venue: Slavia Prague, Prague
3rd September 2008
Full Match Report
U18 EUROPEAN CUP QUALIFYING MATCH
Favourites Wales will face holders France in the second European under 18s Cup final on Saturday after beating England at RC Slavia in Prague. In the best match of the week-long tournament to date, the greater organisation, forward power and pace out wide of the impressive Welsh - with the core of their side from Celtic Crusaders Colts - saw them progress.
Centre Rhys Williams led the way with a brace of touchdowns for the Dragons, taking his try tally to five in two matches. Wales built an early 10-0 lead, Gary Williams kicking a penalty and man of the match, loose forward Mark Wool, and Dalton Grant, on the end of some fine expansive play, finding the line.
England hit back with a try double to their promising centre Matt Garside who also stood out in the opening round against Scotland but Rhys Williams went over just before the break to make it 14-8.
Jamie Tibbs, who made a fine contribution off the bench, extended the Welsh lead but England drew level through tries from Ben Cousins and their best, prop Danny Burgan and a Garside goal. Kriss Wilkes, who starred in the under 16's tournament in Belgrade last year, put the reds back in front and in a purple patch, Joe Burke and stand off Dafydd Carter ensured victory.
St Helens-based winger Dave Sutton gave the English some belated hope but Rhys Williams' second score late on settled matters. Holders France beat Ireland in the other semi-final.
Kriss Wilkes, Dalton Grant, Gary Williams, Rhys Williams, Ryan Healy, Dafydd Carter, Steve Williams, Gil Dudson, Kyle Blackmore, Tom Beaumont, Ross Wardell, Joe Burke, Mark Wool. Subs: Jamie Tibbs, Sam Powell, Dale Blackmore, Terry Saunders
England team not recorded...