WALES UNDER 21 22
FRANCE UNDER 21 30
Wales Under 21, on a high after their 38-36 win in Ireland a fortnight ago,
were brought crashing down to earth at Eugene Cross Park, Ebbw Vale, when they lost at home to France for the first time at this level.
The French led all the way and not even a late Welsh flurry, including their
third try in the sixth minute of injury time, could deny the visitors their
first win on Welsh soil in four attempts.
Wales were up against it from the moment fly half Nicolas Laharrogue landed a penalty goal and centre Mickael Mabilon crossed for the first of their four tries for a quick-fire 10-point lead.
All that Wales could muster in the first half in front of a 2,000-strong
crowd was a penalty goal by Swansea fly half Gavin Henson.
Left wing Jean-Baptiste Gobelet crossed for a brace of tries in the third
quarter, sandwiching Wales' first when Cardiff wing Liam Roberts capitalised on good work by Swansea centre and captain Matthew Brayley.
Henson added a touchline conversion before being replaced by Cardiff's Nick
Robinson, who promptly put full back Gareth Swales over to keep flickering Welsh hopes alive.
But France held out until deep into injury time, Brayley's late try to
late to save that Welsh home record.
Wales Under 21: Tries: Liam Roberts, Gareth Swales, Matthew Brayley; Cons:
Gavin Henson, Nick Robinson; Pen: Gavin Henson.
France Under 21: Tries: Jean-Baptiste Gobelet 2, Mickael Mabilon, Geoffroy Messina; Cons: Nicolas Laharrogue, David Bortolussi; Pens: Nicolas Laharrogue 2.
WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips hosted the second meeting of the WRU Youth Board last weekend ahead of the Judgement Day IV regional double-header. Tthe board, made up of 15 under-21-year-olds from around Wales, heard presentations from head of participation Ryan Jones, policy and integrity manager Jeremy Rogers and national women's rugby manager Caroline Spanton, with Pro Rugby Wales CEO Mark Davies also on hand to hear the range of views aired.
Wales duo Rhun Williams and Liam Belcher, who makes a welcome return after five months of injury woe, look ahead to next month's World Rugby U20 Championship in Manchester where they will face Ireland, Georgia and New Zealand.
Whenever Bedlinog tackle Penallta a massive fixure is guaranteed but this Sunday there will be even more emphasis placed on the two rivals when they contest the SSE Swalec Plate final at Principality Stadium.
Ahead of their SSE SWALEC Bowl Final clash with Taffs Well at Principality Stadium on Sunday, Burry Port share their #FABXV nomination with WRUTV in the search for Welsh rugby's greatest volunteers. Everyone can get involved by sending nominations via twitter to @WRU_Community using the hashtag #FABXV
Cardiff Blues prop Gethin Jenkins and Ospreys centre Ben John look ahead to the first game at Principality Stadium in Saturday's double header which is promising to be a special occasion for all Welsh fans.
Carmarthen Quins Director of Rugby Ian Jones and committee member Jeff Thomas along with Llandovery chairman Handel Davies look ahead to Sunday's SSE SWALEC Cup showdown where both teams are out to prove 'West is best'
SWALEC ambassador Shane WIlliams is looking forward to Sunday's Finals Day where the Cup, Bowl and Plate offers a great opportunity for players and teams to experience the magic of playing at Principality Stadium
Carmarthen Quins coach Richard Kelly believes it is an exciting time to be part of the Scarlets region as his side take on local rivals Llandovery in the SSE Swalec Cup final on Sunday, as WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie discovers