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Luke Capewell on the burst (photo : www.ianlovell.com/ ourfooty media  KANGAROOS JUST TOO MUCH BOUNCE FOR WALES 27/11 Wales were well beaten by some slick handling and some real gas as Australia ran out 68-14 winners.

MATCH REPORT : Blackwood RFC's first ever staging of a rugby league was a great success for the dual-code club with an estimated 600 fans packed into the Gwent-valleys ground. The crowd, predominantly Welsh, may not have seen their team win but were impressed by the quality of the match as the Australian Schoolboys enjoyed a successful start to their seven-match European tour.

Among the crowd were St. Helens chairman Eammon McMannus, former Great Britain star Andy Gregory as well as guest of honour, Councillor Elizabeth Aldworth, the mayor of the Caerphilly County Borough Council who was very impressed with the whole day.

"I thought it was a very exciting match and I feel rugby league has a place in the Welsh valleys," she said. "It's very popular on the TV, it's a growing sport and it's going to get even bigger. Blackwood have done exceptionally well in hosting the match and seem to have put a lot of thought into it. It's been an absolutely great day."

Aussies on the Rampage (Action Photo : Ian Lovell (Ian Lovell Photography (UK)The Australians stamped their dominance on the game from the outset as they scored from their first touch of the ball after Wales had completed a good first set. The final tackle kick was caught well by Shannon Walker on his own 30-metre line who broke his way through the Welsh pack to set up Obadiah Geia who outran the defence to ground in the corner.

They added to their lead straight from kick-off when Nathan Strudwick fed Joseph Paulo who ran home with Chris Lawrence converting to make the score 10-0.

It was soon 14-0 to the visitors with Geia the provider this time with Israel Folau scoring.

Wales kept their dominant visitors out for a further six minutes before substitute Will Mataka forced his way through to score under the sticks. Lawrence converted his second of the afternoon.

Geia and Folau struck again on 18 minutes with the wingman once again creating a chance for the centre with a pass that looked a tad forward but referee Paul Carr allowed it to stand.

Nathan Strudwick ducking and weaving / ourfooty media Wales thought they'd scored on 25 minutes as Sam Studley fed Adam Richards who wrestled his way over the line but the Australian defence did well to hold him up and prevented him grounding the ball.

The Welsh pressure finally paid off after they regained the ball from the kick under the sticks when Aberavon's Jason Keneally waltzed passed the Australian backline to score.

But Australia hit back just two minutes later when Will Matthews scored under the sticks. Chris Sandow converted and scored a try of his own just on the hooter after pouncing on his chip to score under the sticks, converting again to put the half-time score on 4-36.

It took less than two minutes for Australia to add to their mammoth first half score as they ran in two quick tries. The destructive Folau-Geia pairing were responsible for the two almost identical scores as Geia grabbed a quick brace, both grounded in the corner. Sandow kicked the tricky conversion for the first of the two but hit the post second time around.

Queenslander, ya just can't get away from 'em (photo : ianlovell.com/ourfooty mediaSubstitute Joel Thompson could have had a tenth score for the rampant visitors from the restart but was denied by a try saving tackle from Kevin James, causing him to drop the ball.

But Australia weren't to be denied and Folau ran through for his hat-trick on 52 minutes with Paulo adding his second from kick-off. Sandow converted

Wales didn't give up. They could have had a try back on the hour if Owen Lewis' kick to Keneally wasn't quite as strong but the winger couldn't quite reach the ball to catch it. However, they broke through a minute later when local lad Nicky Tucker ran the ball home.

Geia restored the balance again running in for his fourth try on 66 minutes with

Shannon Walker following suit two minutes later but it was Wales who had the final say in the match with Lee Williams setting up Tucker in the corner for his second and Williams converting.

Wales team manager Ross Olney was pleased at the effort that his young side put in and feels that they have a lot of promise for the future.

Olney said: "I think they did very well considering they were up against a top side. We showed what we could do in spells, now we have to do it for the full 80 minutes. Half of the squad are under 18 so they've gained a lot of experience today that they can take into the Home Nations next year."

Luke Capewell in action, wish he was playing for the sharks / ourfooty media Australia's coach Simon Huntley was impressed with his side making such a positive winning start to the tour.

"I was pretty happy with our discipline and we did a lot of things that we were training to do," he said. "There are some areas that we have to tidy up on but it was a good first game and the boys adapted very well to the wet conditions underfoot."

