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Wales U20 beat Junior Wallabies on opening night

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A RED wave of defence, coupled with a tireless ambition to attack, led Wales to a World Rugby U20 Championship victory on Wednesday night (May 30) against the Junior Wallabies.

In holding on to win 26-21 at the Stade de la Méditerranée, Wales banished any memories of 2017’s last-gasp defeat to Australia at the same stage of this tournament.

The Aussies drew first blood in Béziers, however: scrum-half and captain Ryan Lonergan punishing a Welsh indiscretion at the breakdown with a third-minute penalty from just inside Wales’ 10m line.

A great phase of attacking play by Wales, with inside centre Ioan Nicholas the catalyst, then offered a glimpse of their willingness to run the ball from anywhere on the park. The opposition was subsequently penalised for coming in at the side of the ruck, and fullback Cai Evans’s power from the tee saw the ball sail through the posts for the equaliser.

Nearing the end of the first quarter, Wales lost wing Rio Dyer to injury, replaced by fellow Dragon Joe Goodchild. He would soon have a telling impact on proceedings.

At the conclusion of the first quarter, Australia conceded a penalty for failing to release. Wales fell just short with the shot at goal that would have nudged them ahead. However, Evans made no mistake when presented with a similar opportunity a moment later – albeit this time further out; on the halfway line no less – wowing the crowd with his long-range effort to make it 3-6.

Just before the half-hour, Aussie fly-half Bayley Kuenzie kicked a scrum penalty to the corner. A quickly-won lineout and a pin-point crossfield kick later, and wing James Ramm was acrobatically tapping the ball down in mid-air for incoming fullback Mack Hansen to score an excellent try. Lonergan’s conversion attempt was wide: 8-6.

Gone 30 minutes, razor-sharp Wales scrum-half Dane Blacker took a quick tap deep inside the opposition 22. The young men in red had their tails up now, and once the ball was in fly-half Ben Jones’s hand, the Cardiff Blues man wasted little in time kicking through a bouncing ball that was pounced on by Nicholas for the try. Evans converted to give Wales a five-point lead: 8-13.

The Junior Wallabies hit back with another Lonergan penalty, but there was a lot more to come from Geraint Lewis’s team.

A scintillating outside break and fend by Corey Baldwin set the Scarlets centre up for a one-on-one with the last man in defence for Australia, by which point replacement Goodchild was well in support for Wales’ second try with three minutes to go in the first 40. Evans’s excellent conversion from the touchline made it 11-20.

Two minutes into the second half, and the Ospreys fullback produced another cannon of a penalty kick – this one only marginally inside the Australian half – to take Wales 12 points to the good: 11-23.

The Junior Wallabies put their sizeable scrum to good use in winning another penalty in the 48th minute, allowing Lonergan to slot a penalty inside Wales’ 22, making it 14-23.

Both sides had started to test each other aerially, but a period of ten minutes’ deadlock – memorable for a fantastically determined carry by Wales number eight Taine Basham – ended when Evans’s metronomic boot took the scores to 14-26.

Wales, up fast in defence, and led by the imposing figure of lock Max Williams and a Trojan-like back row featuring Basham, Dan Davis and captain Tommy Reffell, led the way in frustrating the Aussies in the final quarter.

New caps Will Davies-King and Rhys Davies in the front row were two of the well-judged second-half replacements made by the Welsh coaches, countering the big men Australia had also introduced.

Never ones to go gently into the night, Australia roared back into the game with a try from replacement back Tate McDermott with fewer than three minutes remaining. Inside centre Isaac Lucas converted to make it 21-26.

Showing the same sort of dogged composure that earned them victory in Donnybrook during the U20 Six Nations earlier this year, Wales ran down the clock to seal a thrilling win.

Sport

Insport award for Rowing Club

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WISEMANS Bridge Rowing Club has gained the Insport Bronze award.

The insport programme – designed by Disability Sport Wales – supports clubs in developing inclusive provision, opportunity and practices which ensure that disabled people gain access to the level of participation and performance they require.

The club offers sea rowing and began its insport journey in 2015 by completing numerous Community Chest applications.

The club formed a link to a community disability sports group run by the local Rotary club and, after discussions with Angela Miles at Pembrokeshire County Council, it was decided to contribute to the sessions by offering indoor rowing.

Members have truly bought in to the insport vision and the community ethos it has produced.

The work with insport has also allowed the club to develop its in-house training with three members now fully qualified British Rowing coaches.

It has resulted in the formation of the Tenderfoot insport rowing crew, a group aged 18 to 60 with varying levels of physical and intellectual impairments.

The Tenderfoot crew utilise an indoor rowing machine to establish their techniques and improve fitness while also striving to improve their ‘personal bests’ each week.

They have already undertaken their first water-based session in a rowing boat thanks to the work of rowing club volunteers.

The club’s advice to any other organisation looking to begin their insport journey is: “Be open minded. Ask questions to the participants as they are the experts of what they can and cannot do. Sometimes you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to safely run a session. Most of all enjoy it.”

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Sport

Wisemans Bridge: Insport award for rowing club

Published

on

WISEMANS BRIDGE ROWING CLUB has gained the Insport Bronze Award.

The insport programme – designed by Disability Sport Wales – supports clubs in developing inclusive provision, opportunity and practices which ensure that disabled people gain access to the level of participation and performance they require.

The club offers sea rowing and began its insport journey in 2015 by completing numerous Community Chest applications.

