7th April 2002, 18:00
2002 Wales Under 19 reports
Wales Under 19s took to the field for the first time
Wales Under 19s Home Nations Championship Report
Wales Under 19s took to the field for the first time in a Home International series from April 5th-7th at Crewe and Alsager College.
The team drawn from Cardiff, Aberdare and surrounding areas has been the product of the hard work of the WRL development officer Stuart Singleton and the South Wales Schools Rugby League under the guidance of Colin Neale.
Having lost narrowly 20-28 to France at the start of March after being 10-0 up at half-time, the Under 19s travelled to Crewe full of hope.
Wales 19s v England U 19s Friday 5th April
They took the field against England in their first match on a windy afternoon.
The English dominated the first ten minutes through an accurate kicking game and the concession of penalties by the Welsh. The English full back and left centre both went over for early tries. However, once Wales gained possession of the ball they were able to show their attacking flair. Lead by Wesley Palmer, Ryan Barry, Craig Dixon and Danny McGee in the forwards and Peter Moore, Alex Ryce and Matthew Smith in the backs Wales came back into the match with some great interplay between backs and forwards.
They took the lead through tries by Alex Ryce and Peter Moore and were on the verge of scoring another when the England left wing nipped in for an interception and sprinted 60 yards to turn the match again in England's favour. Having regained the lead England scored two further tries before half time to open up a 12 point gap at half time.
Coach Andy Lindley rallied his troops at half time and the Welsh returned to the field determined to make up the deficit. However, an early mistake lead to pressure on the Welsh line which the English captain took advantage of to score a short-range try. Wales failed to fold and rallied once again to take the game to England. This resulted in pressure on the line and hooker, Huw Thomas dived over in the corner to give Wales hope.
The game then turned into a tightly contested affair with neither side willing to give an inch in defence and running hard at each other. One final try by England after a sustained period of Welsh pressure lead to the final scoreline of England 38- Wales 24. Wales had made a huge impression on the watching crowd and their more experienced counterparts.
Wales U19s v Scotland U19s Saturday 6th April
Wales took to the field less than 24 hours after their impressive performance against England. The team had suffered during that game and it was a clearly depleted line up in terms of personnel and firepower. Wales took an early lead but were unable to put the final pass in on several occasions early in the game when they had the Scottish defence on the back foot.
This gave the Scottish team heart and they responded with some terrific play by their scrum half Chris Fletcher. Finally with the Welsh team unable to raise their game the Scots seized control of the match with two well taken tries. Wales raised once last challenge and managed to breach the Scottish line once but this was insufficient to prevent the Scots from claiming a win by 16 points to 12.
Welsh U19's squad
1 Matthew Smith
2 Mark Jones
3 Alex Ryce
4 Jonathon Gillet
5 Sean Allen
6 Pete Moore
7 Wes Palmer
8 Huw Thomas
9 Craig Dixon
10 Ryan Barry
11 Mark Devine
12 Richard Hext
13 Gavin Moses
14 Owain Bryant
15 Daniel Hancock
16 Thomas Price
17 Rees Jones
18 Chris Conway
19 Daniel McGee
20 Christopher Williams