England Counties sink Romania A to complete successful tour

Jun 10 • Europe, General News, International • 1909 Views • Comments Off on England Counties sink Romania A to complete successful tour

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The England Counties squad for the summer tour to Romania.

ENGLAND Counties secured an impressive 28-20 victory over Romania A to complete a highly successful summer tour.

Following Friday’s 28-16 win over club side CSM Bucuresti, tonight’s meeting at the Stadionul National with a Romania A side, made up of a mix of U23 and senior players, represented a step up in class.

But England Counties proved they were more than up to the challenge running in four tries courtesy of Durham’s Chris Wearmouth, Cornwall duo Matt Shepherd and Ben Hilton, and Hertfordshire’s Henry Robinson.

Team Manager Matt Long said: “They were fairly physical opponents, as expected. This was originally billed as a game against Romania U23s, but in the end they only had four people under 23 and the rest was a fairly strong senior side. They brought quite a bit of physicality and were a solid side.

“It was a difficult one to predict because we had so many new guys in the squad who were untested at this level. To put those guys together and get the win on Friday and follow up with a win against a national side was phenomenal, and testament to the good work of the coaches.”

Romania started the game the stronger of the two sides, notching up a converted try and a penalty to run up an early 10-0 lead. But the Counties rallied, Wearmouth going in under the posts to set up a simple conversion for Shepherd and close the gap to 10-7 by the break.

The visitors started with more confidence in the second half, putting some good phases of play together. And, after some sustained pressure, they were rewarded when Shepherd managed to go over wide on the right before kicking a superb conversion.

But, just as they were beginning to build up some momentum, the Counties suffered a blow when Lancashire open-side flanker Evan Stewart was yellow carded. The hosts made the most of their extra man, applying heavy pressure from a scrum, with their powerful front row driving forward and forcing a penalty try, which was converted to see them lead 17-14.

However, England’s response was swift, with Cornwall lock Ben Hilton adding his side’s third try of the evening and county colleague Shepherd adding yet another conversion.

Romania refused to buckle and kicked another penalty to close the gap to one. With the big Romanian pack dominating some tight exchanges, the home side were given two further penalty opportunities but spurned both.

And they were made to pay as England added a late try to make the win safe, Hertfordshire’s Henry Robinson touching down after a terrific driving maul and drive over from close to the line. Shepherd again applied the extras to complete the tour on a high point.

Full England Counties line-up v Romania A:

1. Matthew Beesley  (Wharefdale/Cheshire)
2. Brett McNamee (Old Albanians/Hertfordshire)
3. Stephen Johnson (Hull Ionians/Yorkshire)
4. Christopher Wearmouth (Blaydon/Durham)
5. Ben Hilton (Launceston/Cornwall)
6. Keith Laughlin (capt, Blaydon/Northumberland)
7. Evan Stewart (Fylde/Yorkshire)
8. Gavin Jones (Blaydon/Yorkshire).

9. Matthew Shepherd (Launceston/Cornwall)
10. Mike Wilcox (Cinderford/Gloucestershire)
11. Nevaro Codlin (Coney Hill/Gloucestershire)
12. Sebastian Rodwell (London Irish Wild Geese/Gloucestershire)
13. Sam Winter (Bishop’s Stortford/Hertfordshire)
14. Leo Fielding (Cinderford/Gloucestershire)
15. Henry Robinson (Darlington Mowden Park/Hertfordshire).


16. Samuel Wilkes (Cinderford/Gloucestershire)
17. Andrew Berry (Old Albanians/Hertfordshire)
18. David Laverick (Hull Ionians/Yorkshire)
19. George Oram (Blackheath/Kent)
20. Harry Bate (Blaydon/Northumberland)
21. Alex Gallagher (Blackheath/Kent)
22. Albert Portsmouth (Cambridge/Eastern Counties)
23. William Crow (Dorking/Surrey).


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