venue: Stade de la Mer, Port Barcares
12th July 2006
Full Match Report
U19 EUROPEAN CUP: 3rd PLACE PLAY-OFF
Wales finished fourth in the Rugby League European Under 19 Championships in Barcares, near Perpignan after Ireland won 26-24 in a great encounter that hung in the balance right to the final whistle. The Irish were strongly led by their captain, loose forward Tyrone McCarthy as they scored five tries to Wales' four.
Wales' tries were scored by the Cardiff Demons' pair Adam King and Tom Burnell, Aberavon Fighting Irish's Jason Kenneally and Newport Titans' Chris Vitalini with Valley Cougars' Nick Griffiths kicking four conversions.
The Welsh side were up against it after Aberavon's Gareth Moore was concussed in the first half and were hampered further by injuries to Cardiff's Pat Howell (broken ankle), Keighley's Matt Barron (broken foot) and Aberavon's Lee Williams (broken hand) leaving them with no substitutes for the last 15 minutes.
But after being 20-0 down at half-time, the Welsh youngsters showed courage to fight back and coach Dan Clements is proud of their efforts.
Clements said: "We were great in the second half. We showed courage in the face of adversity and performed like heroes. Nick Griffiths at stand-off was especially outstanding and got our man of the match award. This bides well for the future of Welsh Rugby League."