A storming try scoring display from full back Sam Edgerley and twin touchdowns from both skipper Henry Staff and right-wing Alex Lewington eased the Regional Academies team to a comfortable win over the touring Australian Schools squad at Hartpury Colledge this afternoon (Wednesday).
The U19 Academies side, drawn from the 14 England Rugby Academies scored six tries in all and had the game in the bag after an hour leading 31-5.
It's the third success for home teams in a week against the tourists following on from last Sundays Regional Academies win at Lymm and Wednesday's England U18 victory.
England's U20 Head Coach Mark Mapletoft who also coached the Regional Academies side was extremely pleased with his sides performance saying:
"It was a very clinical performance in certain aspects. The attitude the players turned up with was superb, they wanted to keep the ball alive and play rugby. The conditions were not great and it was very greasy but they showed a lot of endeavour."
But he also added:
"There was one or two areas where we needed to sharpen up on and, in particular, our pick and go was not the best, but, for a side that had only come together in the last 24 hours and had only about an hours training, it was a good performance."
They took the lead after just six minutes when left-wing Earl Collins opened up the visitors defence for the first time.
Fly-half Sam Stanley couldn't add the extra points but didn't miss with his second conversion attempt after right-wing Alex Lewington had intercepted a visitors pass and sprinted the length of the pitch for a 25th minute touchdown.
Three minutes later they had pulled away even further to open up a 19-5 gap after man of the match Sam Edgerley had ripped open the visitors defence and Stanley had again kicked the bonus points.
"Sam did very well," admitted Mapletoft. "Overall his positioning was good and his speed off the mark was special along with his game awareness."
With wing Alex Lewington grabbing a fourth and his second on 35 minutes the Regional Academies men took a commanding 24-5 lead into the second-half while it took another 20 minutes before Staff, leading from the front, finally forced his way over for try number five, again embellished by Stanley.
Although the visitors finally pulled one back through lock Curtis Browning it was Staff who rounded off a fine individual display to see his side to a comfortable win.
On Saturday (19th) it will be the turn of the England Academies team to face the tourists in their final tour match when the two sides clash at Cinderford RFC, 2pm.
Paul Alo-Emile (QLD), Curtis Browning (QLD), Jack De Guingand (VIC), Rodney Esekia(VIC), Joel Faulkner (QLD), Chris Feauai (QLD), Tyson Frizell (NSW), Matthew Garland (QLD), Liam Gill (QLD - c), Kyle Godwin (WA), Angus Hamilton (VIC), Marcus Heather (NSW), Matthew Ika (QLD), Luke Jones (NSW), Jack Kimmance (QLD), Tom Kingston (NSW), Matt Lucas (QLD), Ross Marias (QLD), Nathan Paila (VIC), Greg Peterson (NSW), Hugh Roach (NSW), Rohan Saifoloi (QLD), Scott Sio (NSW), Kimani Sitauti (QLD), Nic Stirzaker (NSW), Jordan Taupoo (QLD), Joe Welsh (NSW), Jacob Woodhouse (NSW).
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees led Gloucester Rugby to European glory on Friday evening, scoring the crucial try on a memorable night for the Cherry and Whites. After the game, he paid tribute to his team's performance under pressure in the latter stages as they withstood a ferocious late Edinburgh fightback.
Speaking to GRTV, James Hook admitted that, after a superb opening, Gloucester really had to pass a test of character to hold off Edinburgh and lift the European Rugby Challenge Cup. He paid tribute to his team mates for all their hard work on what was a great day for the club.
Speaking to the assembled media this week, Gloucester Rugby club captain Billy Twelvetrees explains that the squad are ready for the final and that it will be an honour to lead the Cherry and Whites out in the Challenge Cup final.
Gloucester Rugby scrum half Greig Laidlaw will line up against former team mates Edinburgh Rugby on Friday evening, but the focus is firmly on his own roles as the Cherry and Whites gear up for the EPCR Challenge Cup final at The Stoop.
Speaking to the media ahead of Friday evening's European Rugby Challenge Cup Final against Edinburgh, Director of Rugby David Humphreys stressed that his improving Gloucester team will need to perform at their best to prevail against a tough Edinburgh side.
Dan Robson, a second half try scorer in the 42-40 win over Newcastle on Saturday, admitted that Gloucester had started slowly but that the second half comeback showed real character and maintains momentum going into Friday's European final.
Gareth Evans was a first half replacement for the Cherry and Whites on Saturday afternoon, but the back rower's impressive carrying kept the hosts on the front foot when they needed it most to snatch a dramatic comeback win.
After his last ditch try clinched the 42-40 Aviva Premiership victory over Newcastle at Kingsholm on Saturday, Billy Burns told GRTV that all the Gloucester team deserve credit for hanging in there against a Falcons team who really made life tough for the Cherry and Whites.
Argentine Mariano Galarza was a key part of the Cherry and White squad that tasted silverware on Friday night as they lifted the EPCR Challenge Cup at The Stoop, a special night that will live long in the memory of the second row.
Figures released by EPCR following Gloucester winning the European Rugby Challenge Cup on Friday evening show that, unsurprisingly, a number of those wearing Cherry and White showed up well in the various statistical categories.