Host nation Wales wrapped up their U18 6 Nations Festival campaign with a 27-18 victory over Italy U18 at the Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday.
It leaves Wales with a positive record in the tournament, having beaten Ireland and a strong Italy side and narrowly losing to France.
It was Italy that came out fastest though, scoring through scrum half Ratko Jelic, with full back Michele Peruzzo adding the extras.
Wales bounced right back though, first having a try called back for a forward pass before Aneurin Owen intercepted an Italian pass. Owen shipped the ball on to Joe Roberts, and from the next breakdown Will Griffiths was released to score, the hooker having previously had one chalked off for that forward pass.
Evan Lloyd landed the conversion, but it was Italy that were to end the half in front, Peruzzo landing a late penalty to send the sides in with Italy 10-7 to the good.
The Italian full back then repeated the trick early in the second half to stick his side 13-7 ahead, and with their tails up after beating England in their last outing. Lloyd managed the gap for Wales though, landing a penalty shot of his own to narrow things to three points again.
From there, Wales picked upped the ante, using their powerful forward pack before going wide for outside centre Osian Knott to force himself over the line. They were shortly at it again when right wing Frankie Jones lobbed a delicate chip over the defence before gathering and releasing scrum half Dafydd Buckland to score Wales’ third.
Italy kept plugging away though and were rewarded when replacement hooker Tomas Rosario eventually powered over after strong Italian pressure. That left Wales just 20-18 ahead as the game went into its closing stages.
Italy kept on trying, but with territory against them they were guilty of forcing it, and were punished when Knott gleefully plucked an intercept to score his second and seal the 27-18 victory for the home side.
Wales U18 27-18 Italy U18
Wales U18 XV:
15 Ioan Lloyd (Clifton College/Exiles), 14 Frankie Jones (Neath-Port Talbot College/Cwmafan/Ospreys), 13 Joe Roberts (Coleg Sir Gar/Burry Port/Scarlets), 12 Aneurin Owen (Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw/NHSOB/Dragons), 11 Louis Rees-Zammit (Hartpury College/Gloucester/Exiles), 10 Evan Lloyd (Coleg Gwent/Dragons), 9 Dafydd Buckland (Newport High/Rhymney/Dragons), 1 William Sanderson (Coleg Llandrillo/Wrexham/RGC), 2 Will Griffiths (Coleg Gwent/Cross Keys/Dragons, captain), 3 Luke Yendle (Newport High/Senghenydd/Dragons), 4 Ben Carter (Newport High/Caldicot/Dragons), 5 Teddy Williams (Ysgol Glantaf/Cardiff Harlequins/Cardiff Blues), 6 Robert Brookson (Coleg Gwent/Pontypool United/Dragons), 7 Olly White (Llandovery College/Llandovery/RGC), 8 Carwyn Tuipulotu (Sedbergh/Exiles).
Replacements: 16 Cameron Lewis (Coleg Sir Gar/Swansea Uplands/Ospreys), 17 Callum Williams (Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth/Tumble/Scarlets), 18 Archie Griffin (Marlborough College/Exiles), 19 Jac Price (Coleg Sir Gar/Carmarthen Quins/Scarlets), 20 Ioan Davies (Coleg y Cymoedd/Merthyr/Cardiff Blues), 21 Jac Morgan (Coleg Sir Gar/Carmarthen Athletic/Scarlets), 22 Osian Knott (Coleg Sir Gar/Carmarthen Quins/Scarlets), 23 Ellis Bevan (Bryanston/Ampthill/Exiles), 24 Sam Costelow (Oakham/Leicester Tigers/Exiles), 25 Josh Thomas (Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr/Pontarddulais/Ospreys), 26 Harri Doel (Coleg Sir Gar/Scarlets).
Italy U18 XV:
15 Michele Peruzzo (Valsugana Padova), 14 Jona Motta (Rugby Milano), 13 Matteo Moscardi (FEMI-CZ Rovigo, captain), 12 Pietro Marzocchi (Conad Reggio), 11 Lorenzo Romano (Pro Recco Rugby), 10 Luca Borin (FEMI-CZ Rovigo), 9 Ratko Jelic (Lions Amaranto), 1 Lorenzo Michelini (Biella Rugby), 2 Gianmarco Lucchesi (Lions Amaranto), 3 Giacomo Florio (Fiamme Oro Rugby), 4 Paolo Steolo (Lafert San Donà), 5 Andrea Zambonin (Rangers Vicenza), 6 Manuel Zuliani (Benetton Treviso), 7 Nicolo Quaglia (Rugby Rovato), 8 Davide Goldin (Petrarca Padova).
Replacements: 16 Tomas Rosario (Benetton Treviso), 17 Matteo Drudi (UR Capitolina), 18 Filippo Alongi (Benetton Treviso), 19 Leon Lawrence (Cavalieri Union Prato Sesto), 20 Michael Mba (Rugby Casale), 21 Matteo Petrozzi (Saracens Academy), 22 Albert Batista (Rugby Etruschi Livorno), 23 Paolo Garbisi (Mogliano Rugby).
U18 6 Nations Festival Results:
Matchday 1 – Saturday 31st March, Ystrad Mynach (Centre of Sporting Excellence)
Scotland U18 32-27 England U18
Wales U18 14-22 France U18
Ireland U18 20-17 Italy U18
Matchday 2 – Wednesday 4th April, Cardiff Arms Park
Italy U18 32-30 England U18
Ireland U18 28-36 Wales U18
France U18 21-24 Scotland U18
Matchday 3 – Sunday 8th April, Cardiff Arms Park
Ireland U18 17-19 Scotland U18
Italy U18 18-27 Wales U18
France U18 24-14 England U18
Previous U18 results this season:
Scotland 30-32 Wales
Scotland 0-64 England
Wales 14-42 England
France 27-5 England
Ireland 20-39 France
Italy 18-5 France ‘B’
U18 6 Nations Festival – Unofficial Table*
*Using NatWest 6 Nations scoring systems.
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