What a way to kick-off the Wales v England Six Nations weekend. Wales Under 20 refused to be over-run by England and scored a last minute try to win 11-10 against all the odds and remain in the hunt for the ever elusive u/20 Six Nations Championship Crown.
It was England's second defeat in this 2019 Championship and ends all hopes of England being crowned as the 2019 u/20 Six Nations Champions.
The first half was a tight, tense affair with both sides guilty of a lack of accuracy in the opposition 22m and despite having the majority of possession, England had just Wilkinson's penalty to show for their efforts in the opening 40 minutes with their scrum a particular area of strength. England led 3-0 at half time in a very scrappy game.
Wales were growing in confidence the more they frustrated the English, but with the game being so close it was only ever going to take one slip to surrender the advantage. That moment came 10 minutes from time when Bath centre Tom de Glanville spotted a miss-match in the Welsh 22 and waltzed between the two home locks before offloading inside out of the tackle to replacement back row man Rusi Tuima for a great try to give England a lead of 10-6.
After England's try, it looked as though it would be the visitors who would come through to secure their second win of the 2019 Championship. However, Wales was not finished yet with replacement wing Deon Smith crashing through England full-back Josh Hodge in the last move of the match to score the matchwinning try. True Welsh grit shone through in the end with skipper Dewi Lake, the man of the match Jac Morgan and Dragons back row man Lennon Greggains leading by example.
"It’s very disappointing," said head coach Steve Bates. "We felt we created quite a lot of opportunities in the first half but that dominance did not show on the scoreboard. We had the try disallowed with two minutes on the clock and then probably made a couple of bad decisions which led to their score but that’s Test match rugby, it’s fine margins that can define games. This is all good experience for these players’ development though and there are a lot disappointed players in the changing room but this defeat does not make them bad players."
Wales U20s: Try: Smith Penalties: Evans (2)
England U20s: Try: Tuima Conversion: Hodge Penalty: Wilkinson