Welsh Womens U20s suffered a heartbreaking last-minute try to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory against USA in their opening Nations Cup clash at Brunel University.
Skipper Elinor Snowsill landed an 11th minute penalty to give Wales a 3-0 lead at the break. Dogged defence ensured Wales held their slender lead until the 79th minute when USA winger Tyra McGrady scooped up a loose pass to run the length of the field to give Catherine Parkhill an easy conversion to give the USA a 7-3 victory.
The defeat will be a bitter pill to swallow as Wales were always in control of the game but an inability to convert pressure into points came back to haunt them.
Lowri Harries and Vicky Owens were prominent up front in the early stages while the centre partnership of Adi Taviner and Ceri Redman also showed up well.
USA were penalised for failing to roll away after making a tackle and Snowsill sent the ball between the uprights to give Wales an early and justified lead.
Wales continued to take the game to USA with Snowsill pulling the strings from fly half. Sioned Harries, Snowsill and Taviner along with Charlie Murray kept the American defence honest but Wales were unable to cross the white-wash.
USA's Erica Cavanaugh was sent to the sin bin in the 58th minute with a high tackle on Rhianydd Morgan but Wales were unable to capitalise while the winger was cooling her heals.
Wales had looked to have done enough to get their campaign off to a winning start but disaster struck in the last minute of play. All Wales had to do was kick the ball dead from a penalty, but with the clock ticking down a quick tap was taken deep into USA territory. The ball was dropped and McGrady pick pocketed the ball to dash unhindered to the try-line to break Welsh hearts.
Wales will now have to pick themselves up in preparation for their next game, against Canada on Sunday. (KO 1.30pm).
The Webb Ellis Cup visited Lampeter on Monday to recognise the fact that the town is celebrating a major milestone as it is believed the first ever game of rugby played in Wales, was in fact played in Lampeter 150 years ago.
Cardiff Blues U18 Girls will go into Sunday's Gemau Cymru with an extra spring in their step after Welsh internationals Elinor Snowsill and Philippa Tuttiett offered some last minute tips at a training session earlier this week.
Rob Howley and Josh Lewsey addressed more than 250 community club coaches and referees at the first WRU National Community Conference on the weekend. The volunteers benefitted from coaching masterclasses and workshops in a bid to connect all levels of the rugby pathway in Wales.
UEFA has today confirmed the Football Association of Wales (FAW) has been successful in its bid for the Millennium Stadium to host the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday 3rd June, 2017 (kick-off: 19.45hrs GMT).
The winners of a filmmaking competition organised by the education charity Into Film and the WRU enjoyed a behind the scenes tour of the Millennium Stadium - and a chance to be photographed with the WRU's fire-breathing, rugby loving mascot, Scorch The Dragon, and Welsh international, Jake Ball.