3rd December 2009, 22:44
2009 Under 18 Wales 18 Australia IS 38
Wales under 18s gave their Australian Institute of Sport visitors...
Wales under 18s gave their Australian Institute of Sport visitors a good battle for a lot of the game at a freezing cold Blackwood RFC but eventually the visitors broke away, scoring five second half tries for a flattering 38-18 victory.
Unfamiliar cold conditions for the Aussies set the scene for the Blackwood battle and this suited the Welsh youngsters early on as they almost got a first minute try. Ben Evans broke through but play was brought back to the centre line for a forward pass.
But the European Champions shrugged off their disappointment and took the lead from their next play. Lewis Reece kicked a long grubber and pounced on the ball before running over in the corner, successfully converting his own try.
The lead didn't last long as Josh Merritt hit back for the visitors, going in just wide of the posts. Kyle Feldt had a fairly easy kick.
The Australians pressed for a second. Maipele Morseu was close as he attempted to run after his own chip kick, but the ball was picked up by Rhys Fenton.
They took the lead for the first time in the game on 19 minutes after Morseu went over from close range. Feldt's conversion made the score 12-6.
Wales were finding it tough to break through the strong Aussie defence for a second time. They gained an advantage when the visitors made a mistake following kick-off, letting the ball go over the dead ball line, but the resulting set led to nothing. Rhys Fenton was also stopped in his tracks, being pushed into touch by the far larger Aussie Kurtis Richie.
However Wales managed to break through just before the interval, another short range try, with Loren Quick forcing his way through and Reece converting.
Josh Merritt attempted to get AIS back on the teamsheet just before the half-time whistle, using soccer skills to move the ball upfield, but was eventually outrun and the teams went in level at half-time.
The Aussies took the lead again early in the second half. Swansea Dragons' Owen Williams, tipped to be a star of the future, made a try saving tackle on Royce Geoffrey but it just delayed inevitable as Zac Douglas went over in the corner. Feldt missed the kick.
It was instantly 20-12 after Ryan Pooley outsprinted the Welsh defence to latch onto a long kick. Reece Jaeger superbly kicked from the touchline to add the extras.
They sealed the game 17 minutes into the second half when Cale Hobday dived onto a grubber kick and salt was rubbed into Welsh wounds from kick-off when Kurtis Richie ran through to score under the sticks. Jaeger converted the second.
Wales refused to lie down, as was their spirit throughout the second half as the temperature slipped below zero. Rhys Evans was stopped in his tracks as he broke through but from the next play, Rhys Fenton ran over. Reece converted to bring the score back to 32-18.
But Australia had the final say with a Dean Blackman try with Jaeger once again adding the extras as the AIS continued their unbeaten record on their European tour.
WALES UNDER 18
1 Dan Godwin (Crusaders)
2 Josh Ramsey (Crusaders)
3 Rhys Evans (Warrington Wolves)
4 Rhys Fenton (Crusaders)
5 Alex Webber (Crusaders)
6 Dafydd Carter (Crusaders)
7 Lewis Reece (Crusaders)
8 Ben Evans (Warrington Wolves)
9 Kyle Blackmore (Crusaders)
10 Adam Davies (Crusaders)
11 Owen Williams (Swansea Dragons)
12 Loren Quick (Crusaders)
13 Ross Wardle (Crusaders)
14 Chris Davies (Crusaders)
15 Owain Griffiths (Rhyl Coasters)
16 Lewis Jones (Stanningley)
17 Nathan Hawkins (Crusaders)
Tries: Reece (5), Quick (34), Fenton (62)
Goals: Reece 3/3
AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF SPORT
1 Maipele Morseu (Yeppoon)
2 Royce Geoffrey (Cooranbong)
3 Reece Jaeger (Gunnedah)
4 Kyle Feldt (Townsville)
5 Ryan Pooley (Tamworth)
6 Josh Merritt (Dubbo)
7 Cade Boney (Muswellbrook)
8 Cale Hobday (Brisbane)
9 Dean Blackman (Rockhampton)
10 Zac Douglas (Cobar)
11 Damian Sironen (Skenners Head)
12 Kurtis Richie (Townsville)
13 Jordan Hay (Gilgandra)
14 Paul Carter (Wollongbar)
15 John Puna (Brisbane)
16 Brendan Simpson (Mudgee)
17 Kurt Warden (Corlette)
Tries: Merritt (10), Morseu (19), Douglas (40), Pooley (43), Hobday (52), Richie (55), Blackman (66)
Goals: Feldt 2/3, Jaeger 3/4
Referee: Ian Curzon
Scoring Sequence: 6-0, 6-6, 6-12, 12-12, 16-12, 22-12, 26-12, 32-12, 38-12, 38-18
article by Ian Golden
3 December 2009