Australia will now face the BARLA schools side on Wednesday before playing the Great Britain under 18s next Sunday where they may come up against Lewis and Studley and Lee Williams again as the Welsh trio have all being selected for the young Lions.
(article by Ian Golden 26 November 2006, in wales )

Australian Schoolboys

68 - 14

Under 19's

Geia (1, 41, 44, 66), Paulo (4, 54), Folau (7, 18, 52), Mataka (13),
Matthews (31), Sandow (40), Walker (68)
Goals :
Lawrence 2/5, Sandow 6/8

Keneally (29), Tucker (51, 73)


Lewis 1/3

Men of the Match:
Wales - Nicky Tucker
Australia - Kevin Proctor
Ref : Paul CARR (Eng)
Penalty Count: 2-9

Game star: Israel Folau who scored three tries, had a hand in another three and dominated the centre of the park from the start to finish.

Gamebreaker: Folau's first try in the seventh minute. From then on, everyone
knew that the Australian's would dominate the match and there would be no
looking back.
ASSRL Vs WalesAUSTRALIAN SCHOOLBOYS Vs WALES U 19's 26/11 THE WALES UNDER 19 RUGBY LEAGUE side face their toughest test of the year on Sunday when they face the highly rated Australian Schoolboys side at Blackwood RFC (kick-off 2.30pm).

For the Australians, this is their first outing in a gruelling seven-match tour of Europe and will be determined to start their campaign with a win.

Wales Team Manager Ross OlneyBut as they don’t leave Australia until Wednesday 22nd November, Wales Team Manager Ross Olney (pictured right) believes that his inexperienced but determined side can catch their potentially jet-lagged visitors on the hop.

Olney said: “We’ve got a pretty strong squad which I believe is one the best we’ve had at this age level. We’ve trained hard and are very positive about the match. We’ve put in a lot of hard work and the lads are determined to put in a good performance.”

Wales will select the side from a squad of 27 that includes nine players who are new to the sport and don’t currently play for a rugby league club.

CYMRU RLTheir experience will come from the ten survivors from Wales’ six-nation European Championship campaign in July in France, where they finished fourth. These include Chris Vitalini, Oliver Hughes, Lee Williams and Daniel Phillips who were on Celtic Crusaders books as Academy players this year and Matt Barron who is the same at fellow National League Two side Keighley Cougars. Meanwhile local fans will be hoping that Blackwood Bulldogs’ Nick Tucker will make his international debut.

Olney explains: “We had an open trial to bring in some new blood and mix the squad together. Some of them are some highly skilled solid rugby union players who have taken to the sport like a duck to water. I’m sure they’ll all be playing for clubs come next summer and they won’t let us down if selected.”

The Australian Schoolboys side have one of the best records in rugby league. Since their inception in 1972, the Australian Schoolboys side have won 97 out of their 104 matches.

But five of those seven defeats have been in the last four years. Last time they toured the UK four years ago, they were solidly beaten 2-0 in the Test Series against Great Britain, the England Academy famously beat them 33-24 in their own backyard in 2004, while they will travel to Wales on the back of a 46-8 drubbing by New Zealand.

However they mustn’t be taken lightly as the Australian Schoolboys side have a history of producing notable test players including Alan Langer, Kevin Walters, Laurie Daley, Brad Mackay, Dean Pay, Terry Hill, Jim Dymock, Jason Smith, ET and Nick Kosef. (Source : Cymru RL)

CYMRU RLBlackwood RFC have been rewarded for their first class hosting of rugby league this summer by being given the honour of staging a major international when Wales under-19s host the touring Australian Schoolboys side.

The Gwent club opened a rugby league arm this summer, the Blackwood Bulldogs, who shocked everyone by reaching the semi-finals of the Welsh Conference Premier in their first ever season.

Now, one of the greatest international sides in the world will open their seven-match European tour at Glan-yr-Afon Park on Sunday 26th November.

Since their inception in 1972, the Australian Schoolboys side have won 97 out of their 104 matches and will be hot favourites to win in Blackwood.

However, four of those seven defeats have been in the last four years proving that the gap in quality in international rugby league is getting smaller.

Blackwood Bulldogs’ secretary Keith Stock is overjoyed to be hosting the match.

Stock said: “We’re very pleased indeed to be staging this game. For us, it’s a feather in our cap for the way we’ve organised rugby league this season. A big thanks has to go to Blackwood RFC for hosting the matches. We wouldn’t have had the success at Glan-yr-Afon without their support. We’re looking forward to the day and we’re confident that it will be a success.” (Source : Cymru RL)

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