Thursday, 6 June 2013

Wales too strong for Samoa in France

Hallam Amos marked his first start for Wales Under-20s by scoring one of six tries as they brushed aside Samoa 42-3 in their Junior World Championships opener.

He and club-mate Jack Dixon crossed for first half touchdowns in Nantes, before the Welsh pulled away after the break and put out a warning to their rivals that they are a force to be reckoned with.

It was a deserved victory for Danny Wilson's side as despite a fast start from Samoa, Wales more than matched the physicality of the Islanders and limited their scoring to a penalty from Fomai Ah Ki.

The first half had begun with the Samoans on top. But Wales stuck to their task, and when they were able to spread the ball wide Amos dived over in the corner, but fly half Sam Davies put the conversion wide.

Samoa replied through Ah Ki’s penalty, but that was as good as it got for them. Centre Dixon soon added a second try for Wales, squeezing over through a pile of bodies. Davies found his range with the boot, and added two long-range penalties to extend the score to 18-3 at the interval.

Wales then showed their clinical side and ran riot after the break. Samoa lost No8 Elekana Laupola to a nasty looking neck injury, and they struggled to remain competitive.

Scarlets lock Carwyn Jones and replacement Sion Bennett added quick fire scores, and with Davies converting both, Wales were now out of sight. A third second half touchdown soon arrived, Dragons No8 Ieuan Jones galloping over before both sides diluted the game with a flurry of substitutions.

The breaks in play hindered the flow somewhat, but replacement hooker Elliot Dee scored right on the final whistle to complete the rout.

Captain Ellis Jenkins praised his side’s performance in what he described as “tough” conditions. He said: “It was so warm but we could see that they were struggling a little bit more than we were. We had to keep piling on the pressure and sticking to our guns and that’s what we did.”

He also spoke of how the impressive performances by Wales’ replacements showed their strength in depth, adding: “You need to be able to make changes to keep the boys fresh. It was encouraging to see the boys come on and make a positive impact.”

That next fixture is against Scotland on June 9, who went down 44-13 to Argentina in their first game last night. Then come the Argentineans on June 13, at which point Wales will be hoping to have done enough to progress to the semi-finals.


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