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Age Grade Round-Up: Under-18 maintain perfect start

Age Grade & Academy | 5th September 2019


Cardiff Blues' age grade sides have been in Regional Age Grade Championship action over the past week, with the under-18 side maintaining their perfect start to the campaign, while there were mixed results for both the under-16 teams.

Cardiff Blues Under-18

Following an opening day bonus point victory over defending champions, Dragons, Cardiff Blues under-18 welcomed RGC 1404 to Sardis Road on Sunday, looking to ensure maximum points from the opening two rounds of action.

It was a tight opening half at Pontypridd, but the deadlock was broken after 10 minutes of action, as wing Oliver James managed to find a break in midfield, and eventually beating the challenge of five RGC defenders to run in for a sensational individual score from the halfway line.

Ben Burnell added the extras from the conversion, however, the visitors managed to draw level when full back Dafydd Williams forced his way to the whitewash, converting his own score.

Burnell's late first half penalty saw the hosts take a slender lead into the interval, with all to play for after the break.

Wales' Capital Region came flying out of the blocks in the second half to score two quickfire tries. The first came courtesy of an Evan Lloyd break on the right hand side. The back row fed the ball to fellow flanker, Iestyn Galton, who was brought down meters short but managed to offload back to Lloyd, who finished from three yards out.

The power of the driving line-out had been a weapon for the Blues in the opening game, and it was the platform once again for the third try of the afternoon, as Ellis Fackrell broke from the base to power his way over the whitewash.

RGC's Dafydd Thirsk responded in similar fashion for the visitors, but moments later Cardiff Blues had the bonus point in the bag.

A neat line-out move saw hooker Corben Evans linking up with Ryan Wilkins to send the centre over for his second try in as many weeks.

The result was put beyond doubt two minutes later, as fine Burnell deceived the North Wales defensive line to break through, and stepped past the final defender for a fine solo try.

The hosts weren't finished there as Lloyd added his second try from another driving line-out before he linked up with full back Ed Thomas to release scrum half Harvey Nash to round the game off and see his side past 40-points.

Cardiff Blues North Under-16

The North under-16 side got their campaign off to a perfect start as they sealed a bonus point win over Dragons Red at Ystrad Mynach, running in five tries in the process.

Ty Lewis opened the scoring within a minute, latching onto a finely weighted offload from centre partner Ioan Rhys Thomas.

Thomas dotted down himself moments later as the visitors broke down the left hand side, with Kian Evans providing the final pass inside to leave the inside centre with a clear path to the line.

Blues North crossed for a third try in the opening 10 minutes, with the break once again coming down the left wing. This time it was full back Dylan Williams who looked dangerous, feeding inside for Jack Roberts, who found Iwan Coyle in support. 

The flanker was brought down short, but the platform was set for Williams, acting as scrum half, to draw the defence and put prop Kian Mattravers.

Dragons launched a comeback as they replied for three tries of their own before half time, but missed conversions saw Cardiff Blues head into the break with a four point advantage.

And the managed to see out the victory thanks to second half tries from Ben Newton and Coyle, who both crossed from close range.

However, they failed to make it two from two a week later as they welcomed Ospreys East to Sardis Road.

The visiting full back scored all of his side's points, including a hat-trick of tries, as they secured a 19-5 win, with the Blues' only score coming from replacement Thomas Edwards.

Cardiff Blues South Under-16

The season opener for the South Under-16 side was a long, tough trip to North Wales, and a thrilling encounter at Stadiwm Zip World saw RGC 1404 victorious, with both sides crossing for five tries each.

It was a back-and-forth first half, which saw Zach Wall opening the scoring for the visitors, before Rob Muirhead responded for the North Wales outfit.

Cardiff Blues South went into the interval with a 10-point lead as Sam Sully split open the home midfield, before Morgan Bowen touched down on the verge of half time.

RGC replied in the early stages of the second half, but the visitors seemed to have the game wrapped up as Owen Yeoman finished impressively in the corner and sealed a bonus point.

However, the hosts rallied back to take control courtesy of tries from Tomos Hughes, Huw Davies and Efan Edwards.

Harrison James crossed for a consolation score in the final moments, but it was RGC who came away with a 33-27 victory.

The young Cardiff Blues side managed to bounce back from defeat to claim an impressive win over Scarlets East at Cardiff Arms Park on Wednesday. 

While the visitors racked up an early 10-0 lead through Iestyn Gwilliam and Dafydd Thomas, but the hosts showed character to score 19 unanswered points, with Yeoman, Tom Caple and Louis Hennessey touching down.

Scarlets scored a late try through Harrison Griffiths, but it wasn't enough to deter the South from claiming their first win of the campaign.