Wales Under 18 full back Morgan Williams is tackled by Australia's Henry Hutchison
Allan Lewis' Wales Under 18 side outscored Australia Schools by four tries to two in a 26-12 victory at The Gnoll.
The success was built on a superb first half performance, Wales leading 14-0 at the break and extending that advantage to 19-0 soon after the interval.
A score from centre Garyn Smith and a penalty try, both converted by fly half Luke Price, had seen Wales pull well clear and when wing Josh Adams added a third, Wales looked to have victory in the bag.
Up till that point, Australia had shown very little with Andrew Deegan's missed penalty their only chance of points. But after going 19-0 down, they showed some fight when Wales' Jordan Viggars was yellow carded.
Captain Jack McCalman and fellow backrower Lolo Fakaosilea both touched down and with Deegan adding a conversion, Australia were back in it. After such a good first half performance, defeat would have been inconceivable for Wales and on the stroke of the final whistle, Tyler Morgan made sure of the victory, crashing over under the posts for Wales' fourth try of the day.
After a ferocious opening 10 minutes, in which both teams laid down early physical markers, it was Australia who had the first chance of points. The Welsh forwards were penalised for offside but Deegan, from 30 metres, saw his penalty effort clip the wrong side of the right hand upright.
With both teams keen to throw the ball around, the pristine surface at The Gnoll couldn't have been better suited to free-flowing rugby. And while Wales saw more of the ball in the opening 10 minutes, the final pass just didn't quite go to hand. Scrum half Tom Williams' slick service was a notable feature but aside from two superb breaks from wing Rhys Geally, Wales initially failed to breach the Wallaby defence.
While a try failed to arrive at first, Wales deserved credit for their patience in attack and they were soon rewarded when Smith opened the scoring. When it came, it was a simple but nonetheless impressive try, the Wales centre making a clean line break and showing an impressive turn of foot to touch down under the posts. Price added the simple conversion for what was a fully deserved 7-0 lead.
With the scoreboard now ticking over, the game settled down but it was the home side who continued to do all the attacking. Wales camped themselves inside the Australian half and proceeded to add a second try. Price decided to put a kickable penalty into the corner and after a huge surge from the Welsh pack, the Australian eight retreated at a rapid rate of knots. Referee David Proctor decided the Wallabies were using illegal means to stop the Welsh momentum and to some surprise, ran under the posts to award a penalty try.
Price again added the extras and with Australia offering very little in attack, Wales took their 14-0 advantage into the break.
The start of the second half was as intense as the first, but with Australia offering far more in attack. Wales though, looked like the more likely to score. From a re-set scrum on the Australian 22, Wales looked unlucky to be penalised but with captain Jon Fox and the rest of the forwards laying a solid platform, the Welsh backs did the rest. Adams added a third try, skipping through in the left corner though Price was awry with his most difficult kick of the night.
At 19-0 down, Australia needed a response and they needed it quickly. To their credit, they produced just that and in double quick time, were soon back in the game. After finally gaining some territory, the Wallabies pounded the Wales line with the pressure eventually seeing Viggars yellow carded. With a man advantage, McCalman was then bundled over from a forward drive and giant flanker Fakaosilea, who drove his side on relentlessly, made the most of a giant overlap. Deegan converted the first of those tries and after total Welsh dominance for a little less than an hour, there were now just seven points in the game.
With a fight on their hands, Wales were now on the back foot. But the sign of a good team is how they react to adversity and Lewis' men showed plenty of character to close out the game. Price put a penalty effort wide but with Wales having most of the territory, the fly half made amends.
From first phase ball, he darted through the Australian defence and found Morgan, who impressed the watching Shaun Edwards with his strong running, steaming up on his left shoulder.
And when Price made the pass, there was no stopping the Dragons man as he made his way to the line for the decisive score. The conversion was added to seal what was a hard-fought but deserved Welsh victory.
The Wales U18 squad spent an emotional day in the drug-riddled townnship of Hout Bay. Hout Bay Warriors President Fred Johannes said the visit was 'the talk of the town' and will dream about the day everyday for the rest of his life.
RGC 1404's new head coach Mark Jones is hoping to build 'something special' in north Wales and is already looking forward to the development region participating in the Principality Premiership for the very first time.
A joint venture between the WRU and Admiral saw hundreds of children enjoy the Admiral Festival of Rugby held at the National Centre of Excellence at the weekend where Welsh internationals Sam Warburton, Scott Williams and Rob Evans were in attendance.
Wll Jones leads Wales U18s into battle this afternoon against Italy where the Welsh side will be seeking to bounce back from their narrow defeat to SA Schools in their opening clash of the U19 International Series
All four regions attended a successful training camp staged last weekend at the WRU National Centre of Excellence. It was a chance for new Wales Women's head coach Rowland Phillips to deliver his key messages to players and coaches as he prepares for the new season.
Wales U18 Team Manager Gethin Watts believes the next couple of weeks will be 'extremely beneficial' to the future of Welsh rugby as his side prepare to take part in the Under 19 International Series being staged in South Africa.
The WRU is searching for 12 new rugby development apprentices following a successful first year of its WRU Coach Core programme. Craig Duncan and Jess Hancock have flourished in the first year of the programme which has given them a real direction in their lives.
The WRU signed TV comedian Rhod Gilbert up to a 'Coaching Children Level 1' course before letting him loose on an U8s side at Whitland Junior Borderers - we went behind the scenes to film the making of 'Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience' see the results here.
Llandovery are aiming to make it three titles in a row in this year's Foster's National 7s being held at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday 28 August. Drovers assistant coach Simon Davies and Lee Rees assess their sides chances
A pioneering strength and conditioning programme has been delivered to more than 8000 boys and girls at hub schools throughout Wales this season, helping to develop stronger, more flexible athletes for rugby and other sports.
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series returns to the BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on July 22nd when all four Welsh regions go head to head. Scarlets skills coach Dai Flanagan and Blues Elite Performance Pathway Manager Richard Hodges along with current Welsh squad members were at the launch of this season's event