venue: Leigh Sports Village, Leigh
10th November 2012
Full Match Report
Wales turned on the style to beat English Lions at Leigh Miners ground on Saturday. Skipper Courtney Davies led the way after the loss of two big players through injury during the game to put in a defining performance. Osian Phillips suffered a hip injury which put him on the sidelines, while Jordan Sheridan went off for the rest of the match with a knee problem. Both teams scored five tries, with Davies converting all Wales's while the English could only manage two of their own.
The injuries meant Wales played for an hour against tough opposition with just 15 players to rotate, which earned the praise of head coach Barry Eaton. He said: "It was a good win in difficult conditions because there was a lot of rain at Leigh and the pitch was heavy. This was always going to be a step up in intensity from the win over Scotland last week We have some good ball-players in the team and credit to the boys they got stuck in."
Connor Farrer was a try-scoring star as he went over for a hat-trick of touchdowns, while skipper Courtney Davies had another excellent day with the boot both through the posts and positionally around the field. England were 14-6 up at one stage before the break and went into the interval 14-12 in front after Farrer scored. But then Wales pressurised and, as with Scotland last week, another mid-half spell of pressure sent them into the lead. Jason Blackmore had a fantastic run to send over Davies for the try that took Wales into an 18-14 lead.
And, from there, they never looked back as Davies complete his hat-trick and Blackmore got a try of his own before Wales saw their 16-point advantage chipped away in the closing minutes although they kept their composure to win.
Blackmore, Farrer and Rhys Pugsley all put in outstanding work during the afternoon along with the tactial play of Davies, but the entire team contributed to a brilliant win that sets Wales up for a huge clash at The Gnoll on November 28 when they play the Australian Institute of Sport.
Eaton added: "These three games were always going to be steps up as we started against Scotland, then played England and now have a go at the Australians. But if we can put in two good 40 minute halves of rugby we can cause them problems in a few weeks."
Pictured: Ian Curnow.
ENGLISH LION U18
Lewis Sheridan, Josh Adua-Dwamaa, Matthew Gee, Tom Battye, Nathan Lawrence, Karl Dixon, Josh Ward, Ethan Kelly, Nathan Lucock, Ben Breheny, Ian Curnow, Leon Tatlock, Perry Singleton. Subs: Joe Batchelor, Charlie Tomlinson, Jack Connor, Alex Calvert
Jacob Morgan, Jack McKenzie, Jordan Howells, Chris Leyshon, Alex Jones, Jordan Sheridan, Courtney Davies, Osian Phillips, Connor Farrer, Rhys Pugsley, Kylum Austin, TJ Collin, Rhys Anderson. Subs: Levi Quirke Knowles, Jason Blackmore, Rhys Fitzgerald, Jack Condy,