Rugby Union: Mapletoft takes charge

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England Under 21. . . . . . . . . . . .37

Italy Under 21. . . . . . . . . . . . .12

MARK MAPLETOFT scored 19 points as England under-21, making the only positive running of a match marred by endless poor kicking, overwhelmed Italy's youth at Leicester yesterday.

Mapletoft, full-back for Wimbledon, took over the kicking early after the stand-off Paul Grayson, who opened the scoring with a penalty, retired with concussion. Mapletoft burst through on a scissors for the first try. He converted it and also the second try when the Saracens wing Darren O'Leary ran 80 yards after an interception.

England's captain Richard Bramley plunged over from a line- out before Mapletoft landed a penalty and scythed through a crowded midfield for his second try, which he converted. Jonathan Sleightholme closed the scoring when he sprinted in spectacularly.

The No 8 Stefano Falcone and wing Umberto Re scored tries for Italy and Martino Visentin added a conversion.

ENGLAND Under 21: M Mapletoft (Rugby); J Sleightholme (Wakefield), M Dawson (Northampton), D Edwards (Loughbrough Students), D O'Leary (Saracens); P Grayson (Waterloo), K Bracken (Bristol); C Clark (Swansea Univ), M Regan (Bristol), D Crompton (Bath), R Bramley (Wakefield, capt), R West (Gloucester), A Diprose (Loughbrough Students), M Rennell (Bedford), A Morris (Sheffield). Replacements: G Williams (Bedford), A Handley (Waterloo), M Olsen (Llandovery), C Johnston (Leicester), D Molloy (Wasps), L Dallaglio (Wasps).

ITALY Under 21: M Ravazzolo; M Amore, N Aldrovandi, P Residora, U Re; M Visentin, A Troncon (capt); M Menapace, M Alfonsetti, A Castagma, M David, S Stocco, A De Rossi, S Falcone, C Caione.

Referee: B Stirling (Ireland).

Scores: England: Tries: Mapletoft (2), O'Leary, Bramley, Sleightholme; Conversions: Mapletoft (3); Penalties: Grayson, Mapletoft. Italy: Tries: Re, Falcone; Conversion: Visentin.