Tyler Morgan attempts to shackle the Ireland attack.
Wales Under 20 suffered a disappointing 35-21 defeat in the Junior World Championship at the hands of Ireland in Pukekohe.
Tries from Tyler Morgan, a penalty try and James Benjamin had Byron Hayward's side leading 21-17 early in the second half. However, Ireland finished strongly and made up for their defeat at the hands of France with 18 unanswered points.
It was a far from inspiring start for Wales with Ireland rushing in to a 14-0 lead inside as many minutes. First, a mix up between Joshua Adams and Ashley Evans allowed Ireland to establish themselves in the Wales 22.
Tight head prop Rory Burke took up the ball and powered his way over for outside half Ross Byrne to convert.
Wales, surprisingly, were experiencing one or two difficulties at scrum time and when referee Federico Anselmi penalised them for a second time, yards from the Ireland line, a second try ensued. Captain and no.8 Jack O'Donoghue tapped the free kick and drove to the line allowing Byrne to send in Garry Ringrose for a try that was, once again, converted.
Stung in to action, Wales found their feet and a series of breaks deep into Irish territory brought their reward in the 21st minute. A driving maul allowed scrum half Luc Jones time to feed wing Morgan who came in from the blindside. The Newport and Dragons wing flew into midfield and outstripped the Irish defence for fellow Dragon O'Brien to convert.
A Byrne penalty redressed the balance, but by now Wales were beginning to get to grips with the set piece and Ireland were starting to experience difficulty. Argentine referee Anselmi awarded the young Welshman a series of penalties in the Ireland 22, shortly before half time, and finally ran out of patience with prop Peter Dooley and sent the loose head for 10 minutes in the sin bin.
Two further scrum penalties later and the official pointed between the posts for a penalty try, O'Brien converting taking the half time score to 17-14v to the Irish.
A minute into the second half, Ireland were down to 13 when wing Alex Wootton was carded for dropping his knees into the back of O'Brien who had fallen to the floor to pick up the ball from a kick on half way.
A wonderful break from Will Boyde set up Wales for their next opportunity, but they were unable to make their numerical advantage count initially as Ireland prevented quick release. However, captain Steffan Hughes opted against a kick for goal and the side was rewarded for their ambition at a scrum close to the Irish line when no.8 Benjamin controlled a free-wheeling scrum to touch down. O'Brien converted for good measure.
Ireland were far from finished and when replacement Tom Williams missed touch, the ball was worked into the Wales 22 for Ringrose to reach out and touch down. Byrne converted and added a penalty to give Ireland a six point lead as the game moved into the final quarter.
When Jack Dixon was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle, Byrne missed the ensuing penalty and Wales were off the hook, albeit down to 14 men.
Unfortunately, Byrne found his range nine minutes from time and the nine point gap was too much for Wales to close. In fact it was Ireland who scored again, four minutes from time when Ringrose was again to the fore as full back Cian Kelleher raced in at the corner.
Tries: Tyler Morgan, penalty try, James Benjamin
Cons: Angus O'Brien (3)
Rory Burke, Garry Ringrose (2), Cian Kelleher
Cons: Ross Byrne (3)
Pens: Ross Byrne (3)
Ashley Evans (Ospreys, Afon Bagshaw RGC 68); Tyler Morgan (Dragons), Steffan Hughes (capt, Scarlets), Jack Dixon (Dragons), Joshua Adams (Scarlets); Angus O'Brien (Dragons, Ethan Davies Dragons 64), Luc Jones (Dragons, Tom Williams Blues 45); Nicky Smith (Ospreys, Luke Garrett Dragons 78), Elliot Dee (Dragons, Scott Otten Ospreys 59), Nicky Thomas (Ospreys, Callum Lewis Blues 69), Joe Davies (Dragons, Scott Andrews Dragons 63), Rory Thornton (Ospreys), Olly Cracknell (RGC), Will Boyde (Carmarthen, Scott Matthews Dragons 59) James Benjamin (Dragons)
The Women's Rugby World Cup warm-up clash between Wales and USA proved bittersweet for centre Elen Evans. Despite being one of the star performers on the day on her 50th Test appearance, USA edged home 10-7 at Cross Keys.
Wales U20 head coach Byron Hayward and back row Will Boyde believe defence will be the key when they face Ireland tomorrow in the second pool game of the Junior World Championship being held in New Zealand.
Tension was palpable as players waited to hear the announcment of the Wales touring squad of South Africa. Matthew Morgan was one of four uncapped players named in the squad after impressing in the Wales Senior Trial.
Wales Trial, Principality Premiership Awards evening and Wales U20s in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Jamie Roberts and Matthew Rees about the Wales Trial, captain Dafydd Lockyer talks about Pontypridd dominating the Principality Premiership awards, while ahead of the start of the Junior World Championships we talk to Tom Williams, Steffan Hughes, Jack Dixon and Nicky Smith.
Coaches Rob Howley and Robin McBryde today confirmed their Probables and Possibles teams to take part in Friday's Wales Senior Trial at the Liberty Stadium and both are predicting some mouth-watering head-to-heads.
Possibles coach Robin McBryde has given his team a licence to thrill in Friday's Wales Senior Trial match. He tells WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie that his side will be determined to ruffle a few feathers against the favourites, the Probables.
We look at the squads for the Wales trial, European finals weekend and Wales U20 on this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Warren Gatland and Rob Howley on the trial, full back Hallam Amos on his summer hopes, Wales legend Ieuan Evans welcomes European rugby finals weekend to Cardiff and Wales U20 hooker Ethan Lewis looks ahead to the Junior World Championships.
Wales Under 20 head coach Byron Hayward says last night's 31-19 win over Scotland was a crucial building block as the Junior World Cup rapidly approaches. WRU TV's Liz Jones gets his post match reaction.
Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards relives London Wasps triumphs in the Amlin and Heineken Cups in 2003 and 2004 and looks ahead to this year's Heineken and Amlin finals in Cardiff, as well as the Wales trial match.
Wales at the Commonwealth Games and World Cup in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We speak to coach Gareth Williams and captain Adam Thomas about the Commonwealth Games Sevens. Amy Day looks forward to the Women's World Cup, while Ospreys Ross Jones, Scarlets Kristian Phillips and Dragons Ollie Griffiths talk about the benefits of Sevens.
The Ospreys have rewarded Wales Under-20 hooker Scott Otten with his first professional contract. The promising front-rower, who turns 20 this month, has put pen-to-paper on a three-year deal after impressing at the Liberty Stadium towards the end of last season.
Wales in South Africa and reaction back home in this week's Principality Welsh Rugby Union Podcast. We hear from Ken Owens and Jonathan Davies in South Africa, Sam Warburton back in Wales. We speak to Wales U20 and also hear about the special Millennium Stadium which is 15 this week.