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
How do you follow a dancing hippopotamus - the Ospreys wheelchair rugby team has just the 'oneness' to do it say the BBC! For a decade the sight of a herd of hippos synchronised swimming around their own private blue lagoon, has lit up our television screens at regular intervals between favourite BBC One shows. But now the nation's most watched channel has relinquished its famous amphibious mammals in favour of a new show-reel which includes the Ospreys wheelchair rugby team.
Head coach Rowland Phillips and key front rower Carys Phillips look ahead to games against Spain and Ireland as Wales Women ramp up their preparations for the forthcoming Six Nations. The two warm-up games are a 'massive opportunity to refine the squad' according to the Welsh camp.
Martyn Phillips has discussed details of the newly published 'Strategy for Welsh Rugby' which puts in black and white terms the plans and direction of the governing body of the national sport in Wales for the next decade.
WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips has urged Welsh rugby fans to follow in the footsteps of their soccer counterparts at last summer's Euro Championship by backing their team to the hilt in the upcoming RBS 6 Nations campaign.
Chief executive Martyn Phillips has highlighted the plans for Wales to become a breeding ground for national and elite club rugby coaches, which are contained in the WRU's 10-year 'Strategy for Welsh Rugby'.
Andrew Coombs is enjoying his new role as Nelson forwards coach. The former Dragons and Wales lock has big ambitions to become a professional coach but feels it's important to learn the ropes in grassroots rugby and where better than his home club Nelson, with friends and family close to hand.
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Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
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