Rugby: Sunderland youngsters impress on tour to Holland

Sunderland U15s prop Oliver Graham takes on The Scrumboks of Tiel.
Sunderland U15s prop Oliver Graham takes on The Scrumboks of Tiel.

Sunderland Under-15s went unbeaten on their tour to Holland, claiming two impressive victories.

In their first outing, the Ashbrooke youngsters faced the Bulldogs club from Almere. Sunderland played some wonderful attacking rugby to race to a 17-0 lead, through tries from hooker JJ McCourt (2) and No 8 Ollie Beattie.

However, the Dutch team came roaring back to take a 20-17 lead with 10 minutes to go.

Winger Felix Tomlinson chose a great time to score his first try of the season, though, to help sneak a 22-20 win over bigger and older opponents.

The following day, the tourists took on the the Scrumboks club in the northern city of Tiel and, after a slow start on a warm day, ran out comfortable 45-17 winners.

Tries were shared around by Jacob Feeney (3) and man of the match Joe Cowie, with Beattie adding two more.

* Free-scoring Sunderland U14s powered past Middlesbrough to win 31-0 in an entertaining display.

Full-back Vincent Hessel and centre Zak Kennedy both touched down twice to lead the Ashbrooke side home.

Sunderland’s pack dominated in the tight, with hooker Alex Ryan, lock Jack Howell and Jai Swalwell to the fore.

Captain Josh Jobling opened the scoring with a show and go, with Chris Rochelle converting. Hessel added two tries, before No 8 Adam Williams barged through a retreating defence to score.

Kennedy’s second score followed a chip through from Hessel, who converted.

With strong defensive showings from Rian Alderson, Williams and openside Russell Chapman-Smith, Sunderland kept Boro scoreless.

In a second game, Sunderland were squeezed out 26-22 by Stockton. Hessel, Kennedy and Jobling (2) grabbed tries, with Ben McRory adding a conversion.