?Cardiff Blues starlet Teddy Williams inspired Wales Under-18s to a thrilling 36-28 triumph over Ireland Schools at the Cardiff Arms Park.
The second-row will be hoping his try-scoring heroics at the U18s Six Nations Festival are just the start of his journey at the famous Cardiff Blues ground.
First-half tries from hooker Cameron Lewis (Coleg Sir Gar) and Louis Rees-Zammit (Hartpury College) put Chris Horsman’s men in control before they ran riot after the interval. Lewis and Rees-Zammitt completed their braces to add to scores from man of the match Williams (Ysgol Glantaf) and captain fantastic Jac Morgan (Coleg Sir Gar).
Their second Six Nations triumph sets up an exciting finale against Italy when the tournament returns to the Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday.
Ireland, fresh from their last-gasp win over Italy, raced out of the blocks and went ahead thanks to a Dylan Prendergast penalty after five minutes. But Wales muscled up to shunt Ireland back into their own half and advance to within five metres of the line.
They had already driven a maul 20 metres downfield, but they only had to go a quarter of the distance to send hooker Lewis (Coleg Sir Gar) over the try-line. Josh Thomas (Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr) added the conversion before Ireland got their noses back in-front thanks to Angus Adair’s short-range score.
Their lead did not last long thanks to some slick handling and scintillating finishing from Wales. Osian Knott (Sir Gar) received the ball and fired a pass across the Irish defence and into the hands of Rees-Zammit, who used his pace and power to beat his man and get over at the corner.
Prendergast narrowed the gap to a single point before the break, but the Welsh backline clicked into gear again after the interval. Outside-centre Joe Roberts (Sir Gar) made a searing break in midfield and found Rees-Zammit, who raced over for his second try to make it 17-12.
It got even better for Wales three minutes later when Ioan Davies (Coleg Y Cymoedd) punctured the Irish defence before Williams crashed over for Wales’ fourth try. The second brace of the day came when Lewis found a yard of space and sprinted down the blindside to score and put the hosts’ 29-11 in-front.
Alex Kendellen got one back for Ireland before captain Morgan crashed over from close-range to snatch a fourth second-half score. Ireland wing Aaron Sexton burst down the wing to setup Nathan Doak before John McKee’s late try, but it was not enough to stop Wales earning the victory in-front of a bumper crowd.