On Saturday 16th April the finals of the Welsh Schools U15 championships (the Dewar shield) were held at Ystradgynlais rugby club.
Cardiff schools played the Rhondda Schools in a fantastic advert for schools rugby. The standards that both teams achieved are something that all the boys involved can be exceptionally proud of.
The game kicked off with the Rhondda using full advantage of the wind to keep Cardiff penned in their own half for the majority of the 1st period. The teams exchanged early penalties, however the Rhondda were the dominant side and will be disappointed not to have taken advantage of the opportunities they created.
Cardiff on the other hand will be hugely pleased with their defensive effort, with all 8 forwards led by captain Corey Hearne driving the Rhondda pack from the line on a number of occasions. With 10 minutes to go until halftime Cardiff finally found some ball outside their own 22 when Nick Gill who had a great game, making a number of cover tackles, scythed through the Rhondda midfield and fed James Loxton who went over for the try.
In the second half the Cardiff half backs used the wind to their advantage, kicking well to the corners. A second try and conversion by Luke Fear took the score to 15-3. Then with around 15 minutes remaining Fear struck a sweet drop goal from around 35m to take Cardiff 3 scores ahead. Showing great character Rhondda schools spent the last 10 minutes attacking the Cardiff line, and got their just rewards with a try a few minutes before the final whistle. The final score was 18-10 to Cardiff, however the most pleasing aspect was to see the quality of rugby played by two sides from within the blues region.
Despite the disappointment of defeat Chris Jones, Rhondda Coach was quick to point out a number of players who performed superbly on the day.
"I must mention that both Corey Hearne (Kings' Monkton School) and Luke Fear (St.Teilos) were outstanding for Cardiff today, but my players played some really good rugby as well. William Rose, who attends Ysgol Cymer was a real threat throughout the match and scrum half Nathan Willmot also made some telling breaks."
"All the players played really well and especially up front, where Liam Brabon (Ysgol Cymer) and Jonathan Guy (Treorchy Comp) who worked tirelessly and Replacement Number 7, Dafydd Gristock (Ysgol Cymer) made a real impact coming on for the last 20 mins when our team fought back valiantly."
There was more great news on Saturday for Cardiff Schools as they won the Welsh Schools 7's defeating Pontypridd in the final having overcome Cardiff 'B' in the semi.