Russia edge out England Counties U20s 32-29

  • Russia U20s hold out for 32-29 win in Moscow
  • England Counties U20s finish Russia tour with one win from two 

Russia U20s held out for a 32-29 win in their second match against England Counties U20s with the visitors having won the first leg 19-14 in Moscow.

After a hard-fought first match earlier in the week, the second leg proved even more tense.

ENGLAND'S STRONG START 

A tight start saw Russia U20s fly half Churashov and England Counties number 10 Lewis Dennett trading penalties in the opening 10 minutes. 

With Russia leading 6-3 and trying to play the ball out from their own half, England centre Alex Goble intercepted to sprint through and score with try converted by Dennett to make it 10-6.

Soon after, number 8 Adam Branckley was sent to the sin bin for infringing at the breakdown and Churashov duly slotted the penalty to bring the score to 10-9.

VISITORS' SET-PIECE CONTROL

England's set piece was dominant throughout the game and they were rewarded when the referee awarded them a penalty try halfway through the first half. 

The visitors were hoping to maintain their lead of 17-9 at half time but the hosts had other ideas when second row Nemstev broke through England's defence to drive over the line and score. 

Churashov once again converted and less than a minute later gave Russia another three points from a penalty in front of the posts. 

The men in red led 19-17 going into the second half and the impressive Churashov quickly extended that lead to 22-17 when Russia were awarded a penalty from a scrum.

At risk of letting the match get away from them slightly, England went on the attack and replacement Kemp Price scythed through Russia's defence and showed good speed to give England a 24-22 lead.

CHURASHOV LEADS RUSSIA TO VICTORY 

With only 15 minutes remaining, Russia were camped in England's half and Churashov capped off a brilliant individual performance by sidestepping his way through England's defence to score a crucial try. 

The fly half converted his own effort to give his team a 29-24 lead going into the final few minutes. 

With the match seemingly lost, replacement Max Berry finished off a remarkable display of attacking intent from England.

The visitors went through the phases from their own half before making a break through the middle of Russia's line with Max Berry sprinting from outside Russia's 22 metre line to score.  

The conversion was then missed leaving the scores equal at 29-29. Trying to get out of their own half, England Counties then conceded a penalty in front of the posts which Churashov swiftly converted in the 80th minute.

England Counties were trailing 32-29 with the final play of the match and were camped out on Russia's try line.

The team opted for a scrum rather than three points when the referee awarded them a penalty but then lost the ball in the resulting set-piece to hand Russia the victory.  

 

STARTING XV
1 Hayden King
2 Karl Garside
3 Alex Post
4 Dale Lemon
5 James Apperley
6 Jack Thomas
7 Dan Broady
8 Adam Brankley
9 Ben Pointon
10 Lewis Dennett
11 Ellis Rudder
12 Connor Wilkinson
13 Alex Goble
14 James Neal
15 Charlie Venables
REPLACEMENTS
16 Will Scholey
17 Diana Montout Alexis
18 Max Berry
19 Kemp Price
20 Jack Harrison
21 Tim Bitirim

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