venue: Brewery Field, Bridgend
4th April 2008
Full Match Report
England still remain unbeaten in the four year history of the Good Friday Rugby League under-16 international after defeating Wales 10-6 at the Brewery Field, but Wales pushed their visitors closer than they've ever done before and can consider themselves unlucky not to have picked up a win or draw. Brilliant defence by both teams in an action packed first period kept the score at stale-mate at 0-0 at half time. The visitors came close to a try early on in the match when Rhys Evans came near to the line but was tackled by Wales' Callum Bennett, while a chip kick by Dafydd Carter of Wales was picked up by Evans again.
England's Reece Lyne went over for a try on 25 minutes but this was disallowed as the referee had already blown for a penalty. Adam O'Brien of England was prevented by scoring by Lewis Rossini and Kyle Blackmore of Wales just before the half time hooter. Wales started the second half in the ascendancy and had a few early chances. Aaron Harris and Jack Gronow combined for a 40 metre run but Gronow was tackled into touch by Matthew Russell. The Welsh finally opened the scoring on 36 minutes (the match was 30 minutes each way) after being awarded a penalty for a high tackle and Callum Bennett superbly kicked from 35 metres.
Wales could have had a first try soon after when Dafydd Carter chipped into the goal area but no one was able to latch onto it. A try by Matthew Whatley made it 6-0 for the home side with 10 minutes remaining but Bennett missed the kick. England struck back with 10 minutes to go as Adam O'Brien crossed the try line and it was converted by Luke Anderson to level the scores. Both teams then looked for the winner with England coming close on a couple of occasions. Daniel Jones was brought down by Bennett and Sam Cross while Luke Anderson was held up on the try line. And England finally broke Welsh hearts when Reece Lyne scored the winning try with two minutes to go.
Welsh coach Aled James was proud of his players. "I was happy with the performance and the commitment shown by the lads," he said. "They got stuck in which almost gave us a result. In fairness, England never gave up and two late tries enabled them to steal victory. We were two minutes away from what would have been a massive result for us."
Pictured: Matthew Crance tries to break through the English line.
Lewis Rossini, Matthew Whatley, Alex Herbert, Aaron Harris, Jack Gronow, Callum Bennett, Dafydd Carter, Thomas Baugh, Kyle Blackmore, Adam Seymour, Matthew McGovern, Matthew Crane, Grant Carney. Subs: Adam Lewis, Rhys Meredith, Sam Cross, Dan Barron, Rhys Handley
Matthew Russell, Rhys Evans, Joshua Jones (Captain), Reece Lyne, Louis Sheriff, Jack Pickerill, Kristian Bell, Greg Burke, Keith Holden, Ben Evans, Daniel Bridge, Aaron Ollett, Daniel Jones. Subs: Luke Anderson, Michael Jackman, Adam O'Brien, Joe Date, Callum Taylor