Wales winger Charlotte Murray takes the attack to England at Taffs Well.
Wales Women Under 20s gained revenge on arch rivals England with a well deserved 12-7 victory at Taffs Well yesterday.
Not only did Kylie Wilson's team turn the tables on their recent defeat to the Red Rose brigade, but Wales secured their first victory at this level against England thanks to two first half tries by Charlotte Murray and Vicky Owens.
Wales had to overcome a second half onslaught from England, and lost three players to yellow cards but a stubborn defensive effort saw them home.
Wales put their maker down early on and came out strong, and after a scrum in England's 22, a missed kick by England saw the home side take their chances. Skipper Adi Taviner collected the wayward ball, and offloaded to wing Charlotte Murray. With England not strong enough in defence Murray charged her way through and touched down after just 12 minutes.
England then struggled with the disruption of losing Hannah Field through injury and again Wales took advantage. More pressure from the home side saw England under the cosh, and finally their defence was broken when a scrum saw No.8 Vicky Owens barge her way over the try line. Yasmin Leung stroked over the conversion to hand Wales a 12-0 lead at half time.
England, however, came back oafter the restart with more impetus, just like they did last month when they defeated Wales 17-7 at home. Their renewed vigour was also helped by the loss of Welsh fly half Bethan Preece to the sin bin, and on 48 minutes England found themselves back in contention.
A turn over ball in Wales' 22 saw England gain possession and Richmond full back Kay Wilson made no mistake in collecting and charging over to score in the left corner. Bristol centre Amber Reed added the conversion to make the score 12-7.
But that was where England's chances ended. Although they maintained the pressure on Wales, the Red Roses just couldn't break their rivals defence, and England were forced to settle with the defeat.
A delighted Wales manager Sara Davies, said, "This is a great result to the team collectively and individually. A lot of players are leaving this age group now and have been in the squad for a couple of seasons and have never beaten England before. So it's pleasing they can now leave as conquerors of England."
RFUW Programme Manager Tom Stokes said: "Wales deserved to win this game. We were just too slow out of the blocks at the start and that really put us on the back foot. In the first half we struggled to retain ball, and made unforced errors. We had a much better start to the second half, and the players played with more intensity but they still missed their opportunities and we paid the price for that."
Wales 15 Kerin Lake (Neath Athletic), 14 Sian Perry (Altrincham Kersal), 13 Charlotte Murray (Neath Athletic), 12 Adi Taviner (C) (Neath Athletic), 11Jess Kavanagh (Dolgellau), 10 Bethan Preece (Neath Athletic), 9 Yasmin Leung (UWIC), 1 Alex Stokes (Neath Athletic), 2 Amy Lawrence (Neath Athletic), 3 Lowri Harris (UWIC), 4 Chloe Howells (Whitland), 5 Shona Powell-Hughes (Neath Athletic), 6 Sian Williams (RAF), 8 Vicky Owens (UWIC), 7 Sioned Harris (UWIC).
Replacements: 16 Natalie Stone (Pontyclun), 17 Sophie Mangano (Kidwelly), 18 Rebecca Norris (Carmarthen Quins), 19 Kathryn Joseph (Neath Athletic), 20 Kayleigh Balchin (Longton), 21 Megan Williams (OA Saints), 22 Rhianydd Morgan (Neath Athletic)
Wales Tries: Murray, Owens Con: Leung England Try: Wilson; Con: Reed
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.