Wales U19 hung on to claim their second consecutive victory against Japan High Schools at Cardiff Arms Park with a 31-29 victory in a 10-try thriller.
Young Ospreys, Josh Thomas, James Fender, Morgan Strong and Frankie Jones were all in action for Wales U19s last night.
Wales led 26-12 at the break thanks to tries from prop Luke Yendle, winger Harri Doel and flanker Gwilym Bradley. A comfortable win looked in the bag but the Japanese side threw caution to the wind in the second half and entertained the crowd with some stunning running rugby to score three tries.
Unfortunately for the visitors, they ran out of time and were left visibly dejected with the narrow defeat but in fly half Mikiya Takamoto and centre-cum-winger Polomea Kata Finau, they possess two players who are destined for higher honours.
In the opening quarter Wales were scoring a point a minute with touchdowns by the hard working Yendle and fleet footed Doel with Josh Thomas converting both tries.
Finau then illustrated his power with a powerful run, off-loading deftly to second row Ryuki Hoshino who dived over before Wales responded with full back Dean James who darted over.
Japan showed plenty of patience to work captain Seung Sin Lee over but Wales had the final say in a breathless first period when Bradley went over.
The Welsh defence were stretched continuously by the rapid Japanese side and it was no surprise when Finau used all his strength to power over.
Winger Leo Gilliland showed dexterity to score in the corner to put Wales 31-17 in front with 10 minutes remaining.
The visitors then threw everything at Wales, running the ball out from underneath their own posts. Hibiki Yamada finished off one length of the field effort with Kanji Futamura scorching over in the corner with another long range effort. Despite a quickly taken conversion dropping over the bar, referee Chris Busby blew time on Japan’s comeback with Wales glad to hear the full time whistle.
Wales: Tries: Luke Yendle, Harri Doel, Dean James, Gwilym Bradley, Leo Gilliland; Cons – Josh Thomas (3)
Japan High Schools: Tries: Ryuki Hoshino, Seung Sin Lee, Polomea Kata Finau, Hibiki Yamada, Kanji Futamura; Cons – Taisei Konishi (2).