Italy Under-18s beat England 27-17 at Millfield School as several Guinness Six Nations stars of the future shone in Somerset.
The Azzurrini recovered from going 7-0 down within two minutes when nice offloading and a quick shift of the ball from right to left allowed England full-back Will Gilderson to glide in with fly-half Sam Harris converting.
But Italy needed just five minutes to respond when hooker Giovanni Quattrini bulldozed his way over after a smart peel off the back of an attacking lineout.
No.10 Giovanni Sante added the extras from in front of the posts to tie things up before Italy began to exert their dominance on the scoreboard as the first half progressed.
Alessandro Gesi’s lovely offload out of the back door sent winger Emanuele Tani crashing over before the pair then swapped roles with Tani turning provider.
He slipped the ball inside to full-back Gesi who crossed with Sante converting expertly from the right touchline to leave the score 19-7 to Italy at half-time.
Italy Under-20s run in six tries against Scotland in 2021 Six Nations
Replacement Sam Worsley kicked a penalty for England to narrow the deficit before Sante took another three points off the tee.
Prop Matteo Bernardinello scored to all but secure an impressive Italian victory before Gilderson crossed for his second try, converted by Worsley, to reduce the margin of defeat for Jonathan Pendlebury’s team.
“Today was a positive day from various points of view,” said Italy coach Roberto Santamaria.
“We provided a great performance with many interesting ideas. We started working with this group not long ago and with a great work ethic shown in these weeks, a very important result.
“The commitment of the boys and all the staff was commendable. We expressed a high level performance thanks to the great work done in preparation for this match.
“We are happy with the result which shows us that this is the right path to follow.”
The win is the latest impressive achievement for the Italian youth system after an encouraging 2021 Under-20s Six Nations where they recorded a thumping 43-3 victory over Scotland.
Despite finishing fifth, Italy only lost to runners-up France by two points and in an exact reverse of Sunday’s scoreline, went down 27-17 to Grand Slam champions England.
Image Credit: @Federugby