Disappointment for Coopers old boy Perkins
- Credit: The RFU Collection via Getty Ima
England under-20s lose Six Nations opener
Former Coopers Coborn pupil George Perkins and his England under-20 team-mates fell to a slender 21-15 defeat against Wales in their opening game of the Six Nations.
Jon Callard’s charges got off to a difficult start at Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay and were 3-0 down within three minutes after a penalty from Welsh fly-half Dan Jones.
It got worse when flanker Charlie Beckett was sent to the sinbin for a late tackle minutes later, but England regrouped and scored while a man down when No. 8 James Chisholm controlled the ball brilliantly before picking up to score.
Rory Jennings added the extras to make it 7-3, but Jones then added his second penalty for Wales before the impressive Howard Packman set up Joe Marchant to score on his Under 20 bow to make it 12-6 in England’s favour.
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Wales had the last say of the half when hooker Liam Belcher burrowed over to score in the corner, but the conversation went wide making it 12-11 to England at the break.
Jones scored his third penalty early in the second half to give Wales the lead and, with Kieran Treadwell and Paul Hill in the sinbin, Wales took full advantage to score in the corner through Tom Phillips to make it 21-12.
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Jennings scored a penalty after 60 minutes to make it 21-15, but despite a late English onslaught the hosts held on.
Callard said: “It was a disappointing game for us. Wales came out and disrupted our set-piece and game plan, and full credit to them for that.
“It’s a big learning curve for us, we put heavy pressure on their line towards the end but couldn’t find the breakthrough.
“We’ll regroup and review and we’ll be better for it as we look ahead to Italy next Friday.”
Captain Charlie Ewels added: “We’re hugely frustrated with the result. We did a lot of things well, but equally we know that there’s a lot to work on.
“We didn’t manage the game as best we can and that’s what cost us. Full credit to Wales though, they took their chances and deserved the win.”
Scorers, Wales: Daniel Jones 3P, 1C, Liam Belcher 1T, Tom Phillips 1T. England: James Chisholm 1T, Joe Marchant 1T; Rory Jenning 1C, 1P.
England: 15 Piers O’Conor (Wasps); 14 George Perkins (Saracens); 13 Joe Marchant (Harlequins); 12 Max Clark (Bath Rugby); 11 Howard Packman (Northampton Saints); 10 Rory Jennings (Bath Rugby); 9 Stuart Townsend (Exeter Chiefs); 1 Ellis Genge (Bristol Rugby); 2 Jack Walker (Yorkshire Carnegie); 3 Paul Hill (Yorkshire Carnegie); 4 Kieran Treadwell (Harlequins); 5 Charlie Ewels (Bath Rugby, captain); 6 Charlie Beckett (Leicester Tigers); 7 Will Owen (Leicester Tigers); 8 James Chisholm (Harlequins).
Replacements: 16 Jake Farnworth (Leicester Tigers); 17 Seb Adeniran-Olule (Harlequins); 18 Ciaran Parker (Sale Sharks) on for Paul Hill 55 mins; 19 Joe Batley (Gloucester Rugby) on for Charlie Beckett 53 mins; 20 Josh Bainbridge (Yorkshire Carnegie) on for Will Owen 53 mins; 21 James Mitchell (Sale Sharks) on for Stuart Townsend 63 mins; 22 Tom Morton (Sale Sharks); 23 Tom Fowlie (London Irish).
Remaining fixtures, England U20 v Italy U20 (The Brickfields, Plymouth) February 13 (7.45pm); Ireland U20 v England U20 (Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin) February 27 (7.05pm); England U20 v Scotland U20 (Darlington Mowden Park, Darlington) March 13 (5.30pm); England U20 v France U20 (American Express Community Stadium, Brighton) March 20 (7.55pm).