13th October 2013, 16:20
Academy International Wales 0 England 38
England showed Wales what Super League experience does for you, as they took control of this academy international after half- time to romp home for a 38-0 win.
UNDER 19 ACADEMY INTERNATIONAL
WALES 0 ENGLAND 38
By Ian Golden at Taff’s Well RFC
England showed Wales what Super League experience does for you, as they took control of this academy international after half-time to romp home for a 38-0 win.
It was always going to be tough for the Welsh. Twelve of the home side came from Championship 1 side South Wales Scorpions while in contrast, eight of the England players have already made their Super League debuts.
But the Welsh battled throughout the game, especially in the first half where they continually denied England tries while also creating some good opportunities themselves.
Wales had a chance to lead in the first ten minutes after they won a scrum on England’s ten-metre line. The wet conditions were already taking their toll at this early stage and three more knock-ons later with the ball constantly changing hands, the opportunity was lost.
Another chance fell to Wales early on, this time from wiry hooker Connor Farrer who attempted to ground underneath the England back-line, but pressure caused him to drop the ball when diving for the line.
It was then England’s turn to go on the rampage and they had six opportunities to score in less than 10 minutes.
The first was on the 20 minute mark when Wigan’s Rob Lever was pulled back, and rightly so, for a forward pass.
Bradford’s Alex Mellor also thought he’d scored when he slid through in the corner on the final tackle of a good England set, but he was stopped centimetres short of the line.
Chris Leyshon nicely picked up Ryan Hampshire’s grubber on the final tackle of England’s next set to again stop the visitors from scoring.
Nathan Conroy was held up over the line, Jacob Morgan caught a high bomb, then an England grubber went too far and Wales were again safe.
But finally, on the half-hour, the English broke the deadlock when Warrington’s Toby King scored in the corner. Ryan Hampshire converted.
Wales looked to level straight away when Courtney Davies kicked a grubber aiming for Bradley Mais but the Welsh forward was too heavily marked and couldn’t get near the ball.
And after good pace from Lewis Tierney helped England win a scrum, they extended their lead to 12-0 at the break when Tom Walker grounded under the sticks and Hampshire added the extras.
England opened the second half well as, from a scrum, Tierney, the son of former dual code international Jason Robinson, showed pace his father would have been proud of by sprinting to the line for his side’s third try. Hampshire missed the kick.
Wales were cruelly denied a try in what looked to be a well-worked move culminating in Jordan Howells sliding over in the corner. But the touchjudge pulled play back for offside and from the resulting penalty, Jake Connor nabbed England’s fourth with Hampshire converting.
England’s superior fitness was showing. George Williams raced in for England’s fifth try of the game on 64 minutes. Five minutes later Oliver Gildart scored the sixth with Hampshire converting both to put England into a 34-0 lead.
Wigan’s Williams sprinted 40 metres for England’s seventh try but his club-mate Hampshire failed to convert on this occasion and the score remained at 38-0.
It was Dave Clark’s last match as Head of Performance in South Wales having been in charge of the Scorpions first team and WRL academies for the last two years and while he was disappointed not to get a win, he was pleased with the Welsh efforts.
“Our mentality in the first half was really good,” he said. “From where we are to where they are, we showed a lot of character in that first half. We were in an arm wrestle for so long, we couldn’t maintain that intensity in the second half. But I’m really proud of how they played, we were in really good shape and created some good opportunities. They gave it their all and I’m proud of them.”
Former Celtic Crusaders, South Wales Scorpions and Wales forward Geraint Davies, who coached the side in Sunday’s game under Clark’s watchful eye, now takes full charge for Friday’s second test, again at Taff’s Well RFC (kick-off 6.30pm).
“You’ve got to remember that most of our boys are only 18 and they played last week for the under 18s,” Davies said. “12-0 at half-time was pretty positive but we just let it go in the second half and I don’t think the score reflected the effort we put it.
“We need to cut our errors out in the second test on Friday. England were very good technically and you could tell a lot of them had played first team Super League. We’ve a lot to work on before Friday but if the boys can show the same guts as today then I’m sure we’ll do a lot better.”
England coach John Winder was proud of his side’s win.
“I’m really pleased,” he said. “To play in conditions like that is really tough. For the first 25 minutes it was like a proper test match and was really physical. Both sides went at it and I’m pleased that we stuck to it for the full 80 minutes and deserved the result.
“I thought Wales were very good and you can see that there’s a lot of good development work being done down here. There were some really strong signs of that, especially in the first half. They were really committed and passionate and I know they will be again this Friday.”
The second academy test – Wales v England – this Friday 18th October, kicks off at 6.30pm at Taff’s Well RFC. Admission is £5 adults, £3 for children.
1 Jacob Morgan (Leeds Rhinos)
2 Alex Jones (South Wales Scorpions)
3 Kylum Austin (South Wales Scorpions)
4 Jordan Howells (South Wales Scorpions)
5 Chris Leyshon (South Wales Scorpions)
6 Courtney Davies (South Wales Scorpions)
7 Daniel Parry (South Wales Scorpions)
8 Michael Connor (South Wales Scorpions)
9 Connor Farrer (South Wales Scorpions)
10 Osian Philips (South Wales Scorpions)
11 TJ Collin (South Wales Scorpions)
12 Bradley Mais (Wigan Warriors)
13 Rhys Fitzgerald (South Wales Scorpions)
14 Jordan Sheridan (Conwy Celts)
16 Rhys Finney (South Wales Scorpions)
17 Lewis Stockton (Conwy Celts)
18 Matthew Davies (North Wales Crusaders)
1 Lewis Tierney (Wigan Warriors)
2 Ash Handley (Leeds Rhinos)
3 Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors)
4 Jake Connor (Huddersfield Giants)
5 Toby King (Warrington Wolves)
6 Ryan Hampshire (Wigan Warriors)
7 George Williams (Wigan Warriors)
8 Bobby Tyson-Wilson (Hull FC)
9 Nathan Conroy (Bradford Bulls)
10 Ben Austin (Wigan Warriors)
11 Alex Mellor (Bradford Bulls)
12 Jordan Baldwinson (Leeds Rhinos)
13 Rob Lever (Wigan Warriors)
14 Ryan Sutton (Wigan Warriors)
15 Tom Walker (Warrington Wolves)
16 Lewis Charnock (St Helens)
17 Jansin Turget (Hull FC)
20 Tyler Dickinson (Huddersfield Giants)
Tries: King (30), Walker (39), Tierney (42), Connor (50), Williams (64, 74), Gildart (69)
Goals: Hampshire 5/7
Referee: Adam Gill (England)