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British universities & Colleges Sport

Rugby - Gritty display by England Students 17/02/2006

Italy U25 44 England Students 31
England Students produced a big improvement on their defeat by France a week ago despite being beaten by Italy Under 25 in Nuoro, Sardinia today.

Italy U25 44 England Students 31
England Students produced a big improvement on their defeat by France a week ago despite being beaten by Italy Under 25 in Nuoro, Sardinia today.

The Italian side comprised the same group of players who represented Italy A against England A in Colleferro a week ago and provided a very searching test of character for the younger student side.

“They were very strong and physical and clearly determined to extract revenge for their defeat last weekend,” said England Students manager, Tony Lanaway. “But I was very pleased with the way our boys played. The opposition was very strong, but we showed a big improvement on last week and the game has put us in good heart for our rematch with the French students in three weeks time in Dunkirk.

“The whole team contributed fully to the performance, but I thought No 8 Greg Irvin from Durham and Jonathan Pritchard from Bristol were absolutely outstanding.

“We didn’t really get the rub of the green on one or two occasions, but I was proud of the way we played and stuck to the task.”

Italy had a match winner in their fly-half Luciano Orquera, who now plays in France with Auch and who shone in the game against England A. He finished with a try, five conversions and three penalties for a 24-point haul. Treviso wing Matteo Barbins crossed twice, Viadana’s Roberto Pedrazzi on the other flank also scored, while the other try came from a combined forward drive.

England trailed 23-14 at half-time, a try by Tom Tombleson (Oxford) and three penalties from James Lennard (Hartpury) keeping the visitors in touch.

Italy then pulled clear to build a 37-14 lead, but good interpassing and a neat chip by fly-half Richard Vasey (Leeds Metro) set up a try for centre Tom Gregory (Nottingham) that Lennard converted.

Another Lennard penalty followed and England had the last word when centre Pritchard finished off the best move of the game for a try that Lennard again converted.

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