Cardiff Schools claimed the Dewar Shield at a blustery St Helen's ground in Swansea on Saturday when they overcame Rhondda Schools in a nail-biting final. The final 6-3 score-line reflects how closely fought the Welsh Schools U15 championship final was.
Cardiff showed their intent from the outset by getting the ball wide to the wingers. Cardiff took advantage of the strong wind that was in their favour to gain good field position and to ease the pressure as Rhondda began to gain some momentum up front. Rhondda's impressive lineout began to function well with Cymmer second row Daniel Morns claiming a number of steals on the Cardiff throw-in.
After quarter of an hour Cardiff were awarded a penalty for holding on - outside half Gareth Thompson judged the wind well to slot the penalty to give Cardiff a 3-0 lead.
Both teams then exchanged some good phases of play and Rhondda began to put Cardiff under pressure with a series of strong scrums which gave them a good platform to attack the Cardiff line however Cardiff increased their lead just before the break with Thompson's second penalty.
Rhondda started the second half confidently, using the strong breeze well. They kept Cardiff pinned in their own half and began to build pressure on the Cardiff line. Eventually centre Callum Phillips (Cymmer) stepped up to cut the deficient to three points.
Lifted by their travelling support Rhondda stepped up their game and began to maintain possession and dominate the set piece which saw Cardiff penned inside their own half for large periods. However despite their best efforts, Rhondda couldn't find a way through and Cardiff held out for a deserved victory.
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.