Dragons scrum half Dylan Davies grabbed a try but last year’s runners-up Wales fell to a 38-20 defeat to England in the opening game of the 2019 U18 Six Nations Festival at Gillman’s Ground, Hartpury on Satirday.
Ioan Lloyd, Davies and Mason Grady struck for a Wales side who never gave up but Chris Horsman’s side will now have to regroup before playing their second game of the tournament, against Scotland at Sixways Stadium on Wednesday.
Dragons duo Carrick McDonough and Morgan Richards started the game on the wings while Ben Carter was named at lock.
Tom Curtis and Ed Dunford traded penalties before England centre Orlando Bailey scored England’s first try. Wales hit back when full-back Lloyd chimed in and outstripped the cover defence to score a well taken try.
Dunford levelled things up at 10-10 from the tee but five minutes later Wales were behind again, as England’s forwards kept the defence narrow before Curtis flung a delicious miss-pass out to wing Joe Browning for an easy score.
England’s third came just before half-time as No.8 Nahum Merigan attacked from close range and sent out an incredible backhanded offload and Bailey applied the finish for his second.
In the second half Raphael Quirke made the perfect entrance to the field, the scrum-half on to replace Jack van Poortvliet and making an instant impact with a sniping try from a quickly-taken penalty.
Mallinder’s side led 31-10 and Wales fought desperately to get back into the match, eventually breaking through on the hour as replacement Davies snuck in from short distance.
England’s fifth came down the left flank as Stewart powered through three defenders in the corner, centre Grady having the last say with a devastating outside break from his own half in a fitting way to end an excellent match.
Wales U18: Ioan Lloyd (Bristol), Carrick McDonough (Dragons), Mason Grady (Cardiff Blues), Bradley Roderick (Ospreys), Morgan Richards (Dragons), Ed Dunford (Exiles), Ethan Lloyd (Cardiff Blues), Sam O Connor (Scarlets), Oliver Burrows (Ospreys), Iestyn Haskins (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Anstey (Cardiff Blues), Ben Carter (Dragons), Harri Deaves (Ospreys), Ethan Fackrell (Cardiff Blues), Harry Breeze (Scarlets)
Replacements: Rhodri King (Scarlets), Theo Bevacqua (Exiles), Lewys Jones (Ospreys), James Fender (Ospreys), Carwyn Tuipulotu (Scarlets), Alex Mann (Cardiff Blues), Tom Mathews (Exiles), Dan John (Exiles), Dylan Davies (Dragons), Ioan Evans (Cardiff Blues)
U18 Six Nations Festival:
Matchday 2 – Wednesday 17 April – Sixways Stadium, Worcester
11:10 France v Italy
13:40 Ireland v England
16:10 Wales v Scotland
Matchday 3 – Sunday 21 April – Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester
11:10 Scotland v Ireland
13:40 England v France
16:10 Italy v Wales