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Brilliant Academy Stun Cardiff In Thriller

28/06/2021

The Dragons Academy U18s stunned the Cardiff Blues U18s with a thrilling 47-34 victory in a brilliant performance at the Cae Wern in Merthyr.

Both teams put on an absolute thriller in their final game of the mini-series between them and the Scarlets, with twelve tries in total and 81 points scored during an entertaining contest.

Oli Andrew, Sam Gibson, Ryan Woodman, Ben Moa, Ollie Andrews, Frankie Souto and a penalty try alongside eight points from the boot of fly half Sam Berry was enough for the away side to gain revenge after last week’s defeat at Ystrad Mynach.

While the Blues did respond with tries from Louie Hennessey-Booth, Cam Winnett, Amir Saleh, Gwilym Evans and a penalty try of their own but it wasn’t enough as the home side suffered their first defeat of the mini season.

The result means both Dragons and the Blues finish with three wins out of four but it’s the Gwent side that end on a high and will be looking to continue that momentum when they return next season.

The visitors dominated the opening quarter and the scoreline showed as they rushed into a 21-0 lead.

Centre Oli Andrew scored the opener just five minutes in after multiple phases from the forwards the centre took the crash ball and powered over the try line and Berry converted the score.

Ten minutes later the away side scored their second, earning a penalty try after a dominant driving maul.

Fullback Gibson jumped on the looseball to score the Dragons third of the contest and after Berry once more added the extras the men of Gwent held a 21-0 after the opening quarter.

But the home side forced their way back into the contest with two quick fire tries just before half time to narrow the scoreline to 21-12 heading into half time.

The Blues started the second half as they ended the first with another quick fire brace, earning their own penalty try from a strong driving maul before winger Saleh crossed in the corner after some good hands by the backline to give his side the lead for the first time in the match.

But that was as good as it got for the home side as the Dragons responded with a try from flanker Woodman, who bundled his way over from close range to regain the lead for his side.

Number eight Ben Moa scored the Dragons fifth of the contest after another brilliant driving maul by the pack, the ball got released to Moa who powered his way over, Berry converted and the away side’s lead was extended to 35-24 heading into the final quarter.

Blues narrowed the gap as Harrison James knocked over three points from the tee, and they did manage a late try but it wasn’t enough as the Dragons sealed victory with two more tries of their own.

Centre Ollie Andrews, who carried well all game, scored his side’s sixth try after taking a crash ball and powering his way over from scrum half Che Hope’s pass. 

Flanker Frankie Souto sealed the victory in the final play of the game finishing off another powerful driving maul by the Dragons pack ensuring the men of Gwent finish their mini season on a high.

Dragons Under-18s: Sam Gibson, Harry Jarvis, Oli Andrew, Ollie Andrews, Kyle Collins-Smith, Sam Berry, Che Hope, Dylan K-Griffiths, Sam Scarfe, Conall Couch, Joe Cooper, Ben Langdon, Ryan Woodman, Frankie Souto, Ben Moa.

Replacements: Liam Lewis, Jordan Morris, Jack Powell, Tom Llewelyn, Lloyd Thomas, Morgan Lloyd, Will Haley, Gruff Davies, Charlie Harkins, Huw Anderson

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