England Under 16s and U17s excel in Double Header Test in Wales
Author : European Rugby League Federation
Wales hosted England under 16 and under 17 internationals, played as a double header at Stadiwm ZipWorld in Colwyn Bay.
The future stars of the game in England and Wales put on a show over two youth internationals.
While England were to walk away with two wins, they were not easy wins as the young Welsh players went on toe to toe in front of more than 700 people.
A try from Ryan Wood with four minutes left on the clock broke Welsh hearts in their first ever match at under 17 level.
England won the encounter 16-10, but there was very little between the sides in an exciting contest played in good spirits throughout.
It was a battle royale throughout the game with two very well drilled defences. Wales have an official link with Salford Red Devils and this excellent performance from many individuals will certainly give their scouts a lot to look at.
After some good defending by Wales in the first ten minutes, they took the lead through a good run and break through by Harri Ackerman. Billy Walkley couldn’t convert.
England levelled on 26 minutes after Jay Richards twisted and turned to get past the Wales line and ground. Connor Gannon’s goal attempt was swept past the posts by the famous Bae Colwyn wind.
Wales looked to regain their lead, but tough English defence continued to keep them out and the scores were still level at 4-4 at the break.
England struck first in the second half after Evan Stephenson sold a dummy and scored. Gannon converted.
Wales replied on 54 minutes after Scott Pritchard leaped onto a grubber kick to score under the posts. Walkely converted to level the scores up at 10-10.
But it was England who won though after skipper Ryan Wood showed his skill be running through the Welsh defence to score under the posts. Gannon easily converted.
Both sides could have scored again in the last few minutes but, as they had been pretty much throughout the encounter, defences ruled.
Meanwhile, England Lions U16s won a hard-fought encounter with Wales 34-18 in Colwyn Bay on Sunday with the result in doubt right up until the last five minutes.
Wales, with a number of their players signing up for the official Wales Rugby League academy in Coleg y Cymoedd for September, gave a good account of themselves for much of the game, but in the end England’s experience took them over the line.
England took under a minute to take the lead after Wales made an error in the first set. Michael Sowden picked up the loose ball and Jayden Billy touched down from the resulting set. Oliver Whitford converted.
Wales hit back after seven minutes. Josh Hanson was the eventual scorer after two players were centimetres short in their attempts to get over the line. Isaac Morgan sliced the kick wide.
England regained the lead on 23 minutes when after a well-worked set, Billy notched his second, scoring near to the corner. Whitford missed the conversion attempt so England held just a converted-try lead.
But five minutes later, the visitor increased their advantage after Ellis Welburn completed a good passing move to ground.
Whitford’s conversion attempt hit the post.
Wales were close to pulling a try back before the break but Morgan Farmer-Gratton and Isaac Morgan were both held up over the line, leaving the half-time score at 14-4 to England.
Wales were first over the line in the second half, attacking from the off, and were rewarded when Ben Morris twisted his way over the line. Isaac Morgan’s conversion attempt slipped under the bar.
England regained their ten point lead when Scott Egan scored in the corner five minutes later in another try that went unconverted.
Wales hit back again through the try of the game when Isaac Morgan broke free on the wing and sprinted 40 metres to ground under the sticks. He converted his own try to leave Wales just four points behind.
But England were next to score when Jack Edge dived over in the corner. Sonny Cooper converted well from the touchline to give England their ten-point lead back.
A well worked try for Wales was next, with Farmer-Gratton the scorer and Morgan unable to convert.
But England sealed the game three minutes from the end when Ryan Joseph picked up an Edge pass to score in the corner. Cooper converted well.
Egan put the icing on the cake with a try in the final move of the game.
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