Three wins out of four for West as 2024 Junior Origin kicks off

WRL U14 Origin Series Game 1
East Wales 12 West Wales 22
By Ian Golden at Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach

Played in sub zero temperatures on a 4G pitch, West Wales took the spoils in the first game of the U14 Origin Series, edging out East Wales 22-12.

Captain Charlie Eatly gave West Wales an early lead, fighting hard to score under the sticks, making the conversion easy for Ceirion Emment.

It was Emment himself who soon increased the advantage as he slipped through, easily converting his own try to put the score onto 12-0 on 11 minutes.

It was soon 16-0 as Jac Murphy stormed through for West’s third. Owen Prince couldn’t convert.

Elijah Bediako should have had a try back for East but was tackled when in the process of grounding and lost control of the ball, so his side was still scoreless at half-time.

East finally got on the board 12 minutes into the second half after a good move culminated in Theo Patterson-Phillips sprinting to the line. Finley Hook couldn’t convert.

Miles Plummer scored in the corner for another try back for East that again went unconverted.

And after East had a further try disallowed, West sealed the game when Charlie Noakes scored and Emment converted.

Patterson-Phillips caught and scored in the same move to get another try back for East just before the end, the conversion attempt hitting the crossbar, but West held on for the win.

WRL U16 Origin Series Game 1
East Wales 22 West Wales 32

West took the spoils against East in the Elite U16s game, winning 32-22 in what turned out to be a thrilling match.

It started well for East when Lewis Hannam opened the scoring on four minutes. Ashley Clease converted.

From kick-off, Morgan Marozzelli ran over for their second try with Clease unable to add the goal.

After that it all started to go wrong for the home side. A straight red card was given to Jake Sheppard for a tackle on Harri Lloyd, that stopped play for ten minutes whilst the West Wales hooker was attended to by medics before being stretchered off. It was reported at the end of the game from the ambulance that he was conscious and doing fine.

It wasn’t long before West took advantage of the extra player as a well-worked moved ended with Mason Daniels using his strength to dive over. Rhodri Roberts converted.

Then Harley Smith dived over in the corner for West’s second try. That went unconverted and the scores were level at the break.

It took 13 minutes for anyone to score in the second half but eventually it came for West through an unconverted Matthew Clatworthy try. Daniels soon went in for his second of the game, converting it himself to give West a 20-10 lead.

East weren’t finished yet. Cole Pelopida picked up a loose ball to score his side’s first try of the half. Clease converted and East were back to being just four points behind.

Within minutes, they were leading again through the try of the day when Dewi Bainton ran down the right and placed the ball under the posts so Clease could easily convert.

But it wasn’t long before West regained the lead. Lucas Hart died over in the corner and Daniels converted to put them 26-22 up.

Daniels was next over, sealing the win for his side, converting again before the final whistle blew.

In the U14 development game, West sneaked a 10-8 win. A Harri Evans try gave East a 4-0 lead at half-time. Ieuan Thomas levelled things for West early in the second half with Ruben Main’s conversion giving West a 6-4 lead. Evans quickly scored again for East, followed by Jay James with the winning try for West.

East took the spoils in the U16 Development game, beating West 38-16. East took an early lead with a Jac Jones try under the sticks that Dylan Shears improved. West captain Lewis Evans got their opener in the minutes leading up to half-time, but there was still time for Rio Keech to score East’s second try that Shears converted to give them a 12-4 half-time lead. A Ioan Howells try converted by Will Davies got West back into the game but after that, East dominated as two tries each from Liam Partridge and Ryan Jones, with a try and three goals from Shears sealing their win. A Gethin Owen try converted by Davies was merely a late consolation.