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Williams the Welsh hero for Under-20s

10th June 2014

Cardiff Blues scrum half Tomos Williams was the hero as Wales upset the formbook at the Junior World Championship in New Zealand to beat France 13-3 and qualify for the 5th to 8th place play-offs.

A Williams try and eight points from the boot of outside half Angus O'Brien was enough to see Wales win the game and finish second in the pool.

The two sides finished level on points in the group but Wales earned second place by virtue of winning the game between the two sides.

It was an outstanding performance from Byron Hayward's side who had seen their chances of reaching the semi-finals of the competition significantly diminish on the back of Friday's defeat at the hands of Ireland.

They fell behind in this game to a fourth minute penalty from Baptiste Serin but were level by half time after Cross Keys and Newport Gwent Dragons pivot O'Brien converted his single penalty shot at goal, 14 minutes before the interval.

A second successful kick from O'Brien edged Wales in front and though France had their moments it was a converted try from scrum half Tom Williams that earned the youngsters the valuable win.

Seemingly shut down by the French defence, Dragons centre Jack Dixon sent through the perfect kick that Williams caught and took to the line. O'Brien converted and though there were difficult moments in the final quarter, Wales held on to give themselves a chance of finishing 5th, while France will compete in the 9th to 12th place play-offs.

Wales Under 20 team manager Mark Taylor said: "It was an excellent performance all round today. The boys stuck to the task and showed a huge amount of desire and commitment. We put some good defensive phases together and we took our one scoring opportunity well.

"It's a tough tournament and following the disappointing defeat to Ireland, it was important to get back on track with a win. We can now aim to reach the fifth place play-off which will be played at Eden Park on Finals Day along with the third place play-off and the final.”