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).
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Speaking after a last-gasp try from Exeter earned the Chiefs a 27-27 draw at Sandy Park on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted to mixed feelings. The game saw him score a try on his 200th competitive appearance for the club, but the frustration from not closing out the win was clear.
David Humphreys was minutes away from a winning interview on Saturday afternoon, but a late try from Exeter Chiefs meant the points were shared at Sandy Park. Humphreys spoke with the local media after the 27-27 draw.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Exeter Chiefs, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reiterated that there are elements of Gloucester's game that are in good shape at present, that the performance against Bath was a step forward from Newcastle but that individual errors are costing the Cherry and Whites dear.
Centre Matt Scott, a try-scorer in Bayonne last weekend, insists that Gloucester are taking nothing for granted when they welcome Benetton Treviso to Kingsholm on Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm).