Wales complete JWC campaign with a win

Wales Under 20 completed their Junior World Championship campaign with a 20-3 win over Samoa.

Byron Hayward's side scored three tries, including on from Dafydd Howells, in the victory at the QBE Stadium, North Harbour to finish the tournament in seventh place.

Wales started the game with tempo and full back Dafydd Howells got the scoring under way with a well-worked try after six minutes. Samoa got their only points of the game through a penalty for William Talataina Mu after 14 minutes but Wales' dominance at the scrum showed and from a Samoan scrum error,  Tom Williams showed good handling skills to get the ball to No 8 James Benjamin who scored. Outside half Ethan Davies slotted a penalty at 25 minutes to take the half-time score to 13-3.

Wales stuck to their game plan in the second half, dominating in the set-piece and creating opportunities but a downpour before the game didn't help handling skills and some try scoring chances went awry. However, the Welsh defence was excellent, Samoa never proving an attacking threat and No 8 Benjamin was again on the scoreboard at 64 minutes, through a pushover try, Ethan Davies converting to take the final score to 20-3.

Head coach Hayward said, "The boys played well, stuck to the task in hand and it was important to get the win to finish the tournament. It wasn't the easiest of games, Samoa are a good side this year, and our clear dominance in the set-piece wasn't really reflected on the scoreboard. However, we scored some good tries and the boys are reasonably happy with the account they gave.”

The squad leaves New Zealand tomorrow with some regrets but mainly lessons learned according to Hayward.

"Looking back at the tournament, there are some harsh lessons to take home, for players and management. Namely, that basic errors at this level will cost you dearly. Mistakes in our Pool game against Ireland allowed them to get a bonus point and also prevented us from getting a bonus point which deprived us of a semi-final spot. We bounced back with a win over Grand Slam champions France

"However, there are clear positives to draw from our time here too. We bounced back from that defeat with a very good win over Grand Slam champions France and then lost by a point to them in the second match against France in six days.

"Many players have made huge progress during the course of the tournament, the boys have all worked extremely hard and conducted themselves well.”


Tries: Dafydd Howells, James Benjamin (2)
Con: Ethan Davies
Pen: Ethan Davies

Pen: William Talataina Mu