Victory in London for under 19s Academy
Artical written by: James Gray | Photos: Lewis Mitchell
The All Golds began the stronger of the two sides however their pressure couldn’t relate to tries and they soon found themselves struggling with some of the homes sides kicking.
After the Skolars retained possession from a high kick, it gave them great field position, and with some smart offloading allowed the ball to reach winger Sayed Kapaka who opened the scoring when finishing in the corner. Scott Whitby added the conversion to give his team a six point advantage.
With further examples of the All Golds failing to deal with the kicking from the Skolars, it took several phases for the Gloucestershire side to get a stranglehold on the game. However, once they started to show more presence in the game, it was soon clear they were dangerous. This attacking ability was shown by the talented running of full-back Joe Williams; he danced around the outside of the defence to give the All Golds their first try. Archie Gibbs missing the conversion.
This pressure seemed to be sustained, when it only took five minutes for the All Golds to take their points total to eight. Centre Brett Barlow found room again down that left wing, shrugging off the oncoming challenges to score.
It looked certain that the away team would take a small lead into the break, in the last play of the first period, it was the scrum half Luca Vettori who showed unbelievable quick feet to sidestep a number of tackles, scoring under the posts and giving the Skolars a 12-8 lead after the first period.
Obviously disappointed to be losing at half time, Michael Stewart’s away team were looking to grab some initiative in the second period. They certainly showed pressure and an attacking spirit, but they couldn’t translate that into tries. The game had hit a really tense stage with the next points so crucial to the final outcome, and the referee didn’t help matters for either side, with constant penalties being awarded,slowing down the flow of the match.
Gloucestershire’s discipline was being tested, trying to make the right decisions that would lead to a change in the score line. Finally, after 18 minutes of second half attrition, it was All Golds winger Josh Williams, who regained the lead for his side. The ball was seemingly held up, but in the following move, quick passing and good movement down the right wing gave William’s the try. Carlo Colucci adding the extras with a superb kick.
Moments after the All Golds scored, the intensity had hit a high and in the rising heat tempers finally made way, with an aggressive brawl forming on the away side’s ten metres line. Once the hoard of players was separated, the referee deemed yellow cards and the sin bin were suitable punishments for Scott Whitby and Jamie James.
Thankfully, the next notable action was a piece of pure brilliance from full back Joe Williams, scoring his second of the game and sealing victory for the Gloucestershire side. Catching the ball in his own half, his 60 metres jigging run beat every defender, and rounded off a tough gritty performance for the All Golds as they claimed a well earned 12-18 victory.
Under 19s Coach, Michael Stewart:
“The hard work the boys have been putting in physically showed today. We looked in good shape, especially continuing to hit hard and scoring the last two tries to win at the end in the heat.
“We made it hard work for ourselves with a poor completion rate of 55 percent overall. Looking forward to the visit of the Midlands regional academy, if we want to win that one, a lot of our focus will be on the collision this week.
“But very happy with the first win of the season, which is a good confidence boost going forward.”
University of Gloucestershire All Golds U19s
1. Joe Williams
2. Josh Williams
3. Carlo Colucci
4. Brett Barlow
5. Freddie Veimosoi
6. James Mason
7. Callum Smith
8. Matt Smith
9. Luke Stephens
10. Jamie James
11. Frankie Foster
12. Kane Dimech
13. Dale Cooper
14. Archie Cooper
15. Doug Simpson
16. Steve Day
17. Anthony Coates