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Harri Ackerman of Dragons lifts the trophy with team mates

Dramatic Dragons fightback earns RAG U18 title

There was a sting in the tale for Cardiff Rugby as they went in search of another title in the U18 age group as they were overhauled by the Dragons in the closing minutes of a thrilling Regional Age Grade U18 clash at Ystrad Mynach.

The game was switched to the all-weather pitch in the Dragons region because of the adverse weather conditions in the Welsh capital and home advantage paid dividends in the end.

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The Blue & Blacks arrived having already seen three of their teams sweep the board in the Welsh Schools & Colleges finals at Principality Stadium earlier in the season. Cardiff & Vale College won the top title, Ysgol Glantaf the Plate and Whitchurch HS the Bowl finals.

They arrived in the final round of the RAG tournament having already beaten Ospreys 18-5, RGC 41-10 and Scarlets 26-17. The young Dragons had notched 130 points and conceded only 17 in knocking over the same three sides.

DFP – Leaderboard

It meant it was a thrilling winner-takes-all occasion and the visitors led by 10 points with 10 minutes to go. Then came the fightback from the Dragons as they snatched a dramatic 29-27 victory to take the title.

The Dragons drew first blood with a penalty from Sam Berry, who also converted off the touchline a first-half try from a driving line-out by Connor Lewis. Cardiff hit back with a driving line-out try from No 8 Lucas de la Rua which Harri Wilde improved.

Skipper Harry Beddall converted another close range line-out for a second Cardiff try to edge his side 12-10 in front and then Wilde ended the first-half scoring with a penalty. The outside half ran in his side’s third try early in the second half and his conversion made it 22-10.

It was turning into an epic battle and when Cardiff’s Tom Weekley lost the ball in attack near the Dragons 10 metre line, Will Rees picked up the pieces and sprinted 65 metres or a try to which Jack Woods added the extras.

That cut the gap to five points with 20 minutes to go, but a fourth Cardiff try from Gavin Parry increased his side’s advantage to 10 points with time running out. But a late twist saw a try from Dragons hooker Aneurin Jenkins set up a grandstand finale that saw victory snatched from the jaws of defeat by the home side with a penalty try awarded for pulling down a driving maul with just seconds remaining.

WRU REGIONAL AGE GRADE U18 RESULTS
RGC 36 – 29 Scarlets
Ospreys 5 – 18 Cardiff
RGC 41 – 10 Cardiff
Dragons 42 – 14 Ospreys
RGC 0 – 53 Dragons
Dragons 35 – 3 Scarlets
Scarlets 17 – 26 Cardiff
Ospreys 48 – 14 RGC
Cardiff 27 – 29 Dragons

Scarlets v Ospreys (TBC)

 

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