Bassett leads the way as England U20s thump Italy in IRB Junior World Championship opener
England U20 64 Italy U20 5
A TRY from Bedford Blues winger Josh Bassett got England U20s off to the perfect start in their IRB Junior World Championship opener as they romped to a nine-try 64-5 win against northern hemisphere rivals Italy at the University of Western Cape Stadium on Monday.
Bassett’s score, plus two from Marland Yarde and tries from Dan Robson, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Kyle Sinckler, Ryan Mills, Tom Heathcote and Sam Hill helped England to the win as fly-half Henry Slade added 11 points with the boot and Heathcote eight.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for head coach Rob Hunter’s side as, after Slade had put England 3-0 up, Italy enjoyed a spell of possession and their dominance was rewarded with an 11th-minute try from wing Leonardo Sarto.
But 10 minutes later England regained the lead after good work from scrum-half Robson teed up Bassett for a simple score.
Yarde showed good pace to get England’s second soon after and Robson helped himself to the third just before the break, capitalising on a loose Italy lineout throw to make it 24-5.
Prop Cowan-Dickie made it 29-5 five minutes into the second half, with Slade again adding the extras.
England made use of their bench and the fresh legs made an immediate impact as replacements Sinckler and Mills scored in quick succession.
Heathcote then showed a good turn of pace to run in a 60-yard try, his first for England U20s, before Hill went over in the corner and Yarde completed the scoring, collecting a Ben Ransom pass.
England v Italy: 1 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs), 2 Nathan Morris (London Wasps), 3 Ross Harrison (Sale Sharks), 4 Sam Twomey (Harlequins), 5 Dominic Barrow (Leeds Carnegie), 6 David Sisi (London Irish), 7 Chris Walker (C, Leeds Carnegie), 8 Billy Vunipola (London Wasps), 9 Dan Robson (Gloucester Rugby), 10 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs), 11 Josh Bassett (Bedford Blues), 12 Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby), 13 Sam Hill (Exeter Chiefs), 14 Marland Yarde (London Irish), 15 Charlie Walker (Harlequins). Replacements: 16 Max Crumpton (Saracens) on for Nathan Morris 61 mins, 17 Alec Hepburn (London Wasps) on for Luke Cowan-Dickie 53 mins, 18 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins) on for Ross Harrison 53 mins, 19 George Merrick (Harlequins) on for Dom Barrow 53 mins, 20 Jack Clifford (Harlequins) on for David Sisi 61 mins, 21 Ben Spencer (Saracens) on for Dan Robson 56 mins, 22 Ryan Mills (Gloucester Rugby) on for Henry Slade 56 mins, 23 Ben Ransom (Saracens) on for Charlie Walker 61 mins. T: Bassett, Yarde 2, Robson, Cowan-Dickie, Sinckler, Mills, Heathcote, Hill. C: Heathcote 4, Slade 4. P: Slade.
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