The club formed a link to a community disability sports group run by the local Rotary club and, after discussions with Angela Miles at Pembrokeshire County Council, it was decided to contribute to the sessions by offering indoor rowing.

Members have truly bought in to the insport vision and the community ethos it has produced.

The work with insport has also allowed the club to develop its in-house training with three members now fully qualified British Rowing coaches.

It has resulted in the formation of the Tenderfoot insport rowing crew, a group aged 18 to 60 with varying levels of physical and intellectual impairments.

The Tenderfoot crew utilise an indoor rowing machine to establish their techniques and improve fitness while also striving to improve their ‘personal bests’ each week.

They have already undertaken their first water-based session in a rowing boat thanks to the work of rowing club volunteers.

The club’s advice to any other organisation looking to begin their insport journey is:

‘Be open minded. Ask questions to the participants as they are the experts of what they can and cannot do. Sometimes you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to safely run a session. Most of all enjoy it …’
I

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Sport

62 medals for Dyfed

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OVER 500 of Wales’ top school pupils headed to the Cardiff International Sports Stadium in Leckwith on Saturday, July 6, for the 72nd edition of the Welsh Schools National Track & Field Championships.

All those taking part were selected to represent one of the eight districts from Afan Nedd Tawe, Cardiff & Vale, Dyfed, Eryri, Glamorgan Valleys, North East Wales, Powys and South East Wales. The age groups were junior (year 8 & 9); middle (year 10 & 11) and senior (year 12 & 13).

For the eighth successive year, the championships made up part of the Urdd’s “Gemau Cymru” bilingual event for hundreds of young people in the Welsh sporting calendar. It provided an opportunity for talented young athletes to compete in a high-profile multi-sport event across Cardiff, Swansea and Y Bala.

SIAB Schools International call ups were at stake as the annual fixture between Welsh schools, English schools, Scottish schools and Irish schools arrives at Swansea University Athletics Track and hosted by Welsh Schools this weekend and will feature several of the West Wales regional athletes. A WSAA under 20 team have also been chosen ahead of the Welsh Athletics Outdoor International in Swansea at the end of this month.

The first three finishers in each individual event were awarded with association medals presented throughout the day.

At Cardiff under senior team manager Hedydd Davies, Dyfed schools saw sixty-seven of its athletes make the journey up the M4 to Cardiff to compete for the West Wales based district (made up of the Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire & Ceredigion counties).

They won a total tally of sixty-two medals: 29 gold, 15 silver and 18 bronze rounded off with four out of six relay teams making the podium.

Senior Girls: Nieve Jenkins (Dyffryn Taf), Chloe Butterworth (Emlyn), Lisa Cowdy (Penweddig), Thea Jenkins (Pembrokeshire College), Alice Evans (Haverfordwest High)

Middle Girls: Lili Church (Aberaeron), Nia Williams (Bro Dinefwr), Flavia Jenkins (Dyffryn Taf), Kasia Cook (Llandovery College), Beca Roberts (Bro Pedr), Ffion Smith (Llandovery College), Ellie Loweth (QE High), Tanwen Moon (Maes Y Gwendraeth), Ellen Delaney (Bro Gwaun)

Junior Girls: Lleucu Lloyd (Y Preseli), Megan Cole (Y Preseli), Cordelia Walker (Aberaeron), Amy White (Haverfordwest High), Hannah Carpenter (Bryngwyn), Gracie Griffiths (Haverfordwest High), Ella Wintle (Y Preseli), Jessica Lee (Dyffryn Taf), Ffion Ouseley (Y Preseli), Hannah Forkuoh (Coedcae), Robyn Lewis (Haverfordwest High), Zara Evans (Henry Richard), Lucy Wintle (Y Preseli), Chloe Simmonite (Coedcae), Sophia Reid-Thomas (Bro Myrddin)

Senior Boys: Andrew Salmon (Coleg Sir Gar), William Lloyd (Y Preseli), Oliver Wheeler (Pembrokeshire College), Dafydd Lewis (Coleg Sir Gar), Ben Thomas (Y Strade), Joshua Thomas (QE High), Eli Oneyewu (Dyffryn Aman), Kyle Cook (Llandovery College), Callum Campion (Coleg Sir Gar)

Middle Boys: Meirion Lloyd (Bro Pedr), Grufydd Morgan (Aberaeron), Joshua Hathaway (Penglais), Connor Handford (Llandovery College), Dylan Phillips (Bro Gwaun), Harry Davies (St Michaels), Dafydd Jones (Bro Myrddin), Iwan Glynn (Bro Myrddin), Joseph Reynolds (Milford), Liam Edwards (Bro Myrddin), Tyree Thompson (Haverfordwest High), Harley Lewis (Haverfordwest High), Alistair Donnison (Penglais), Adam Beer (Glan Y Môr), Dylan Morgan (Greenhill), Jac Williams (Bro Pedr)

Junior Boys: Sion O’Keefe (Bro Pedr), Dafydd Pawlett (Haverfordwest High), Jack Thomas (QE High), Rogan Cox (Bro Myrddin), Liam Topp (Harri Tudur), Frank Morgan (Bro Myrddin), Max Morgan (Greenhill), Osian Roberts (Bro Pedr), Michael Jenkins (Y Preseli), Iolo Griffiths (Y Preseli), Timothy Pena (Dyffryn Aman), Harry Fuller (Dyffryn Taf), Iestyn Comey (Dyffryn Taf)

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