francesco Borelli duly obliged from in front of the sticks.

England then responded immediately courtesy of captain Ben Redshaw.

Scrum-half Lucas Friday spotted a numerical advantage on the short side and some swift hands freed up full-back Redshaw to scamper home for England’s second try.

It was then Italy’s turn to be on the front foot with neither defence able to hold firm for a prolonged period.

Giulio Sari’s delayed pass set No.8 Piero Gritti clear down the right wing and second row Mattia Midena proved an unlikely but vital support runner, finishing off from close range after a Gritti’s composed pass.

Borelli added the extras with an emphatic kick from wide and after an all-action 18 minutes, England led 12-10.

The seesaw start continued with England again reacting well to Italian pressure.

After a succession of penalties inside the Italy 22, prop Billy Sela bulldozed his way over from a tap penalty and the nine-point lead was restored after Ollie Davies’ conversion.

That was how it stayed until half time despite Italy coming close on two occasions. Fly-half Josh Bellamy’s superb cover tackle denied Sari out wide before an excellent rip from Henry Pollock thwarted an Italy attack in overtime.

The second half was a much cagier affair with the only try arriving on 50 minutes when Jack Bracken used all his pace to tear away down the left flank following a charge down from Toby Baker.

Italy found their way into the England 22 on a couple more occasions in the closing stages but were unable to add to their tally as England stood firm.

Ireland storm past Wales

Ireland cruised past Wales 48-17 to secure back-to-back tournament wins in Wednesday’s final contest.

A lightning start was enough for victory with Ireland 22-0 ahead just after the halfway point of the first half and despite a brief Wales fightback, they eased to a dominant victory.

Ireland were made to work for their first score, with Wales showing some early resolve before space opened up for Andre Ryan to touch down on the wing.

But the floodgates then opened with No.8 Luke Murphy bashing his way over before full-back Todd Lawlor crossed for Ireland’s third on 20 minutes.

And Ireland were in dreamland when Evan Moynihan went over for their fourth just two minutes later.

A brilliant line from the skipper saw him break the gainline and despite options inside he chose to go himself before dotting down in the corner.

Wales rolled up their sleeves and had something to cheer when flanker Kyle Harris crashed over under the sticks.

The reprieve was a short one though as Ireland responded via a brilliant line from hooker Luke McLaughlin.

Determined not to let the game run away from them, Wales struck one more blow before half time with Ioan Duggan reducing the deficit to 27-12 at the interval.

The second half took a while to click into gear before Moynihan crossed for his second and Charlie Molony ran half the pitch for Ireland’s seventh.

And there was still time for both side’s replacement hookers to find the whitewash, with Mikey Yarr going over for Ireland and Wales’ Harry Thomas the last to cross in a chaotic affair.