Hensingham youngster helps England Lions fight to win

Fletcher Holgate dives to score (Ben Challis)

Hensingham’s Fletcher Holgate scored two tries as the England Under-16 Lions cruised their way to a 28-20 victory over Scotland’s Under-16s.

Cumbria had three young Lions who were central to the international rugby league victory at Dalkeith.

As the teams tested each other in the opening minutes, England were twice caught offside, handing possession to Scotland who took full advantage of the errors. They were able to open the scoring thanks to an unconverted try from Isaac Reid.

England responded quickly with Holgate diving for the touchdown and the try was converted by Tom Papworth to take the lead.

There was little to separate the teams and Scotland came back with a second try, this one converted for a four point lead.

England U16s celebrate victory in Scotland (Ben Challis)

England came back and converted tries from Brandan Rowland and Cobie McGillivary gave England an 18-10 half-time lead.

Kells winger Jamie Jennings had a great first-half game but was dealt a bad knock and had to be substituted 20 minutes later.

Kells second Lion Jackson Evans was used as a second-half exchanger and was immediately in the thick of the action, delivering a series of good runs and tackles.

With England mounting pressure on the pitch, Holgate gave England a break with his second try for a 24-10 lead, with Papworth converting again.

Fletcher Holgate and Jackson Evans celebrate Holgate’s second try (Ben Challis)

Scotland came straight back to England and retook the Lions’ lead with an unconverted third try for 14-24, but as time ran out Harrison Dodd scored England’s fifth and final try. Papworth was denied a full house when his kick hit the post, leaving the score at 28-14.

A late try from Scotsman Reid, converted by Alfie Maclean in the dying minutes, was never going to be enough, and the Lions secured victory in a hard-fought game.

Charles P. Patton