Wales: 0
England: 12

    King (30), Walker (39), Tierney (42), Connor (50), Williams (64, 74), Gildart (69)

    Hampshire 5/7

Match report


England showed Wales what Super League experience does for you, as they took control of this academy international after half-time to romp home for a 38-0 win. It was always going to be tough for the Welsh. Twelve of the home side came from Championship 1 side South Wales Scorpions while in contrast, eight of the England players have already made their Super League debuts.

Both sides had opportunities to score early on but strong defence kept both lines intact. On the half-hour, the English broke the deadlock when Warrington’s Toby King scored in the corner. Ryan Hampshire converted.  After good pace shown by Lewis Tierney helped England win a scrum, they extended their lead to 12-0 at the break when Tom Walker grounded under the sticks and Hampshire added the extras.

England opened the second half well as, from a scrum, Tierney, the son of former dual code international Jason Robinson, showed pace his father would have been proud of by sprinting to the line for his side’s third try. Hampshire missed the kick.

Jake Connor nabbed England’s fourth with Hampshire converting. England’s superior fitness was showing. George Williams raced in for England’s fifth try of the game on 64 minutes. Five minutes later Oliver Gildart scored the sixth with Hampshire converting both to put England into a 34-0 lead. Wigan’s Williams sprinted 40 metres for England’s seventh try but his club-mate Hampshire failed to convert on this occasion and the score remained at 38-0.

It was Dave Clark’s last match as Head of Performance in South Wales having been in charge of the Scorpions first team and WRL academies for the last two years and while he was disappointed not to get a win, he was pleased with the Welsh efforts. “Our mentality in the first half was really good,” he said. “From where we are to where they are, we showed a lot of character in that first half. We were in an arm wrestle for so long, we couldn’t maintain that intensity in the second half. But I’m really proud of how they played, we were in really good shape and created some good opportunities. They gave it their all and I’m proud of them.”

Former Celtic Crusaders, South Wales Scorpions and Wales forward Geraint Davies, who coached the side in Sunday’s game under Clark’s watchful eye, now takes full charge for Friday’s second test, again at Taff’s Well RFC (kick-off 6.30pm). “You’ve got to remember that most of our boys are only 18 and they played last week for the under 18s,” Davies said. “12-0 at half-time was pretty positive but we just let it go in the second half and I don’t think the score reflected the effort we put it. We need to cut our errors out in the second test on Friday. England were very good technically and you could tell a lot of them had played first team Super League. We’ve a lot to work on before Friday but if the boys can show the same guts as today then I’m sure we’ll do a lot better.”

England coach John Winder was proud of his side’s win. “I’m really pleased,” he said. “To play in conditions like that is really tough. For the first 25 minutes it was like a proper test match and was really physical. Both sides went at it and I’m pleased that we stuck to it for the full 80 minutes and deserved the result. I thought Wales were very good and you can see that there’s a lot of good development work being done down here. There were some really strong signs of that, especially in the first half. They were really committed and passionate and I know they will be again this Friday.”

Pictured: Tom Walker scored England's second try.

Jacob Morgan, Alex Jones, Kylum Austin, Jordan Howells, Chris Leyshon, Courtney Davies, Daniel Parry, Michael Connor, Connor Farrer, Osian Philips, TJ Collin, Bradley Mais, Rhys Fitzgerald. Subs: Jordan Sheridan, Rhys Finney, Lewis Stockton, Matthew Davies

Lewis Tierney, Ash Handley, Oliver Gildart, Jake Connor, Toby King, Ryan Hampshire, George Williams, Bobby Tyson-Wilson, Nathan Conroy, Ben Austin, Alex Mellor, Jordan Baldwinson, Rob Lever. Subs: Ryan Sutton, Tom Walker, Lewis Charnock, Jansin Turget, Tyler Dickinson