Jump to main content
Wales U18 v England U18

Wales hold up England's maul (Pic: Federico Zovadelli/Actionpress)

Wales U18s put crushing defeat behind them

A disappointed but buoyed Wales U18 men’s squad have had to quickly put behind them a crushing last-minute defeat to England as they now focus firmly on Wednesday’s game against Portugal in the U18 Six Nations Festival in Parma.

Share this page:

In what was an outstanding advert for age group rugby, Wales had victory snatched from their grasp with the last kick of the game as England seized a 36-35 victory on Saturday.

Although Wales endured an agonizing blow to their solar plexus, going toe to toe against England and actually looking the better side for large sections of the game should give Richie Pugh’s young side plenty of confidence going into their remaining games against Portugal and France.

Pugh’s side showed resilience and plenty of grit and determination to come from behind twice in the first half to lead 21-19 at the break.

Wales took control of the second half when captain Steffan Emanuel dived over but an intercept against the run of play changed the course of the game.

James Linegar kicked a penalty to put England back in front but again Wales fought back to snatch the lead through an excellent Tom Bowan try.

England threw the kitchen sink at Wales but the men in red looked on course to claim their first victory against the red rose brigade since 2018 but a lapse of concentration in the dying moments gifted England a throw-in 5m out from Wales’ try-line. George Knowles made them pay the ultimate price when he crashed over from a driving maul. Linegar nailed the conversion from wide out to break Welsh hearts.

“We were the better team and deserved to win but we just didn’t quite get across the line – it was our own doing in the sense of a few areas we didn’t manage just at the close. It’s a tough result to take and the boys are feeling it,” said Pugh.

“Their intercept was a big momentum changer – we score a try, they kick out on the full so we have a scrum on the halfway. They make a good read on our play and they go the length and the consequence then is the next phase we drop a high ball and then they are back in our 22. So, it was a game of key momentum changes.

“We kept wrestling our way back in and we took a lead just before half time – the boys were professional on how they went about their business – we just didn’t have enough to close it out in the dying moments.

“We were the better team. I think a lot of people watching the game will know that and see that but ultimately the result says England won by one point.

“Essentially, we were a minute away from a triple crown as such. To pick up that third win would have been brilliant for the boys and thoroughly deserved – we now have got a huge challenge ahead of us against a threatening Portuguese side and a France team which are out of this world at the moment.

“I really am gutted and devastated for the boys that they didn’t get the result they deserved. We have to pick ourselves up now and look towards Portugal who posed a big threat against Italy.

“We will mix it up and utilise our full squad so it’s a whole new challenge as we recharge the batteries and got at it again on Wednesday.”

Partners and Suppliers

Principal Partners
Wales U18s put crushing defeat behind them
Official Broadcast Partners
BBC Cymru/Wales
Official Partners
Wales U18s put crushing defeat behind them
Wales U18s put crushing defeat behind them
Wales U18s put crushing defeat behind them
The Indigo Group
Wales U18s put crushing defeat behind them
Official Suppliers
Wales U18s put crushing defeat behind them
Rhino Rugby
Wales U18s put crushing defeat behind them
Wales U18s put crushing defeat behind them
Princes Gate
Wales U18s put crushing defeat behind them
Total Energies
Seat Unique
Castell Howell
Glamorgan Brewing
Ted Hopkins
Hawes & Curtis
Wales U18s put crushing defeat behind them