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Scarlets under-18 14 Cardiff Blues under-18 14

19th February 2019

Cardiff Blues under-18's closed their Regional Age Grade Championship campaign with a draw against Scarlets at Llandovery's Church Bank.

The visitors, led by head coaches Aled James and Craig Everett, took advantage of the strong winds in the first half to take a 14-0 lead into the interval, thanks to tries from Craig Miller and Jake Thomas.

But their points tally was matched by the hosts after the break, who made the most of the conditions to bounce back and claim their share the points.

Cardiff Blues currently sit in second place, but Scarlets could over-take Wales' Capital Region, as they face RGC in their final fixture of the Championship.

Both sides were wrestling for a foothold in the opening stages, with the boot of Cardiff Blues captain, Ethan Lloyd, used as a reliable option to put pressure on the Scarlets’ back three.

Ioan Evans failed to open the scoring from a long-range penalty attempt, but, moments later, his measured grubber kick pinned the hosts back deep in their 22.

The resulting line-out was won against the head by the Blues, with Craig Miller taking full advantage of the turnover to crawl his way to the line for the game’s opening score.

Scarlets almost replied after a fine break from centre Josh Davies, but the visitors’ defence re-organised well to win a crucial turnover on their own try line.

The hosts were made to pay for their missed opportunity, as Cardiff Blues doubled their advantage after 22 minutes.

After Mason Grady made the hard yards to put his side on the front foot, the ball was spread wide to lock, Rhys Anstey, who impressively split open the defence with a dummy, before feeding the unmarked Jake Thomas for a simple run-in score.

The visitors took a 14-point advantage into the break, but were faced with the powerful wind and rain during the second half.

Miller was sent to the sin bin immediately after the restart following a dangerous tackle, and despite being a man down, the Blues’ stern defensive effort denied the Scarlets their first score from a close-range driving line-out.

The visitors managed to clear the danger, however, a counter-attack paved way for the host to finally register on the scoreboard, with replacement Sam Court slicing his way through from long-distance to touch down.

Scarlets’ comeback effort was complete as Carwyn Tuipolotu’s pass put centre Carwyn Morris through in midfield, who powered past Theo Cabango’s tackle to touch down.

An outside break saw Grady coming close to putting the visitors back ahead, but the assistant referee judged that his foot was in touch before the ball was dotted down in the corner.

Replacement Jack Evans had a late opportunity to put Scarlets ahead, but his penalty effort drifted wide of the right hand post.