Wales U18 secured a key victory in the U18 6 Nations Festival, scoring six tries on the way to a win over Ireland.
Wales had lost their opener to France at the weekend, while Ireland had needed a late penalty to beat Italy, but all of that was in the past as the two played out a thriller at the Cardiff Arms Park on Wednesday.
A Dylan Prendergast penalty gave Ireland the lead after just five minutes, but Wales bounced back with some powerful forward play to score through hooker Cameron Lewis of Coleg Sir Gar at the tail of the maul.
Gwyr’s Josh Thomas converted for a 7-3 lead, however Ireland came back at the host, scoring through inside centre Angus Adair, who blasted over from short range to edge his side ahead, 8-7.
Wales kept the pressure on though, and just three minutes later they had wrestled the lead back through Hartpury College winger Louis Rees-Zammitt at 12-8. Prendergast hit back for Ireland on the stroke of half time though with a penalty, sending the teams in with Wales just ahead at 12-11.
After the half though Wales came flying out, Rees-Zammit securing his brace just five minutes after the restart, before second row Teddy Williams crossed just four minutes later. When Cameron Lewis scored his second just three minutes after that Wales had moved from a 12-11 lead to a stunning 29-11 lead, With Thomas adding a pair of conversions.
Ireland were never going to just lie down though, and when Alex Kendellen scored with Prendergast converting, thoughts of a comeback surfaced. Wales snuffed that out just five minutes later though when captain Jac Morgan stormed over for Wales’ sixth and a 36-18 lead once Oakham’s Sam Costelow had landed the extras.
Nathan Doak, the hero for Ireland against Italy, and Josh McKee added late scores for Ireland but it was too little too late, Wales early second half flurry had done too much, securing the 36-28 victory.
Both sides are next in action on Sunday at Cardiff Arms Park, with Wales hosting an Italy side that will be full of confidence after beating England at 2.30pm, while Ireland meet Scotland, who have also beaten England, at 12pm.
Wales U18 36-28 Ireland U18
Wales U18 XV:
15 Ioan Lloyd (Clifton College/Exiles), 14 Harri Doel (Coleg Sir Gar/Scarlets Academy/Scarlets), 13 Joe Roberts (Coleg Sir Gar/Burry Port/Scarlets) , 12 Osian Knott (Coleg Sir Gar/Carmarthen Quins/Scarlets), 11 Louis Rees-Zammit (Hartpury College/Gloucester Academy/Exiles), 10 Josh Thomas (Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr/Pontarddulais/Ospreys), 9 Ellis Bevan (Bryanston/Ampthill/Exiles), 1 Callum Williams (Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth/Tumble/Scarlets), 2 Cameron Lewis (Coleg Sir Gar/Swansea Uplands/Ospreys), 3 Archie Griffin (Marlborough College/Exiles), 4 Jac Price (Coleg Sir Gar/Carmarthen Quins/Scarlets), 5 Teddy Williams (Ysgol Gantaf/Cardiff Harlequins/Cardiff Blues), 6 Olly White (Llandovery College/Llandovery/RGC), 7 Jac Morgan (Coleg Sir Gar/Carmarthen Athletic/Scarlets, captain), 8 Ioan Rhys Davies (Coleg y Cymoedd/Merthyr/Cardiff Blues).
Replacements: 16 Llew Phillips-Taylor (Coleg Sir Gar/Scarlets), 17 William Sanderson (Coleg Llandrillo/Wrexham/RGC), 18 Luke Yendle (Newport High/Senghenydd/Dragons), 19 Ben Carter (Newport High/Caldicot/Dragons), 20 Carwyn Tuipulotu (Sedbergh School/Exiles), 21 Robert Brookson (Coleg Gwent/Pontypool United/Dragons), 22 Frankie Jones (Neath-Port Talbot College/Cwmafan/Ospreys), 23 Dafydd Buckland (Newport High/Rhymney/Dragons), 24 Sam Costelow (Oakham School/Leicester Tigers/Exiles), 25 Aneurin Owen (Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw/NHSOB/Dragons).
Ireland U18 XV:
15 Chris Cosgrave (St. Michael’s College), 14 Andrew Smith (St. Michael’s College), 13 Ben Power (Campbell College), 12 Angus Adair (RBAI), 11 Aaron Sexton (Bangor GS), 10 Dylan Prendergast (Sancta Maria College), 9 Ben Murphy (Presentation College Bray), 1 Connor Morrissey (Mayfield CS), 2 Padraig McCarthy (Colaiste Pobail Bheanntrai), 3 Charlie Ward (Tullow Community School), 4 Conor McMenamin (Colaiste Ailigh), 5 Cian Prendergast (Newbridge College), 6 Sean O’Brien (Blackrock College), 7 Anthony Ryan (Clongowes Wood College), 8 David McCann (RBAI, captain).
Replacements: 16 Tom Stewart (Belfast Royal Academy), 17 John McKee (Campbell College), 18 Tom Clarkson (Blackrock College), 19 Cian Hurley (CBC Cork), 20 Tom Ahern (St. Augustine’s, Dungarvan), 21 Alex Kendellen (PBC Cork), 22 Ryan O’Neill (RS Armagh), 23 Nathan Doak (Wallace HS), 24 Paddy McKenzie (East Glendalough School), 25 Karl Martin (St. Mary’s School, Drogheda), 26 Max O’Reilly (St. Gerard’s School).
U18 6 Nations Festival Schedule: Saturday 31st March to Sunday 8th April
Matchday 1 – Saturday 31st March, Ystrad Mynach (Centre of Sporting Excellence)
Scotland U18 32-27 England U18
Wales U18 14-22 France U18
Ireland U18 20-17 Italy U18
Matchday 2 – Wednesday 4th April, Cardiff Arms Park
Italy U18 32-30 England U18
Ireland U18 28-36 Wales U18
France U18 v Scotland U18 – 5pm
Matchday 3 – Sunday 8th April, Cardiff Arms Park
Ireland U18 v Scotland U18 – 12pm
Italy U18 v Wales U18 – 2.30pm
France U18 v England U18 – 5pm
Previous U18 results this season:
Scotland 30-32 Wales
Scotland 0-64 England
Wales 14-42 England
France 27-5 England
Ireland 20-39 France
Italy 18-5 France ‘B’