By Ian Golden at Stebonheath Park
ENGLAND won the annual under 16 international against Wales for the second year in a row but not without surviving a scare in the first half where Wales took a 12-6 lead.
The visitors took advantage of Welsh errors in the first half as well as a second half sin-bin, to give them a slightly flattering scoreline but a deserved win in a competitive game.
The English side, who fielded 15 Super League scholarship players in their 18-man squad, had the first charge forward with Harvey Barron having an early score chalked off for a forward pass.
And in their second attacking set of the game, Wales defended well, preventing a certain try when Jake Anderson was held up over the line.
But from their third attack, Coby Nicholl scored in the corner. Joe Charnock converted well.
Wales levelled on 13 minutes. Josh Atkinson, who, four years ago this weekend, was scoring for Glantaf at Wembley in the Year 7 Champion Schools final, did the same for his country. Picking up a loose ball, he played a nice one-two and grounded in the corner. Kyle Huish converted.
Then the Welsh, who had just five Super League registered players, took the lead from the next attack. Ben Mayhew scored under the posts and Huish converted.
England got their second try on 24 minutes. A nice passing move sent Kaven Rothwell over but Charnock sliced the conversion wide.
They then regained the lead four minutes later after Nichol scooted over for his second of the day with Charnock converting.
Three minutes before half-time, Patrick O’Donovan ran through for England’s fourth try of the half which Charnock again improved.
A handling error gifted England a fifth right on the hooter through Daniel Moss which went unconverted, giving the visitors a 26-12 half-time lead.
Wales could have had the first try of the second half after a good attack, but Lucas Elliott mishandled under pressure as he looked to complete the move.
Instead it was England who further extended their lead through a Tom Nichilson-Watton try that Charnock converted.
Wales hit back in the tenth minute of the half through a skilful run by winger Jermarie Chatham. Huish failed to convert.
But the nail in the coffin for Wales came when Lewis Pinder was sinbinned with 15 minutes to go.
England took advantage of the extra man straight away through a Daniel Moss try under the sticks that Lewis Camden converted.
They looked another score whilst Wales were depleted but, coupled with good Welsh defence and their own handling errors, couldn’t extended the lead further.
It was from one of those English mistakes that Wales could have got a try back right at the end but the English defence held out in a solid final set.
Scarlets’ grassroots clubs show community spirit in delivering vital food packages
Scarlets community clubs have been working together to help deliver vital food packages across the region.
Volunteers from grassroots clubs and WRU girls hubs across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire have been helping take the food packages to vulnerable members of society who are self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The clubs have teamed up with the Scarlets Community Foundation — the charity arm of the Scarlets — and Carmarthen-based food wholesaler Castell Howell, while Scarlets players Osian Knott, Kieran Hardy, Ryan Conbeer and Jac Morgan have also lent their hand to the operation.
More than 300 packages were due to be delivered on Monday and Tuesday (April 6 & April 7), with the initiative highlighting that even without any action on the field, rugby clubs remain at the heart of their community.
Scarlets Community Foundation manager Caroline Newman said: “We have been overwhelmed with the support that we have received from local clubs, the number of people prepared to volunteer to help the most vulnerable in our communities has been touching.
“People’s reasons for requesting packs have often been heart-wrenching and it really has made us appreciate what we have.
“The foundation has worked closely with Castell Howell to make sure the packages are ready to go to those whose need is greatest, managing to turn things around pretty quickly and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen, our funder, Castell Howell, all the clubs, our helpline volunteer and the foundation members.
“Great teamwork which has made me proud to be part of the fantastic community that rugby creates.”
Here are the rugby clubs and WRU girls rugby hubs taking part in the initiative
Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Amman Utd, Ammanford, Burry Port, Betws, Bynea, Cardigan, Cefneithin, Felinfoel, Fishguard & Goodwick, Furnace Utd, Haverfordwest, Kidwelly, Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llandybie, Llanelli Wanderers, Llangennech, Llangwm, Merched Mynydd Mawr, Milford Haven, Narberth, New Dock Stars, Newcastle Emlyn, Neyland, Penybanc, Pontyates, St Clears, Stradey Sospans, Tenby Utd, Tumble, Tycroes, Whitland, Yr Hendy.
Wales v Scotland postponed
WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.
The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.
A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.
“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.
“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.
“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”
Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended
THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.
The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance.
The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate.
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