Wales Schools Under 16s got their Wellington Festival campaign off to a flying start with a comfortable 33-13 victory over USA Under 17s at Wellington College yesterday.
Against a big physical American side, the young Welsh boys scored five tries while restricting USA to just two. Wales looked dangerous whenever they spread the ball wide although on occasions they got bogged down driving too many lineouts.
Tighthead prop Keagan Bale caught the eye, carrying the ball with real purpose while captain Todd James set the perfect example from No 8 with a high work rate in defence.
Winger Martyn Davies bumped off players seemingly at will en route to the try-line for his try while his fellow winger James Whittingham set Wales on their way to victory in just the second minute when he touched down.
Harri Millard then got in on the act, scoring Wales's third try which Jarrod Evans added the extras to give Wales a handy 17-3 lead at the break after USA's Sam Cowley hand slotted an earlier penalty in reply.
After the break USA jumped out of the blocks with winger Stratton Brown scoring in the first minute after the re-start. But Wales regrouped to see Bale score a well deserved try while Whittingham secured his second try of the game.
Evans added another penalty to put clear daylight between the two sides but the Americans had the last word with hard running centre Fitou Fisiiahi scoring a try.
Wales will now play France Under 16s tomorrow before completing their programme against England Under 16s on Wednesday and England South U16 on Friday.
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Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton look ahead to this week's crunch RBS 6 Nations tie against France, where the Wales skipper in particular is keen to make his mark, as Paris has proved a bleak place for him in the past.
Following their historic win over England, Wales Under 20 suffered a narrow, 36-34 loss to their Scottish counterparts last weekend, despite outscoring them by five tries to three. Watch the match highlights and reaction.
WRU TV go behind the scenes with the Wales squad as they put the final touches in place ahead of the clash against Scotland at Murrayfield. Follow the squad on their captain's run, the kickers visit to Murrayfield and Neil Jenkins' press conference