England Universities won their 14th Student Rugby League Four Nations title in Pontypridd on Saturday as they hammered Wales Students 80-6 in a highly charged game in Pontypridd.
Wales had all the loud vocal support from the other Celtic nations as well as the local fans from community clubs, but it was England who took a quick 12-0 lead.
Nathan Redmond ran over for England’s first try in the third minute, converting his own try. He soon added to England’s lead, scoring again from kick-off and converting again.
Wales hit back on 10 minutes. Shane Lee leapt on a grubber to score under the posts. Ryan Griffiths converted.
But England were next to score when Charlie McCurrie dived over and Redmond converted.
Adam Lavin scored England’s fourth try but as a result, Wales went temporarily down to 12 men as Shane Lee fouled the scorer after he’d grounded. Redmond converted.
While he was off, Iwan Orr scored a brace of tries and Redmond converted the first to put England 34-6 up on 28 minutes. He completed his hat-trick just after Lee returned to the field with Redmond improved.
From kick-off, Jack Cherry ran half the length of the field and Redmond again converted and England were 46-6 up at half-time.
It didn’t start well for Wales from kick-off. They kicked the ball into touch on the full and from the penalty, England scored through Joe Riley to bring up 50 points. The conversion was missed.
Redmond completed his hat-trick on 44 minutes and converted it himself.
And when Ben Cripps was given a red card for punching in the 50th minute, England continued to score. Christian Gale went over three minutes later and that was quickly followed by Nathan Rushworth.
Aaron Powell’s try was converted by Redmond on 74 minutes to bring up 74 points, equally the most conceded by a Wales Students side.
The Cherry on the top for England came three minutes later as Jack scored his second of the game. An outstanding touchline kick from Redmond brought up 80 points.
Ireland took second place in the Student Rugby League Four Nations after overcoming a depleted Scotland side 34-10.
The Bravehearts were down to less than the bare bones for this game. With just 17 fit from their original squad, plus Connor Terrill and Fergus Simpson recalled by Workington Town, they brought in Joe Craven and Ross McGlone.
However Scotland nearly took the lead. They were just been stopped short of the line. But in the next set, Ireland worked their way upfield and Louis O’Sullivan scored in the corner.
The rain in the early part of the game had made the ball slippery which led to a few mistakes in the first half. It was soon looking like a case of who was able to keep the ball for a set would do well.
Ireland increased their lead four minutes before half-time when Nathan Connell broke away to score under the sticks making it easy for Thomas Ashurst to kick the goal making the score 10-0 at the break.
Pete Burns sprinted over in the corner in the first minute of the second half to start a potential Scottish comeback. The try went unconverted.
But Ireland restored the balance when Nathan Connell jinked round a third of the Scottish side to score under the posts. Ashurst converted to put Ireland 16-4 up.
And after Jordan Duncan was given a yellow card ten minutes into the second half, the Irish took full advantage. Sean Findlow dived in under the posts and Ashurst converted.
Paul Bolger soon followed him over with Ashurst again adding the extras.
They improved their points difference further when Eoin Creaby also scored under the posts and Ashurst converted.
However Scotland had the final say when Jonny Hutton scored under the posts in the final play of the game. Luke Punton converted.