26th August 2013, 10:56
Defeat in warm-up match for under 16s
The BARLA Great Britain Lions emerged as winners over a young resilient Wales side scoring five fine tries including a quartet from their flying winger Liam Marshall (Wigan St Patricks) and a superb touchline kick from the youngster to see
BARLA Great Britain Emerging Lions 28
Wales RL Under 16’s 14
Wigan St Patricks ARLFC
The BARLA Great Britain Lions emerged as winners over a young resilient Wales side scoring five fine tries including a quartet from their flying winger Liam Marshall (Wigan St Patricks) and a superb touchline kick from the youngster to see his side home, after the game had been tied at 10 all at half time.
The Welsh dominated by players from the South Wales Academy had the arduous task of travelling up from the valley during the day, gave their all in a mighty clash between the packs and in attack showed some glimpses of their flair none more so than a length of the field effort from Regan Grace (South Wales Academy) which at that stage gave his side a 6-4 lead.
In an agreement before the game the whole Wales squad had game time in preparation for their forthcoming clash with England Youth with a fresh side after twenty minutes and a mixture of both in the final twenty and in red hot conditions sensible referring by Tom Owen allowed regular water breaks for both sides.
The Lions on their first get together from their historic tour of Germany two months ago had the first chance of the game from the kick off following a Wales knock on but there was no-one in position to take control of a Joe Prior (Wigan St Patricks) crossfield bomb to the corner. The skipper gave a man of the match performance for his side taking his side around the field with probing passes and an astute kicking game with three conversions into the bargain.
The Lions thought they had opened the scoring on thirteen minutes following a penalty when Marshall went in at the corner but the score was ruled out for a forward pass. But he wasn’t to be denied three minutes later as the Lions pressed he drove over in the corner from close range but his touchline conversion hit the post.
Dominating territory the Lions Curtis Edwards Hampson (Wigan St Patricks) was held up after a Prior pass on the fifth tackle and from the turnover Wales took the lead from nothing. A quick tap saw Grace break through a gap and leave the Lions for dead as he went 95 metres under the posts and a Ben Jones conversion (South Wales Academy) made it 6-4.
It was all squad change and the Lions caught them cold on 21 minutes Joe Bold (Egremont Rangers) found half back partner Prior and this time his crossfield bomb was taken by Marshall unmarked to score in the corner and his magnificent touchline kick restored the four point lead.
With big hits by both sets of forwards to the fore to gain the upper hand Morgan Jeffferies (South Wales Academy) went to ground and the referee immediately stopped play for treatment, and left the field, bravely return later in the game. That added to the intensity between both sets with the game edging to fractiousness at times.
The Lions continued to press with Wales feeding on scraps but following back to back penalties on the stroke of halftime and the last tackle they levelled the game with clever instinctive work from scrumhalf Jake Carroll (South Wales Academy), his ingoal grubber found the Lions flat footed and he followed up to score.
Wales Jordan Linney (South Wales Academy) set the tone for the second half with a great hit on Liam Naughton (Thatto Heath Crusaders) who before and following the tackle was to the fore in the Lions forwards ably assisted by club mate Tom Smith, Tom Wilkinson (Ulverston), Luke Robinson (West Bowling) and Lewis Lord-Lowe (York Acorn).
The Lions regained their lead on 34 minutes after the visitors had knocked on following another hit thirty metres from their own line and quick sweet handling down the right channel saw Rob Meadows score out wide and Prior kicked the first of his three from three conversions.
Wales wouldn’t lie down and came back at the Lions and on the last tackle Carroll produced a crossfield bomb and Lewis Willacott (South Wales Academy) leapt to take the ball and score, but Zack Williams (South Wales Academy) missed the extras.
Wales took the game to the Lions and their defence was under the pump showing great defence and the home side were rewarded with on 39 minutes. Superb Lions handling saw the ball moved out left to Marshall who on the run down the touchline chipped over, collected the ball and scorched away beating the cover to score under the posts to complete a superb hat-trick to make it 22-14.
There were more Welsh changes but the Lions were beginning to really gell and should have increased their lead when Prior and Marshall combined down the left channel but Prior with the line beckoning couldn’t take Marshall’s inside ball after he burst downfield.
There was no mistake with the final try of the game Marshall received the ball out wide 40 metres from the tryline and he scorched over in the corner for a superb fourth.
