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Academy Suffer First Defeat to Physical Blues

20/06/2021

Dragons Academy Under-18s could not make it three wins from three after suffering a 19-45 defeat at the hands of the Cardiff Blues Under-18s at Ystrad Mynach on Sunday afternoon.

Tries from scrum half Che Hope, lock Joe Cooper and replacement Liam Lewis - plus four points from the boot of Sam Berry - wasn’t enough for the home side and they head into the reverse fixture next week with plenty to work on.

While the Blues made it back-to-back wins after defeating the Scarlets last weekend with both centres making the difference running in five tries between them, three to Ryan Wilkins and two to Louie Hennessey-Booth.

While flanker Gwilym Evans and winger Iwan Pyrs-Jones also crossed for the visitors alongside ten points from the boot of fly half Harrison James in a convincing win.

It was a bright start from both teams as it went end to end in the opening minutes, but it was the away side who scored first through outside centre Louie Hennessey-Booth who powered his way over the line and James converted.

The home side responded through scrum half Che Hope who picked and went from the ruck before sidestepping his way over the whitewash, it was a fantastic finish from the youngster and fly half Sam Berry added the extras to bring the scores level at 7-7 after the first 15 minutes.

That didn’t last long as the visitors responded instantly with a quick fire double from centre Ryan Wilkins, who crossed twice in as many minutes. James converted both to give his side a 21-7 lead after the opening quarter.

The game continued to go back and forth and it was the Dragons that scored next with lock Joe Cooper bundling his way over from close range, Berry added the extras once more.

There was time before the break for the Blues to score their fourth try of the afternoon, winger Iwan Pyrs-Jones showed some good feet to finish in the corner and the away side entered half time with a 14-26 lead.

The second half got off to the worst possible start for the home side with Hennessey-Booth crossing for his second of the contest and another conversion ensured the away side extended their lead.

The Dragons then went down to 14 men with flanker Lloyd Thomas sent to the bin for a late tackle in midfield and the Blues made the extra man count by scoring their sixth try and it was a hat trick for Wilkins, who raced down the blindside to score.

The final nail in the coffin came from captain Gwilym Evans who scored a brilliant solo try after a grubber through and collected his own kick to score. Extras were converted and the Blues lead 14-45 heading into the final minutes.

But there was time for a consolation for the Dragons as replacement hooker Liam Lewis finished off a fantastic driving maul from the pack.

The home side will be hoping to put the wrongs right as they take on their opponents in the reverse fixture next week in their last game of the season.

Dragons Under-18s: Joe Westwood, Harry Jarvis, Oli Andrew, Ollie Andrews, Walker Price, Sam Berry, Che Hope, Jordan Morris Dylan K-Griffiths, Sam Scarfe, Jack Powell, Joe Cooper, Ryan Woodman, Lloyd Thomas, Frankie Souto, Ben Moa

Replacements: Liam Lewis, Dylan K-Griffiths, Conall Couch, Owain Osmond, Ben Langdon, Morgan Lloyd, Aneurin Williams, Harri Ackerman, Charlie Harkins, Rocky Barnett

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