3rd September 2008, 19:11
2008 Under 18 Wales 40 England 22
Favourites Wales will face holders France in the second European under
Favourites Wales will face holders France in the second European under 18s Championship Final on Saturday after beating England at RC Slavia in Prague.
In the best match of the week-long tournament to date, the greater organisation, forward power and pace out wide of the impressive Welsh - with the core of their side from Celtic Crusaders Colts - saw them progress.
Centre Rhys Williams led the way with a brace of touchdowns for the Dragons, taking his try tally to five in two matches.
Wales built an early 10-0 lead, Gary Williams kicking a penalty and man of the match, loose forward Mark Wool, and Dalton Grant, on the end of some fine expansive play, finding the line.
England hit back with a try double to their promising centre Matt Garside who also stood out in the opening round against Scotland but Rhys Williams went over just before the break to make it 14-8.
Jamie Tibbs, who made a fine contribution off the bench, extended the Welsh lead but England drew level through tries from Ben Cousins and their best, prop Danny Burgan and a Garside goal.
Kriss Wilkes, who starred in the under 16's tournament in Belgrade last year, put the reds back in front and in a purple patch, Joe Burke and stand off Dafydd Carter ensured victory.
St Helens-based winger Dave Sutton gave the English some belated hope but Rhys Williams' second score late on settled matters.
Holders France beat Ireland in the other semi-final.
1. Kriss Wilkes (Rhyl Coasters)
2. Dalton Grant (Newport Titans)
3. Gary Williams (Crusaders Colts)
4. Rhys Williams (Rhyl Coasters)
5. Ryan Healy (Cardiff Demons)
6. Dafydd Carter (Blackwood Bulldogs)
7. Steve Williams (Crusaders Colts)
8. Gil Dudson (Crusaders Colts)
9. Kyle Blackmore (Crusaders Colts)
10. Tom Beaumont (Rhyl Coasters)
11. Ross Wardell (Cardiff Demons)
12. Joe Burke (Newport Titans)
13. Mark Wool (Crusaders Colts)
14. Jamie Tibbs (Torfaen Tigers)
15. Sam Powell (Rhyl Coasters)
16. Dale Blackmore (Rhyl Coasters)
17. Terry Saunders (Crusaders Colts)
article by Phil Caplan
3 September 2008