Wales continued their good run of form at the 2008 Under-18 Six Nations Festival, running in seven tries in a convincing win over Italy at UCC’s Mardyke ground.
2008 UNDER-18 SIX NATIONS FESTIVAL: Saturday, March 29
WALES U-18 43 ITALY U-18 10, The Mardyke
Scorers Wales: Tries: James Loxton 2, Liam Powell, Morgan Allan, James Thomas, Ieuan Coombes 2; Cons: Chris Lewis Pratt 4
Italy: Tries: Filippo Michelini, Paolo Stinchelli
Though the score-line suggests that this was an easy win for Wales, they were made to work hard for every score as Italy were much more competitive than they had been earlier in the week against England.
Wales though are a powerful side with plenty of skill out wide and when full-back James Loxton went over for a try after just a minute, it quickly looked like it would be another convincing win for the Welsh, who defeated Ireland 25-6 in their opening game last Wednesday.
Liam Powell added another try out wide and with the extras from Chris Lewis Pratt they took an early 14-0 lead. Italy showed some good fight and the likes of hooker Andrea Manici came storming into the game and their good pack play saw out-half Filippo Michelini dash through the defence to score.
Wales hit back with another try, this time from flanker Morgan Allan, but they leaked another try before the break when Italian lock Paolo Stinchelli barged his way over the line.
Wales were more potent in attack at the start of the second half and early tries from Loxton, James Thomas and Ieuan Coombes really killed the game off.
Italy did themselves no favours when they had two players sent off following a scuffle and from there it was one-way traffic for Wales who added further points through Coombes again and Lewis Pratt with the boot.
Pleased with the big score-line, Wales coach Simon King said: “We made nine changes from last week and still managed to score 43 points so I have to be happy with that. Italy gave us a big physical challenge but it was good to see that we took the chances we created.
“And it was good to see we have players in this squad who take the opportunities they get and take some good scores. Two wins for us is good so far and we’re looking forward already to the last game (against France).”
WALES U-18: James Loxton (Blues); Liam Powell (Exiles), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Ashley Beck (Ospreys), Adam Hughes (Dragons); Chris Lewis Pratt (Exiles), Gareth Davies (Scarlets); Gareth Jenkins (Ospreys), Ceri Davies (Ospreys), Stewart Maguire (Dragons), Lloyd Peers (Ospreys), James King (Scarlets), Morgan Allan (Ospreys), James Davies (Scarlets), James Thomas (Dragons) (capt).
Replacements used: Tom Crandon (Dragons) for King (23 mins), Dave Francis (Dragons) for Allan, Ieuan Coombes (Dragons) for Powell (both 41), Rhys Jenkins (Dragons) for J Davies (42), Rhys Downes (Blues) for G Davies (48), Rhys Williams (Blues) for C Davies, Simon Gardiner (Scarlets) for Maguire (both 55), Daniel Watchurst (Dragons) for G Jenkins (58), Matthew Jarvis (Ospreys) for Williams (65).
ITALY U-18: Michele Mortali (Gran Parma Rugby); Sebastian Rodwell (Firenze), Ricciardi Costantino (Petrarca), Tommaso Benvenuti (Viadana), Nicola Belardo (Partenope); Fillippo Michelini (Viadana), Alberto Chillon (Petrarca); Matteo Zamparo (Amatori San Dona), Andrea Manici (Gran Parma), Edoardo Carugi (Firenze), Fillipo Cazzola (Montebelluna), Paolo Stinchello (SSD Unione Capitolina), Filippo Ferrarini (Noceto FC), Gabriele Cicchinelli (SSD Unione Capitolina), Lorenzo Santelli (ASD Universita Cosenza), (capt).
Replacements used: Giovanbattista Venditti (SSD Unione Capitolina) for Belardo (38 mins), Antonio Denti (Viadana) for Carugi, Nicola Corbanese (Ruggers Tarvisum) for Zamparo (both 45), Edoardo Gori (Cavalieri) for Chillon (51).
Referee: Colin Brett (Scotland)