SRU U20's - Season 2014/2015
Staffs U20 through to National Shield Final
Staffordshire Under 20's reach the final of the RFU Under 20 Shield by beating Hampshire at Overton RFC on Sunday 15th February.
Hampshire 12 v 14 Staffordshire.
Staffordshire made the long trip to Overton RFC to play a previously unbeaten Hampshire U20's in the National U20 Shield Semi-Final.
Reports of an exceptionally strong pack of Hampshire forwards certainly had fired up the Staffordshire pack who took control at the very first scrummage Hampshire put in, Staffordshire penalty.
Staffordshire forwards were well on top and in truth should have had 1 or 3 tries but a mixture of solid Hampshire defence and missed opportunities from Stafordshire kept the score at 0-0 until the 36th minute when against the run of play Hampshire wing Toby Fricker evaded numerous Staffordshire tackles to touch down between the posts, try converted by No.9 Lewis Donnett.
Half Time : Hampshire 7, Staffs 0
The second half continued in the same vein with Staffs forwards on top and winning good ball for the backs to run at their opposition.
By the 56th minute Staffs were camped on the Hampshire line and after 2 collapsed scrums by Hampshire Staffordshire were awarded the first of their penalty tries. The second penalty try coming in the 70th minute, both were converted by Tom Phillips.
It was at this time the game went to uncontested scrums due to Hampshire prop injuries. Hampshire were now able to give their backs good ball and put pressure on the Staffordshire defence leading to a try on the last play of the game in the corner for Fricker again. 14-12 Staffordshire.
The conversion would have levelled the score and left the result down to a kicking competition. However it missed.
Congratulations to both sets of players for a truly excellent full on game of committed rugby.
Thanks must go to Hampshire Rugby and Overton Rugby Club for their hospitality.
And now on to the final against Surrey who beat Durham in the other semi final.
Backs: Jack Newton-Taylor, Freddie Veimosoi, Alex Nesbitt, Tom Phillips, Brad Sentence, Dom Ellerton, Eddy Nicholls, Sam Friend, Laured Kalari.
Forwards: Joe Nixon, Will Jay, Sam Longstaff, Matt Hubbard, Zach Chadwick, Danny Poole, Jack Fielding (C), Elliot Tomlinson, Iain West, Alex Gibson, Lewis Sturgess, Lewis Bloor, Ryan Martin
Travelling Reserves: Matt James, Matt Kelly Charlie Poole
STAFFORDSHIRE booked their place in the National Under 20 Shield semi-finals with a tense 27-20 win over Warwickshire in a lively quarter-final at Broadstreet.
Staffordshire were indebted to centre Tom Phillips, who contributed 17 points including two second half tries, for setting up their win with the Leeds University player switching from full-back just before kick-off following an injury to centre Laured Kalari in the warm-up.
It was Phillips’ first try, an interception in the opening minute of the second half, that gave Staffordshire impetus after they had twice fallen behind in the first half.
Warwickshire lock Matt Walker (Barkers’ Butts) crossed on the overlap for the opening try after three minutes and their fly-half Gus Gillespie (Leamington) again gave them the lead just before half-time when he jinked over from a line-out.
But Staffordshire were tenacious throughout and they were level at 15-15 by the break after full-back Jack Newton-Taylor (Leek) crossed from close range and number eight Joe Nixon (Stoke) muscled his way over just before the break.
Phillips converted Nixon’s try and kicked a penalty which cancelled out similar efforts from Gillespie.
Phillips then struck a decisive blow when he latched onto a stray pass and galloped over for a soft try when there appeared little danger for Warwickshire and he stretched the lead by adding the conversion.
Phillips then put Staffordshire out of reach when he crossed for his second try midway through the second half and Walker’s second try, from a line out, came too late to keep Warwickshire in the competition.
The semi-finals of the Shield will be played on February 15 and the final on March 15.
SRU U20 Squad 2014/20145 Season
Jack Fielding (Lichfield)
Danny Poole (Lichfield)
Zach Chadwick (Stoke)
Matt Hubbard (Stoke)
Sam Longstaff (Newcastle)
Will Jay (Barton)
Joe Nixon (Stoke)
Sam Friend (Lichfield)
Dom Ellerton (Newcastle)
Jack Newton Taylor (Leek)
Laured Kalari (Walsall)
Alex Nesbitt (Burton)
Freddie Vermosoi (Longton)
Tom Phillips (Leeds Uni)
Alex Gibson (Eccleshall)
Will Smith (Burton)
Ian West (Eccleshall)
Lewis Bloor (Newcastle)
Lewis Sturgess (Burton)
Eddie Nicholls (Burton)
Phillip Watson (Stoke)
Matthew Kelly (Newcastle
JJ Broberg (Burton)
Ryan Martin (Newcastle) Matt James (Walsall) Joe Maskery (Stoke) Charlie Poole (Stoke)