The Wales Rugby League Academy, based at Coleg Y Cymoedd beat Italy U19 on Sunday, 34-12.
With the temperature reaching 32C as the teams warmed up, it was obvious this was going to be a very tough encounter for the Welsh boys.
As predicted, for 15 minutes, Italy constantly tested the Academy’s resolve with no success. The hard work put in during an intense nine-day training camp was evident, as the Cymoedd boys soaked up the pressure.
On 16 minutes, from a good ball set, Carter Barnes make a 40-metre break but a fine tackle held him up short. Player of the match, Dafydd Morgan then scooted and was held up short. Regaining his feet on the next play Barnes forced his way over the line making the score 4-0.
From the kick off, Morgan scooted over with Mason Apsee converting taking the score to 10-0 on 20 minutes, before a well-needed water break.
In the second quarter, the Italians knocked it on just inside the Welsh half. The resulting scrum saw Finn Northrop edge through a gap and he ran 55 metres for an outstanding try, Mason Apsee converting to make it 16-0. Sticking to the game plan, Cymoedd again worked the Italian middle channel with Alex Banks crashing over for the try, Mason again getting the extras to make it 22-0 at half-time.
Cymoedd started with a bang, capitalising on an attacking kick bouncing awkwardly for Alex Banks to tap down for his brace, Apsee converted to make it 28-0. With the heat taking its toll, errors slip into the Welsh boys’ game, this gave Italy more confidence and with constant possession.
To the joy of home supporters, Italy then got on the scoresheet with a well-worked move out wide, scored by Sebastián Binutti and converted by Fabio Dianti. Buoyed on by a now boisterous Italy crowd, the home side completed a good set with an attacking high kick in the corner which saw Elias Micheler win the aerial battle to score in the corner, again converted by Dianti taking the score to 28-12.
With the Welsh boys out on their feet, the coaches asked for one more push. Digging in deep, Cymoedd’s Rhys Davies forced the turnover, and good work down the short side saw Finn running in from 30 metres to score his brace. Mason Apsee converted to take the final score to 34-12.
Mark Jones stated that this was a huge result for the WRL Academy beating an International side. We would like to thank the Italian RL Federation for an excellent 10 day trip.
If there are any boys who would like to part of the WRL Academy and be part of these once-in-a-lifetime experiences please apply below!
https://www.cymoedd.ac.uk/en/course/33853/level-3-in-sport-rugby-league to reserve your spot, or email email@example.com, or call Mark Jones on 07886 654933.
Wales Rugby League National Development Academy based at Coleg Y Cymoedd side – community clubs listed below if applicable:
1. Brandon Richards (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
2. Finn Northrop (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
3. Oliver Ford (Aber Valley Wolves)
4. Rhys Davies (Aber Valley Wolves)
5. Luc Jones
6. Dafydd Morgan (Cardiff Blue Dragons)
7. Connor Lacey (Cynon Valley Cavaliers)
8. Alex Banks (Cynon Valley Cavaliers)
9. Mason Apsee (Rhondda Outlaws)
10. Cole MacDonald (Aber Valley Wolves)
11. Carter Barnes (Torfaen Tigers)
12. Jamie Jenkins (Cardiff Blue Dragons)
13. Calum Jones (Rhondda Outlaws)
14. Efan Pritchard
15. Rhodri Jones (Aber Valley Wolves)
16. Dylan Morgan (Cardiff Blue Dragons)