England U20s down Italy U20s
February 9, 2007
Seb Jewell will step out at Twickenham tomorrow boosted by a man of the match display as England Under-20s racked up a four-try 30-10 victory over Italy Under-21s at the Recreation Ground tonight.
The fly-half, who along with team-mate Frankie Neale will take part in a half-time kicking contest in front of 82,000, banished his shaky international debut against Scotland the previous week to put in a seasoned performance which belied only his second ever game at any England representative level.
Despite the wintry conditions, the NEC Harlequins fly-half, tried his hand - and boot - and it paid off in setting up early tries for Ollie Dodge and Adam Powell before scoring one of his own in the second half.
"I was a lot more comfortable this week and from my point of view it couldn't have gone much better. I have learnt a lot in the last two weeks and been very fortunate to have really good players around me," said Jewell. "I'm not sure about kicking at Twickenham tomorrow though - I just hope it's not chucking it down."
England backs coach Mark Mapletoft said: "Seb was much improved from last week; he is very receptive which is good and he promised me that he would pick it up this week. He was taking the ball much flatter off the back of a line-out, his intelligent kicking play was pleasing to watch and I thought he deserved man of the match."
Coach Nigel Redman said: "He did look far more comfortable this week and some of his off-loading was terrific. Overall we were good for 50 minutes. Given the conditions I thought we controlled and dominated the first half. We picked and went, our defence was good, we brought forwards into play, we scored three good tries and were quite happy for that first half but we need to do better for longer next time."
England started with a similar bang as they had in their 31-5 victory over Scotland at the same venue a week ago, Jewell probing the Italian defence with some testing kicks behind the defence.
His first after just five minutes was rewarded when Italian wing Andrea Bacchetti made a hash of covering and Dodge took advantage to pick up and crash over.
The second saw fellow wing Selorm Kuadey harass the defence and, when the forwards powered in, Powell was on hand to take Danny Care's pass and sidestep Paolo Buso on his way to the line.
Powell set up the third with a mazy run to the line and though he was held up short, prop Charlie Beech crashed through two defenders after picking a perfect line.
David Doherty kicked his second conversion and then put some more distance between the teams with a penalty on halftime.
Jewell was on the scoresheet within three minutes of the second half when he sold a dummy to the Italian right wing and slipped the tackle of Tito Tebaldi on his way to the line.
That was the end of England's dominance as Italy, hitherto restricted to a penalty from Davide Duca, scored a late try from replacement Davide Giazzon, converted by Michael Wilson.
England U20 (22) 30 Italy U20 (3) 10
England U20: Tries: Dodge, Powell, Beech, Jewell. Cons: Doherty 2. Pens: Doherty. Drop Goals: Care.
Italy U20: Tries: Giazzon. Cons: Wilson. Pens: Duca.
It's time for those running Welsh rugby to stop trying to prevent its players heading to France and to start planning a future without them, writes Martin Williamson
Paul Eddison explains how the French sold English clubs down the river and why their domestic game will go from strength to strength
'Nothing can prepare you for the noise of the Millennium Stadium though, you just can't hear anything." Tom Hamilton talks to Cory Allen
Following a weekend where Wales suffered more heartbreak against Australia and the Aviva Premiership showed its class, the Monday Maul looks back at some of the key talking points