Academy succumb to Red Rose pressure

Ealing Trailfinders Academy U19 12 – 48 England Counties U18

On a landmark day for the club, the Academy came up short against an England side that proved too strong around the park for the young Trailfinders.

The first half could be described as a one sided affair as the Vallis Way side suffered with stage fright and failed to secure the possession needed to put good sides under pressure. A disappointment given the dominant set piece we enjoyed.

England Counties however were very comfortable with and without the ball. Applying pressure on the Academy attack and forcing a string of mistakes. They also showed great composure to put away several chances and went in 24-0 at half time.

The second half was a very different affair. Having spoken about pride and confidence during the break, they showed exactly that from the whistle. A superb tackle from lock forward and Ealing man of the match Devis Acclem set the standard for 25 minutes great rugby.

Periods of dominant attacking play were rewarded with line breaks as well as meters gained. Inside centre Tom Steene looked dangerous alongside hard running skipper Ollie Morris.

The first score of the half went to hooker Luke Parry. A well deserved reward for a tough shift in the front row. Harry Vidler converted from the tee.

Added to the much improved attack, the defence really unsettled the Red Roses, and Ciaran Poynter read the play well to intercept a wide pass to run in from half way.

At 12-24, the Academy were certainly in the ascendency, some well placed replacements from the England bench steadied the ship. A try against the run of play when it looked like great work had secured a turnover, turned the tide.

Despite some valiant efforts, the superior ability of the opposition forced errors from our boys. As in the first half, few chances were missed. England ran out deserved winners.

It has to be said that this was a massive opportunity for the Academy and we can’t thank the England coaching and management team for its offer to play this a fixture. We would like to wish them all the very best when they take on Ireland in 3 weeks time, we’ll be watching to see how you get on!!

There’s barely time to catch breath, next week we play the United Kingdom Armed Forces U23 at Vallis Way, a game we have never won, last season a lte try snatched victory for the combined Services side.

We hope you can make it to the club to cheer on the boys.

Finally, thanks to all our very generous sponsors who supported todays game. We really appreciate your belief in development rugby and hope we can work together again in the future.

Ealing Trailfinders Academy

Vidler, Booth, Morris (c), Steene, Oranu, Poynter, Brathwaite, Wilson, Price, Smith, Acclem, West, Eubank-Anderson, Parry, Robbins


Stoute, Ziya-Zadeh, McAllister, John-Cyrus, Rodrigo-Payne, Bowler, Monponbanua, Otway, Rowan, Rolfo, Rose


Tries – Parry, Poynter

Cons – Vidler