Former Wallaby World Cup winner Matt Burke may have limped into the game after a late recovery from a knee problem, but he turned into a match winner for his side as he grabbed 15 points to bag the Heineken Cup man-of-the-match title. Coming into the game anyone of three teams could have grabbed a place in the last eight. The Falcons knew they merely had to keep their nerve and win the game to make it a heart-breaking afternoon for both the Dragons and Perpignan. Having opted to take first use of the powerful wind the home side quickly took a ten point lead thanks to the first of Burke's two penalties and a try from Welsh backrow Colin Charvis, which Burke also converted. That overlap try came when Dragons skipper Jason Forster was receiving treatment on the sidelines for double-vision after taking a blow to the head. He was unable to return, although three minutes later the Dragons worked wing Gareth Wyatt over in the corner for a smart try from a close range lineout. Burke kicked his second penalty in first half injury time and the Falcons flew further ahead nine minutes after the break when Tom May was sent streaking to the right corner. The Dragons needed some inspiration, and it was provided by Wyatt, who burst through the middle before sending wing Kevin Morgan racing over for the visitors second try which Ceri Sweeney converted.
That put the game in the melting pot and left both teams chasing the try that was needed to secure victory. In the end it was Burke who stole the show when he burst through to score a try at the posts which he also converted. The Dragons quickly responded with a try from Ian Gough, but it was too little too late.
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.