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Cardiff under-16 sides maintain undefeated runs as Championship finale approaches

Pathway | 25th April 2022

Both of Cardiff’s under-16 sides went into Wednesday’s action looking to maintain their unbeaten records in the Regional Age Grade Championship, despite a number of changes as coaches prioritise player development. Here’s how they got on!

Dragons Black 15 Cardiff North 52

Cardiff North travelled to Ystrad Mynach to face Dragons Black on the back of a draw against Scarlets East at Merthyr last week. But they waited no time in returning to winning fashion, running in eight tries against the hopes to shoot back into title contention.

Blindside flanker Callum Jones was on hand to open the scoring, dotting down after the pack dominated the drive from a close-range line-out.

And while the first try was about the piano pushers, the second was certainly for the piano players. Slick hands saw possession spread wide to full back Kodie Stone. The diminutive back showed dazzling footwork to cut back in-field, beating two defenders, before a turn of pace allowed him to break through the defensive line. The hard work was done and Stone was able to jet off to finish a spectacular solo effort from his own 10 meter line.

The back three once again caused problems for the home defence from the restart, with Caden Thomas threatening to break through, only to lose his footing at a pivotal moment. However, with the Blue and Blacks on the front foot, the sharp-thinking scrum half Josh Pearce spotted space down the narrow blindside and set off to add Cardiff’s third of the evening.

Stone’s Matthew Morgan-esque running style continued to cause problems for the Dragons, this time turning creator for Pearce’s second, before Tom Bowen crossed for a breakaway score on his return to the side.

Wing Harrison Nixon - having crossed for a hat-trick last week - added his name to the scoresheet in the second half alongside replacement Eddie Lloyd, while Stone secured a well-deserved brace after an electric display throughout.

Cardiff North host Ospreys East at The Wern in the penultimate round this week before hosting the inter-regional derby to finish the campaign.

Cardiff South 33 Ospreys West 14

Cardiff South secured a comprehensive win over Dragons Black last week, but were tasked with a clash against a tough Ospreys West outfit on Wednesday in their first and only home game of the block.

They had to work hard for their scores on a stunning evening in the capital, but were boosted by the influential midfield partnership of Gethin O’Callaghan and Osian Lewis. The duo was instrumental to the Blue and Blacks’ first score of the evening, firstly creating space for Chay Sinclair to make a dent in the visiting defence before Lewis himself got close to the line. However, an offload from the floor found wing Blessing Kilonda, who made no mistake to step off his right and finish from close range.

The combination of hard graft and a couple of fortuitous bounces of the ball led the way for Charlie Stephens to add a second of the evening before the break.

 Ospreys continue to battle hard, remaining in the contest, but a third Cardiff try in the second half saw the hosts pulling away. Kilonda and O’Callaghan once again looked dangerous with ball in hand, while an impressive basketball-style pass from replacement looshead Robert Brew Davies kept the flow of the attack. With Ospreys on the back foot, hooker Jac Saunders needed no second invitation to batter through for a powerful finish from 20 meters out.

Cardiff put the game out of sight immediately from the restart, with Stephens adding a second of the evening, before Brew Davies had the last work, crossing after a Kilonda turnover and a combination of power and silky skills from replacement centre Iestyn Hutchings. 

Scarlets East are the opponents for Iestyn Williams’ side this week.