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Benham brace as Wales U20s crush Japan

11th June 2015

Cardiff Blues winger Ellis-Wyn Benham grabbed a brace of tries as Wales Under-20s stormed to a comprehensive 66-3 win over Japan in their final pool game at the World Rugby U20 Championship in Viadana.

Wings Joshua Adams and Benham both crossed the whitewash twice as Allan Lewis' side won at Stadio Luigi Zaffanella. Cardiff Blues team-mates Jarrod Evans, Liam Belcher and Seb Davies also crossed the whitewash while Dillon Lewis and Joe Jones featured.

Despite the try rout for Wales, it was Japan who kicked off the scoring with an early penalty from full back Noguchi. However, once Blues outside half Evans had converted his own try, in the sixth minute, Wales were rarely troubled.

Blues wing Benham, playing for the first time in the tournament, crossed for the first of his two tries, four minutes later, and Scarlets Tom Phillips, at No 8, added a third in the 19th.

With Evans converting and Japan down to 14 men following a yellow card to openside flanker Urabe, Wales added a fourth try, once again, from the lively right wing Benham.

On the stroke of half time, it was 33-3 when a Japanese turnover enabled Blues scrum half Tomos Williams and Dragons flanker Ollie Griffiths to combine and send in Adams for a smart try that Evans failed to convert, from the touchline.

With the game safely won, it was all about creating and finishing opportunities, after the break, something that had been lacking in Wales' first two games of the tournament against France and England.

Ospreys lock Adam Beard scored a sixth - Evans converting - fellow Osprey Dafydd Howells a seventh and Blues hooker Belcher an eighth after a wonderful catch and sideways kick from Benham. Replacement outside half Daniel Jones converted.

Davies touched down at the posts for Scarlet pivot Jones to convert again, eight minutes from time and with three minutes left, Adams took a scoring pass from Howells for try number 10.

Coach Geraint Lewis said: "We are pleased with the win and the performance. We moved the ball well and we scored some good tries. Hopefully we will carry that into the rest of the tournament.

"We started well, got some momentum and we made it hard for Japan to get back into the game.

"We played two good sides in England and France, but the boys have taken a lot of confidence from today's game and hopefully we can kick on from here."

Wales Under 20 v Japan: Dafydd Howells (Ospreys/ Neath); Ellis-Wyn Benham (Blues/ Cardiff), Garyn Smith (Blues/ Pontypridd), Owen Watkin (Ospreys/ Bridgend), Joshua Adams (Scarlets/ Llanelli); Jarrod Evans (Blues/ Pontypridd), Tomos Williams (Blues/ Pontypridd); Luke Garrett (Dragons/ Cross Keys), Ryan Elias (Scarlets/ Carmarthen), Dillon Lewis (Blues/ Pontypridd), Adam Beard (Ospreys/ Aberavon), Rory Thornton (captain, Ospreys/ Bridgend), Seb Davies (Blues/ Pontypridd), Ollie Griffiths (Dragons/ Newport), Tom Phillips (Scarlets/ Llanelli)

Replacements: Torin Myhill (Scarlets/ Llanelli), Keagan Bale (Dragons/ Cross Keys), Joe Jones (Blues/ Cardiff), Lee Taylor (Carmarthen Quins), Liam Belcher (Blues/ Pontypridd), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets/ Carmarthen), Daniel Jones (Scarlets/ Carmarthen), Joe Thomas (Ospreys/ Swansea)