25th August 2017, 14:54
Narrow French wins over South Wales youth sides
Two sides from the rugby league mad region of Carcassonne visited South Wales this week and played two representative matches at two different age-groups at Cwmbran RFC, the home of Torfaen Tigers.
Whilst the French narrowly won each game, the South Wales lads, who were selected from the recent East v West Origin games, played with credit and there are already hopeful plans for the French sides to return next year.
UNDER 15 – SOUTH WALES 20 CARCASSONNE 26
The French side stormed to a 16-0 half-time lead in the under 15 encounter which in the end was too much for South Wales to claw back.
Miki Berger, Vianey Morin and Thomas Valls went over for the tries with Cesar Rouge kicking two goals.
The Welsh staged a fightback after the interval when it was their turn to attack down the infamous Cwmbran slope. Jack Colcambe went over for two quick tries with Lewis Handley converting the first to make it 16-10.
Carcassonne increased their lead through two quick tries, both scored by Lucas Cuellar, one converted by Rouge to increase their lead to 26-10.
But South Wales finished the strongest. Kaylem Price was next over before a Morgan Chell try converted by Handley brought it back to 26-20. Only good French defence prevented a potential Welsh equaliser.
UNDER 17 – SOUTH WALES 20 CARCASSONNE 22
James Smith scored an early try in the corner for South Wales, but the French, attacking uphill, started to control the game.
Tomos Soler went over for an equaliser, Alexis Gamposet scored out wide to make it 8-4 before Luca Cuellary added a third for the French going in between the posts and Baptiste Fabre converting.
South Wales fought back and it was level at 14-14 at the break. First Ittichai Khamahop went over in the corner, then soon after kick-off, Brandon Jones ran in under the sticks and Iestyn Hopkins converted.
They regained the lead not long after the interval through a Nye Walker try converted by Hopkins.
Five minutes from time, a strong run by Miki Bauer brought the score back to 20-18 before a similar run from the same player won it for them.