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Cardiff Blues Under-16s North defeat the South in RAG decider

First Team News | 27th February 2019

Cardiff Blues North claimed the Regional Age Grade (RAG) Championship Under-16 title with a battling 26-14 win over Cardiff Blues South at Sardis Road.

With both sides going into the encounter with seven wins from seven matches, the clash was a title decider and it was the Blues North who overcame their Southern rivals outscoring their opponents four tries to two.

They finish the season first and second in the RAG table and Cardiff Blues North Under-16s head coach Lee Davies, was not only pleased to see his side triumph but the amount of top-class talent progressing through the academy system.

He said: “They’re a great group and I’m hugely proud of what they have achieved this season.

“They have a real ability to manage games and it is just exciting to be a part of this journey with them.

“Certain individuals I’m convinced will be professional rugby players. I’ve worked with a lot of talented boys down the years like Dillon (Lewis), Seb (Davies) and Jarrod (Evans) and some of these boys are just as talented.

“To have both Cardiff Blues teams in the final is a great achievement and moving forward the region has a very exciting future.”

A fast start to the match saw both sides get on the score-sheet early on with North’s Ben Burnell going over from close range to cancel out South scrum-half Gruff Tough’s impressive opening score.

As the half progressed both teams were guilty of mistakes, yet it was Blues North who took a hold of the match in the second quarter.

Full-back Amir Saleh showed impressive pace to receive a pass from a scrum and go over for a try in the left-hand corner, before the unlikely figure of fly-half Ben Burnell popped up with the ball at the back of a rolling maul as the forwards shoved their way over for Burnell’s second try of the evening.

The fourth score arrived soon after, as a strong midfield break from centre Cameron Winnett paved the way for centre partner Cole Morgan to receive a pass off the floor and run in unopposed under the posts for the bonus-point try.

With kicker Burnell adding the extras from the tee Blues North went in at the break nineteen points to the good at 26-7, with handling errors and poor discipline undermining Blues South.

The visitors did strike back when Number Eight Charlie Jowett crashed his way over from the back of a five-metre scrum mid-way through the second-half to reduce the hosts’ lead to twelve points.

However, that proved as close as Blues South would get to overturning the deficit as Blues North held out in defence - despite playing twenty minutes with 14 men due to two yellow-cards - to secure the title as the only side to remain unbeaten throughout the entire campaign.

The finest players from each side will now join forces in combined, which will be led by under-18 head coaches, Aled James and Craig Everett.