14th February 2010
Full Match Report
UNDER 18 INTERNATIONAL
France dominated the majority of the this under 18 international and, on this form, will be tough to beat on Wednesday when they take on Great Britain Community Lions at Blackwood RFC. Wales battled to the end but France, with six players from UTC, who are directly linked to Super League outfit Catalans Dragons, deserved their win being the much stronger side.
The home side had the chance to take the lead in the first five minutes after forcing a goal-line drop out, however despite Rhodri Lloyd coming close, the chance was lost. But three minutes later, Wales did open the scoring. Warrington's Ben Evans made the metres after intercepting a pass, offloaded to Lloyd who grounded just right of the sticks. Lewis Reece converted. However France were level five minutes later. Pia's Maxime Fages, who was only brought into the squad at the last minute, took advantage of a loose ball in the Wales goalmouth, to get a try back. Lilian Albet had no problems with the extras. That gave France the incentive to stamp their dominance on the game. Their full-back Morgan Escare made a fine attempt to put them in the lead straight after that, but his length of the field run was halted by Lewis Reece forcing him to drop the ball.
Rhys Evans also prevented a further dangerous French attack as he was too quick for Eloi Pelissier following Fages' grubber kick. However the visitors weren't to be denied and took the lead on 21 minutes. It was a fine length of the field move after they regained possession on their 20 metre line. Fages and his Pia team-mate Marc Meye were instrumental in the build-up with Guillaume Martinez the try scorer. Albet converted again. They increased their lead to 18-6 from kick-off following an excellent individual try from Joseph Negre with Albet adding the extras. The remainder of the first half turned into a good defensive display from both sides. It took until the 14th minute of the second half for another player to get over the try line, Martinez with his second after being set up by Julien Laffite.
Centre Damien Cardace followed that up with a deserved individual try in the corner in France's first set from kick-off. Albet did well to kick the tricky conversion. Despite the continued efforts of Rhys Evans, who seemed to be everywhere trying to prevent the score from becoming higher, France scored again, Marc Meye with their sixth touchdown, this one in front of the sticks with Albet's conversion only just going over the crossbar. Escare thought he'd extended the lead further after grounding under the sticks but the referee brought play back for an infringement. Wales tried to get a consolation try on the board. Jack Pring was close, just failing to catch a high bomb aimed for him on the right wing. But the plucky home side finally scored with the final move of the game, Jack Malloy going over from strong range with Reece converting.
Pictured: Nicolas Houblop evades Ben Evans.
Photo credit: www.ianlovell.com
Rhys Evans, Jack Pring, Owen Williams, Loren Quick, Dan Godwin, Dafydd Carter, Dale Evans, Ben Evans, Kyle Blackmore, Adam Davies, Dale Blackmore, Rhodri Lloyd, Lewis Reece. Subs: Owain Griffiths, Nathan Hawkins, Gerrard Ellis, Jack Molloy
Morgan Escare, Joseph Negre, Damien Cardace, Pierre Louis Bourrel, Guillaume Martinez, Lilian Albet, Theo Fages, Julian Bousquet, Eloi Pelissier, Thibault Margalet, Anthony Deleigne, Marc Meye, Noel Andreuccett. Subs: Julien Laffite, Remi Vignau, Andrew Bigat, Nicolas Houbloup