Wales U20s kicked off their World Rugby U20 Championship in style as they beat Australia thanks to a monumental defensive effort.
Following a shaky opening 10-minutes, Geraint Lewis’ young guns claimed tries through Ioan Nicholas and Joe Goodchild, the first set up by Cardiff Blues fly-half Ben Jones.
They led 20-11 at the interval in Béziers and weathered a storm in the second-half thanks to a ferocious rear-guard action led by Blues defence coach Richard Hodges.
Wales face another daunting challenge against New Zealand on Sunday, June 3, following a clash with Japan on June 7.
Following an opening 10 minutes littered with mistakes in indiscipline, Australia’s Ryan Longergan and Cai Evans exchanged penalties.
Australia soon claimed the opening try with a cross-kick acrobatically flicked back in field for Mack Hansen to score.
However, Wales soon found their grove and Nicholas collected a perfectly-weighted grubber from Ben Jones to score. They then claimed a second as Goodchild finished a fine break from Corey Baldwin.
The two teams continued to exchange penalties with Australia dominating both territory and possession. They finally turned pressure into points as Tate McDermott wriggled over but Wales closed the game out impressively.
Australia U20: Mack Hansen; James Ramm, Semisi Tupou, Isaac Lucas, Matt McTaggert; Bayley Kuenzie, Ryan Longergan (capt); Harry Hoopert, Efi Maafu, Tom Ross, Trevor Hosea, Angus Blyth, Esei Haangana, Josh Kemeny, Fraser McReight.
Replacements: Sama Malolo, George Francis, Lawrence Tominiko, Michael Wood, Patrick Tafa, Tate McDermott, Will Harrison, Isiah Latu.
Wales U20: Cai Evans (Ospreys); Rio Dyer (Dragons), Corey Baldwin (Scarlets), Ioan Nicholas (Scarlets), Ryan Conbeer (Scarlets); Ben Jones (Cardiff Blues), Dane Blacker (Cardiff Blues); Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues), Iestyn Harris (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Henry (Ospreys), Rhys Davies (Bath Rugby), Max Williams (Dragons), Tommy Reffell (capt, Leicester Tigers), Dan Davis (Scarlets), Taine Basham (Dragons).
Replacements: Dewi Lake (Ospreys), Rhys Davies (Scarlets), Will Davies-King (Cardiff Blues), Lewis Ellis-Jones (Scarlets), Lennon Greggains (Dragons), Harri Morgan (Ospreys), Ben Thomas (Cardiff Blues), Joe Goodchild (Dragons)