The Welsh Academicals and Japan Under 20s entertained an enthralled crowd at Mountain Ash's Parc Dyffryn Pennar before the home side ran out 42-26 victors in an 11-try thriller.
A highly entertaining game saw some dynamic rugby from both sides before the experience of the Welsh Academicals finally eased them to victory in the final quarter.
Japan struck first after only five minutes, with Kenta Nakasone bursting through for a try near the posts. The Academicals leveled with a Nathan Rees try mid way through the half and took the lead following a searing run by Ryan Bayliss into the corner. Japan then benefitted from high risk rugby by the Accies with a further two tries, before Mike Thomas crossed for a well worked try to keep his team in contention, 15 - 19 down at the break.
The game was still finely balanced until Rees and Thomas both completed their brace of tries, which were added to by further scores from Wayne Simms and Loughborough Student, Geraint Walsh, to complete an enthralling exhibition of fast open rugby.
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.