There were no further scores but both sides gave as good as they got to the final whistle.
Kevin Johnson Great Britain Emerging Lions Head Coach,
“A very good performance given that the players hadn’t been together for two months but they soon got back to the game plan that we had had on tour then. I don’t think the score reflected the game for both sides and I though t the young boys from Wales really came at us strongly as was shown at half time with it being level pegging.
“They scored two break away tries which to be truthful I think our lads switched off but we up the levels especially in that second half. There was some full on tackling by both sides and Wales didn’t hold back and we have been told it was a good hit for them as they prepare for England next week
“The four tries from Liam Marshall was a massive swing for us out wide which is another reason he is the BARLA Player of the Year for the Under 17’s, he just stands out, he did it in Germany and tonight he’s done it in his home town and on his home turf.
Dave Clarke Wales Head Coach,
“I thought it was really good for us, important for us to go against a side like BARLA Under 17’s as I wanted to get our boys defensive wise defending against big physical bodies., running hard at them, as we will need that mentality in the Test against England next week. We will have to run hard and tackle hard and I think today we handled the big body good and I think that will show us in good stead.
“It was tasty something we wanted fatigue wise we couldn’t handle the Lions for the full game as they created movement through the middle and markers which we will address now through our preparation period and make sure we are really tight around the ruck.
“The score line doesn’t reflect the game but credit we were hit out wide and the Lions winger Liam Marshall credit him he finished really well scored some great tries down the left edge in the second half, a talented player, he got speed, power what you want in a winger.
“Morgan Knowles in the forwards played well for us, he’s quite rangy and quite strength for an edge player and we exploited that in the opening twenty minutes and he was quite strong amongst our boys. It was a good learning process for our players to understand what they need to change to beat sides or to compete against sides and I think it was good for them today and our boys learned from it.
BARLA GREAT BRITAIN EMERGING LIONS: 1. Curtis Edwards Hampson (Wigan St Patricks), 2. Liam Marshall (Wigan St Patricks), 3. Rob Meadows (Ince Rose Bridge), 4. Jack Lazenby (West Hull), 5. Luke Davison (Wath Brow Hornets), 6.Joe Bold (Egremont Rangers), 7. Joe Prior (Wigan St Patricks), 8. Tom Smith (Thatto Heath Crusaders), 9. Lewis Lord-Lowe (York Acorn), 10. Luke Robinson (West Bowling), 11. Josh Hunter (West Hull), 12. Rob Hamon (Blackbrook Royals), 13. Tom Wilkinson (Ulverston). Subs: 14. Sam Welch (Wigan St Patricks), 15. Jason Todd (Glasson Rangers), 16. James Porter (Ulverston), 17. Liam Naughton (Thatto Heath Crusaders), Jack Swarbrick (Wigan St Patricks).
Tries: Marshall 4, Meadows 1
Goals: Marshall 1/ 2, Prior 3/3
WALES RL UNDER 16’S: 1. Ben Jones (South Wales Academy), 2. Regan Grace (South Wales Academy), 3. Luke Williams, 4. Matt Owen (London Broncos), 5. Zak Williams (South Wales Academy), 6. Morgan Knowles (St Helens), 7. Curtis Davies (South Wales Academy), 8. Wesley Boardman (South Wales Academy), 9. Lewis Alexander (South Wales Academy), 10. Jordan Thomas (South Wales Academy), 11. Morgan Nicholas (Warrington Wolves), 12. Morgan Jefferies (South Wales Academy), 13. Connor Davies (South Wales Academy). Subs: 14. Shane Lee (South Wales Academy), 15. Rhys Lewis (South Wales Academy), 16. Tom Haddley (Salford City Reds), 17. Geraint Lawrence (South Wales Academy), 18. Lewis Willacott (South Wales Academy), 19. Jake Carroll (South Wales Academy), 20. Will Hope (South Wales Academy), 21. Alex King (South Wales Academy), 22. George Shaw (South Wales Academy), 23. Jordan Liney (South Wales Academy), 24. Liam Maule (South Wales Academy), 25. Dan Maiden (South Wales Academy).
Tries: Grace, Carroll, Willacott,
Goals: Jones 1/1,
Half Time: 10-10
Referee: Tom Owen