U18 Festival News


Georgia Celebrations Men's U18
Georgia pulled off a shock win over France on Matchday 2 of the Men’s Six Nations Under 18 Festival in Parma.

The Junior Lelos scored a late converted try to beat Les Bleuets 20-19 and inflict a rare defeat on the French at the Festival. 

Elsewhere, England defeated Scotland, Wales outlasted Portugal and Ireland got their first win as they beat the hosts Italy. 

Wales 35-10 Portugal

The opening match of the day in Parma saw Wales beat Portugal 35-10.

Wales broke the deadlock with 13 minutes played as Lewis Edwards benefitted from the elusive running of full-back Tom Bowen. In response, Portugal went down the opposite end of the pitch with a series of hard carries before their captain, Miguel Romero, dotted down.

Both teams struck another blow each before the halfway mark. Tudor Jones got Wales’ score thanks to running off the shoulder of openside flanker Ryan Jones, while a Tomas Marques notched a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

In the second half Wales pulled away, registering three tries to stave off any Portuguese hopes of an upset.

Dylan Alford got his team’s try scoring underway with an opportunistic dive over the line as Portugal tried to exit from their own in-goal area, as Tudor Jones continued a splendid individual performance with an intercept score from halfway.

With the clock in the red, Steffan Emanuel put a final flourish with a score on the left touchline, while Carwyn Jones ended the match with the conversion.

Scotland 6-28 England

England’s Six Nations Under-18s Men's Festival has continued as it started thanks to another victory.

Having got the better of Wales last time out, on matchday two Jonathan Pendlebury’s team were clinical as they beat Scotland 28-6 over 70 minutes.

Suppressing their opponents throughout the first half, England opened the scoring through Seb Kelly. The young flanker drove low to get the scoring well and truly underway, and Finn Newton’s converted score gave the team a commanding lead at the break.

Scotland rallied after half-time and got themselves on the scoresheet thanks to two well-struck Hamish MacArthur penalties.

Those two place-kicks would be Scotland’s only points of the afternoon.

To secured the win, Tyler Offiah and Fraser Rawlins both raced over the whitewash to continue their positive start to the tournament and set themselves up for a clash with Georgia in fine fashion.

Georgia 20-19 France

A last-gasp conversion from Gigi Sirbiladze handed Georgia a 20-19 win against France.

With the clock in the red, the replacement playmaker struck the ball sweetly from the out wide to convert Anri Shvelidze’s try and overcome a France team that went unbeaten a year ago.

It was a closely fought contest throughout. France scored all of their points in the opening half, scoring tries through Gabriel Elissalde and Dylan Cazemajou either side of a Davit Tsiklauri penalty kick to get Georgia off the mark.

The sides then traded a try each before the break, as Levani Ezieshvili and Elyjah Ibsaiene powered over from close range with France leading 19-10.

In the second half, Georgia consistently frustrated France as Les Bleuets had their attempts of pulling away foiled.

To exacerbate France’s efforts further Tsiklauri scored the first points of the second period with another place kick.

Pressure continued to build for the Lelos as the clock ticked towards full-time.

With their last heave of the match, Shvelidze was pushed across the whitewash to hand Sirbiladze the kick which launched Georgia’s celebrations on the final whistle.

Italy 10-36 Ireland

Ireland responded to a difficult defeat to France with an emphatic win over hosts Italy with five different try scorers in their 36-10 win.

Italy moved ahead within seconds of kick-off as Malik Faissal chased the opening kick and dotted down in the corner for his third try of the tournament.

Vice-captain Roberto Fasti could not kick the narrow conversion and a penalty from Conor O’Shaughnessy moved Ireland to within two points of their opponents.

The Ireland half-backs then combined beautifully as James O’Dwyer took the ball from the back of the scrum and almost by telepathy found O’Shaughnessy who slid over the tryline to put the visitors ahead.

Italy twice crossed the whitewash but saw tries chalked off for infringements in the build-up and they could not make their pressure pay as Ireland hooker Connor Magee powered Ireland’s rolling maul over the tryline to give Ireland a 10-point lead at half-time.

After the break, captain Charlie Molony weaved his way through the Italian defence for Ireland’s third score before Noah Byrne calmly caught a kick from O’Dwyer to extend his side’s lead to 24.

Ireland’s fifth came courtesy of a bulldozing James O’Leary and, after a period of green dominance, Italy finished with a flourish as fly-half Pietro Celi produced a fine intercept and sprinted home for Italy’s second.