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.
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.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.