Scarlets U18 stars Luke and Rhodri shine in South Africa clash

13 Aug 2019
Scarlets U18 stars Luke and Rhodri shine in South Africa clash
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Wales Under 18s scored four tries as they played out an enthralling 31-31 draw with South Africa Schools A in Paarl.

 

In what was a see-saw encounter Jake Morgan, Rhodri King, Luke Davies and Mason Grady scored tries with inside centre Tom Mathews immaculate off the kicking tee, contributing 11 points.

The hosts scored tries courtesy of Teague Loelley (2), Sonwako Sokoyi and Sibusiso Java with Jacques Rousseau also kicking 11 points.

 

The visitors made a breathtaking start taking only four minutes to open the scoring. Blindside flanker Travis Huntley put his side on the front-foot as he charged into the South African 22 after winning turnover ball.

The ball was quickly recycled and put through the hands with full back Morgan touching down for a try which Matthews converted.

 

Wales were soon back in the home sides 22 after centre Bradley Roderick’s searing brake.

 

The South Africans infringed under pressure allowing Matthews to add another three points from the kicking tee. The hosts finally got a foothold in the game and proceeded to put Wales under pressure with a series of powerful driving lineouts.

 

South Africa lay siege to the Welsh try line as their heavy ball carriers tried desperately to power their way over the try line. After conceding numerous penalties just in front of their own posts the referee was given no option but to send Wales tight-head prop Lewys Jones to the sin bin for repeated infringements.

 

South Africa made the most of their man advantage when Loelly smashed his way over the line from short range after a well worked driving lineout with Jacque Rousseau converting.

 

The hosts were soon celebrating the second try with wing Sokoyi touching down after a jinking run with Rousseau adding the extras. But a well-timed restart from Ben Burnell shifted the momentum back towards Wales who hit straight back with Scarlets hooker King giving South Africa a taste of their own medicine as he touched down courtesy of a powerful Welsh maul.

 

Mathews converted but Rousseau levelled the scores with a straightforward penalty from in front of the posts.

 

Wales finished the half as they had begun with scrum-half Davies touching down at the far right-hand corner after another well-worked lineout. Mathews converted to send the visitors into the lead at the interval.

 

South Africa came out firing in the early stages of the second-half scoring a length of the field try. Wales spilled the ball forward in their own 22 allowing the hosts to move the ball through the hands with full back Rousseau kicking the ball through for Sibusiso Java to touch down.

 

Wales hit back with a stunning try of their own as right-wing Grady, the brother of Ospreys and Wales centre Cory Allen, ran in unopposed from 40 metres.

 

However, their lead was short lived as South Africa used their driving lineout to great effect once again as Teague Lolley crossed for his second try. Wales scrum-half Ethan Lloyd was taken from the field on a stretcher but allayed some fears by putting his thumb up as he was carried off.

 

The game ended on a sour note as Wales replacement Joe Hawkins was sent off for a shoulder to the jaw of a South African player. South Africa pushed hard for the win but Wales’ defence held firm.

 

Scorers: 

 

SA Schools A: Tries: Teague Loelley (2), Sonwako Sokoyi, Sibusiso Java Conversions: Jacques Rousseau (4) Penalties: Jacques Rousseau (1)

 

Wales: Tries: Jake Morgan, Rhodri King, Luke Davies, Mason Grady Conversions: Tom Mathews (4) Penalties: Tom Mathews (1)