19/04/14 by Paul Bolton
|Former North Midlands Under-18 lock Huw Taylor helped England Under-18s win a third consecutive FIRA/AER European Championship by beating Ireland 30-14 in today’s final in Wronki, Poland.Taylor, of Old Swinford Hospital School and Worcester Warriors, was a replacement in the final which saw England seal victory with two tries from Taylor Prell and one apiece from Lucas Slowik and Josh Bainbridge. Harry Mallinder added ten points with the boot.
England made a strong start and had the first points on the board with two minutes on the clock after a long-range Mallinder penalty.
Ireland hit back soon after and had the first try ten minutes later, quick footwork opened up space for centre Jack Power to score between the posts.
England came back though, and had their first score through Prell who spotted a gap in the Irish defence and backed his pace to dart through, Mallinder added the extras to make it 10-7 with 23 played.
In what proved to be a topsy-turvy first half, Ireland had their second try minutes later, rumbing over from close range.
An intercept try from Slowik gave England back the lead, and John Fletcher’s side never look back.
In a dominant second half England extended the lead through Prell after a good break from Mallinder before Bainbridge rounded the win off, touching down at the bottom of a rolling maul.
Head Coach Fletcher said: “We’re pleased to get the win, and to be honest I did think that we were the better side, particularly in the second half – but huge credit to Ireland, they’re a very good side and made it extremely difficult.
“In terms of our performance, I think that we were much better in the second half, and it’s a credit to our lads – they’re a tight knit group, and it bodes well for the future.
“We’ve had a great tour here in Poland, they want the game to grow and this tournament will have helped that. From the hotel to the stadiums, we’ve enjoyed every minute, which is what it’s all about.”
Taylor helps England win FIRA/AER title
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