YOUTH INTERNATIONAL – WALES 16 ENGLAND 38
By Ian Golden at Stebonheath Park
England won the annual under 16 international against Wales for the second year in a row but not without surviving a scare in the first half where Wales took a 12-6 lead.
The visitors took advantage of Welsh errors in the first half as well as a second half sin-bin, to give them a slightly flattering scoreline but a deserved win in a competitive game.
The English side, who fielded 15 Super League scholarship players in their 18-man squad, had the first charge forward with Harvey Barron having an early score chalked off for a forward pass.
And in their second attacking set of the game, Wales defended well, preventing a certain try when Jake Anderson was held up over the line.
But from their third attack, Coby Nicholl scored in the corner. Joe Charnock converted well.
Wales levelled on 13 minutes. Josh Atkinson, who, four years ago this weekend, was scoring for Glantaf at Wembley in the Year 7 Champion Schools final, did the same for his country. Picking up a loose ball, he played a nice one-two and grounded in the corner. Kyle Huish converted.
Then the Welsh, who had just five Super League registered players, took the lead from the next attack. Ben Mayhew scored under the posts and Huish converted.
England got their second try on 24 minutes. A nice passing move sent Kaven Rothwell over but Charnock sliced the conversion wide.
They then regained the lead four minutes later after Nichol scooted over for his second of the day with Charnock converting.
Three minutes before half-time, Patrick O’Donovan ran through for England’s fourth try of the half which Charnock again improved.
A handling error gifted England a fifth right on the hooter through Daniel Moss which went unconverted, giving the visitors a 26-12 half-time lead.
Wales could have had the first try of the second half after a good attack, but Lucas Elliott mishandled under pressure as he looked to complete the move.
Instead it was England who further extended their lead through a Tom Nichilson-Watton try that Charnock converted.
Wales hit back in the tenth minute of the half through a skilful run by winger Jermarie Chatham. Huish failed to convert.
But the nail in the coffin for Wales came when Lewis Pinder was sinbinned with 15 minutes to go.
England took advantage of the extra man straight away through a Daniel Moss try under the sticks that Lewis Camden converted.
They looked another score whilst Wales were depleted but, coupled with good Welsh defence and their own handling errors, couldn’t extended the lead further.
It was from one of those English mistakes that Wales could have got a try back right at the end but the English defence held out in a solid final set.
NB: The match was played in 35-minute halves.
WALES: Ewan Skuse (Cardiff Blue Dragons), James Pugsley (Telford Raiders), Gabe Santos (Cardiff Blue Dragons), Lucas Elliott (Elmbridge Eagles), Jermarie Chattem (Torfaen Tigers / West Wales Raiders), Josh Atkinson (Cardiff Blue Dragons), Kyle Huish (Aber Valley Wolves / Wigan Warriors), Oscar Fisher (Newcastle Thunder), Lewis Pinder (Wigan St Judes / Wigan Warriors), Luke Thomas (Latchford Giants / Warrington Wolves), Iwan Stacey (Elmbridge Eagles / London Broncos), Ieuan Hancock (Torfaen Tigers / West Wales Raiders), Ben Mayhew (Wetherby Bulldogs / Leeds Rhinos). Subs: Noah Bray (Emley Moor), Morgan Chell (Llanelli Knights / West Wales Raiders), Sam Godfrey (Bridgend Blue Bulls / West Wales Raiders), Jay Guard (Llanelli Knights / West Wales Raiders), Jack Preddy (Cardiff Blue Dragons).
Tries: Atkinson (13), Mayhew (17), Chatham (50)
Goals: Huish 2/3
ENGLAND: Daniel Moss (St Helens/Sutton Academy/Blackbrook), Harvey Barron (City of Hull/Beverley Grammar/Beverley Braves), Coby Nichol (Leeds Rhinos/Brooksbank/Siddal), Jonathan Bennison (Widnes Vikings/The Heath School/Thatto Heath), Sam Little (Leeds Rhinos/Tadcaster Grammar/Wetherby), Oliver Field (Leeds Rhinos/Tadcaster Grammar/Wetherby Bulldogs), Lewis Camden (Bradford Bulls/Buttershaw/West Bowling), Jake Anderson (Newcastle Thunder/Lord Lawson of Beamish/Gateshead Storm), Joe Charnock (Wigan Warriors/St Peters Catholic High/Orrell St James), Luca Atkinson (Leeds Rhinos/Thornton Beckfoot Academy/West Bowling), Jack Taylor (Wigan Warriors/Golborne HS/Latchford Giants), Kavan Rothwell (Wigan Warriors/St Edmund Arrowsmith RC/Newton Storm), Patrick O’Donavan (Wakefield Trinity/Garforth Academy/Lock Lane). Subs: Tom Nicholson-Watton (Leeds Rhinos/Guiseley/Stanningley), Cole Appleby (St Helens/St Ambrose Barlow/Folly Lane), Bailey Dawson (City of Hull/Malet Lambert/Skirlaugh), Max Hindle (Huddersfield Giants/Shelley College/Emley Moor Rangers).
Tries: Nichol (9, 28), Rothwell (24), O’Donovan (33), Moss (35, 57), Nichilson-Watton (42)
Goals: Charnock 4/6, Camden 1/1
Referee: James Jones