U18s complete stunning comeback to continue winning ways

Rob LloydNewyddion yr Academi, Newyddion

Scarlets U18s produced a stunning second-half comeback to beat Ospreys 33-17 and complete their series of summer friendlies unbeaten.

After trailing 17-0 at the interval in front of a big crowd at the Parc y Scarlets training field, the home side ran in five unanswered tries to romp to victory, adding the Ospreys to the scalps of Saracens, Dragons and Cardiff over the last few weeks.

Whatever was said in the half-time huddle certainly worked as Scarlets looked a different outfit to the one that had been second best for the majority of the opening period.

The home side had started brightly enough, but failed to take advantage of early pressure and it was the Ospreys who took a grip on the game, making the most of a home sin-binning to cross for tries through wing Evan Morris, impressive full-back Lewis Edwards and prop Dylan James.

The second half, though, was very much a different story.

With replacement back-rower Keanu Evans providing the spark up front and pacy substitute Callum Woolley the cutting edge behind, Scarlets began to carve out chances and the comeback was started when replacement centre Owen Griffith crossed 13 minutes after the restart.

Keanu Evans powered over from a close-range line-out drive for his side’s second – converted by fly-half Steffan Jac Jones – and from then on, the final 10 minutes were dominated by the home team.

The Ospreys were guilty of giving away a string of penalties and losing a player to the sin bin in the closing exchanges and the pressure that followed led to wing Alfie Rodda-Lodder diving over in the corner with five minutes remaining. Jones held his nerve to nail a brilliant touchline conversion to put his side ahead for the first time.

It got better quickly with two more tries scored in the final three minutes from wing Iori Badham and full-back Elis Payne, who finished off a superbly-executed move close to the Ospreys line.

Jones converted both to complete a remarkable turnaround for the West Walians.

Scarlets U18s – Tries: O. Griffith, K. Evans, A. Rodda-Lodder, I. Badham, E. Payne. Cons: S. Jones (4)

Ospreys U18s – Tries: E. Morris, L. Edwards, D. James. Con: E. Jones