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By ARU Media Unit
The first Test of the Australian Schoolboys Grand Slam Tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland tour had finally arrived with the match against Wales Under 18s at “The Gnoll”, Neath Rugby Club.
Both teams sang their National Anthem with the usual passion and pride and took the field with much anticipation.
The early exchanges were shared, with both teams willing to throw the ball about. The first try to Wales came against the run of play.
Following several phases of play in mid field the Australian backs moved the ball wide but the Welsh outside centre, Garyn Smith, chanced his arm in the 20th minute to intercept a pass and race 50 meters to score under the posts.
Luke Price converted the try for a 7-0 lead to Wales against the run of play. From the restart, play was physical and fast from both teams. Australia and Wales had several opportunities to score but defense was strong from both teams.
Jack McCalman and Lolo Fakaosilea affected two inspirational turnovers at the breakdown in succession to lift the Australian Boys.
In the 32nd minute, the Welsh had gained strong field position and from the back of a scrum 15 meters out, mauled the ball forward towards the try line. The Australian defense was holding firm but the referee awarded a penalty try under the posts to the hosts.
Wales quickly raced to a 14-0 lead with the try converted again by Luke Price. Half time Wales 14, Australian Schools 0.
The second half started much like the first, with both teams throwing everything in to try and gain ascendancy. Wales were threatening early and scored again in the 45th minute when left winger, Josh Adams beat a tackle to score out wide to take the score to Wales 19, Australian Schools 0 after the conversion attempt was unsuccessful.
The Australian Boys were not willing to throw in the towel and after some strong lead up work in the forwards, inspirational captain Jack McCalman scored to get Australian Schools on the board. Fly Half, Andrew Deegan added the extras.
From the restart, Australian Schools got into rhythm quickly, playing with plenty of confidence. In the 57th minute following several quality phases of play, Lolo Fakaosilea broke a tackle and crossed out wide.
Unfortunately, the conversion attempt drifted wide but the match was reaching an exciting conclusion with a score difference of 5 points. The crowd became very involved as both teams continued to play in an exciting fashion, but it was Wales who had the final say with smart inside center, Tyler Morgan busting threw an attempted tackle to race away to score under the posts in the 66th minute to seal the match for the hosts.
Luke Price added the extras and the final score was to stay with Wales Under 18s 26 defeating Australian Schools 12.
Final score - Australian Schools v Wales U18s - Neath Rugby Club
Wales U18s, 26 (tries to Garyn Smith, Tyler Morgan, Josh Adams and 1 penalty try, 3 conversions to Luke Price) defeated Australian Schools, 12 (Tries to Jack McCalman and Lolo Fakaosilea, conversion to Andrew Deegan)
AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS RUGBY TEAM v WALES UNDER 18 - WEDNESDAY 27th NOVEMBER 2013
St. Joseph’s College, NSW
St. Joseph’s Nudgee College, QLD
Newington College, NSW
Oakhill College, NSW
St. Patrick’s College, QLD
The King’s School, NSW
Endeavour Sports HS, NSW
Trinity Anglican School, Cairns, QLD
St. Ignatius’ College, NSW
Ipswich Grammar School, QLD
The Southport School, QLD
Erindale College, ACT
Thornbury HS, VIC
Anglican Church Grammar School, QLD
The Scot’s College, NSW
MATCH SCHEDULE AND RESULTS
Kick off (local time)
Australian Schoolboys 15-18 Wales A
Australian Schoolboys 12-26 Wales
Australian Schoolboys 31-7 Ospreys
The IRB has announced its match officials list for the second stage of the 2014 IRB Junior World Championships overnight, with two Australians appointed to referee two of the games in New Zealand on Sunday.