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).
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).