2000 spectators had travelled to the Brewery Field to watch both sides in a fiercely contested final in which Neath held their nerve to win 18pts to 15pts. The Gnoll youngsters followed in the footsteps of their 1970's senior side to lay claim as the first ever winners of a newly introduced cup!
It was little more than the Welsh All Blacks deserved. Gaining momentum from the travelling supporters, the Neath front row of props Paul James, Adam Jones and hooker Adam Matthews once again proved the cornerstone of the Gnoll sides success while man-of-the-match Steven Peters excelled in the back row alongside Simon Peters and Daniel Evans in both defense and attack.
Neath got off to a good start with fly half Dylan Pugh landing an early penalty but Cardiff soon levelled with a penalty from FIRA fly half Nick Macleod. As the frantic opening exchanges continued the Neath forwards set up a fine attacking position and flanker Peters was on hand to crash over wide out for an unconverted try.
Almost immediately and with their first purposeful attack, Macleod fed full back Chris Anderson to score at the posts and with Macleod adding the conversion Cardiff took the lead.
Neath came back with lock Gavin Evans securing position but it was from a turn-over that fly half Pugh sliced through the Cardiff defense and his offload enabled centre Mike Jones to sweep Neath back into the ascendancy as he scored his sides second try. Pugh added the conversion from near the posts and Neath deservedly lead by 15pts to 10 at the interval.
Cardiff had the better start of the two sides in the second half and after a period of sustained pressure left wing Elgan Jones scored in the corner. Crucially Macleod missed the conversion and a penalty moments later as the sides remained level.
Both sides had their chances throughout the second half. Finally after an evenly contested half a period of pressure from the Neath forwards presented Pugh with a 35 metre penalty. The Neath fly half calmly landed his kick to complete his brace and restore his sides lead.
In a frantic final effort Cardiff failed to breach the well organised Neath defense as the Gnoll youngsters held onto victory for skipper Adam Matthews to lift the Wales U'21s Cup and secure ample revenge for two league defeats at the hands of the Arms Park youngsters.
Neath U'21s: P.Thomas (repl A.Davies), R.Carter, M.Jones, P.Smiriglia (repl J.Leyshon), A.Jones, D.Pugh, R.Williams (repl G.James), P.James, A.Matthews (capt), A.Jones, G.Evans, L.Bassett (repl C.Jones), S.Peters, D.Evans, S.Phillips
Cardiff U'21s: C.Anderson, E.Jones, O.Ashman, D.Ryan (repl D.Tame), G.Williams, N.Macleod, C.Miller (capt), J.Yapp, K.Jarma, D.Evans (repl D.Fenton), L.Tait, C.Stamatakis, J.Malpas, M.Leach, M.Leaman
Ref: Paul Adams (Ebbw Vale)
Score summary: Neath - Tries: S.Peters, M.Jones; Con: D Pugh; Pens: Pugh (2)
Cardiff - Tries: C.Anderson, E.Jones; Con: N.Macleod; Pen: Macleod
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.