Emerging Wales* Women beat an England U18 Development team 26-20 with the sun shining down on Principality Stadium this evening.
Report and photo: WRU
The Welsh defence displayed great commitment in the opening minutes, highlighted by their effort in chasing back a runaway England attacker and dragged her down inches from the tryline.
It was England who made the first mark on the scoreboard, fly-half Ellie Green kicking a penalty inside ten minutes for a three-point advantage.
The game came to life in the 13th minute with a break into the English 22 by Wales lock Liliana Podpadec - who had already shown a towering impact around the field at that early stage - with her pass finding centre Darcy Thomas for the try. Thomas converted her own try: 7-3.
Scrum-half Megan Davies kept Wales ticking and it was her sniping break which eventually led to a Podpadec try under the posts minutes later to double Wales' lead, with Thomas' conversion successful.
With 20 minutes played, Wales put themselves further ahead after working their way deep into the English half, allowing blindside Alex Callender to cross for their third try. 19-3.
England reduced the deficit to nine points with a try ten minutes from half time, giving them some hope going into the break.
The visitors saw a penalty attempt fall short following the commencement of the second half, and were left to rue it as Wales hit back soon after with a try from openside Manon Johnes.
Number ten Niamh Terry converted Johnes' try to make it 26-8, but England responded with a well-worked try from Emma Sing straight away. With the extras added by the women in white, the score now read 26-15 with 15 minutes left to play.
Welsh nerves were shredded heading into the final minutes as Jodie Ounsley scored scored out wide for England, but were unable to convert. The missed kick was the final act of the match, and Emerging Wales celebrated a deserved victory at Principality Stadium.
*The Wales team was entitled "Emerging Wales" in order to allow coach Rowland Phillips to select some players who fell just outside of the U18 age bracket, allowing greater scope when it comes to judging the next generation of women rugby players in the country.
Emerging Wales: 15 Kenzie Tutton; 14 Katie Thicker; 13 Molly Philpott; 12 Darcy Thomas; 11 Caitlin Lewis; 10 Niamh Terry; 9 Megan Davies; 1 Ruth Lewis; 2 Molly Kelly; 3 Sarah Lawrence; 4 Catrin Jones; 5 Liliana Podpadec (c); 6 Alex Callender; 7 Manon Johnes; 8 Melissa Gnojek
Replacements: 16 Aimee Ridley; 17 Hattie Davies; 18 Isla Lewis; 19 Molly James; 20 Ellie Morgan; 21 Meg Webb; 22 Imogen Shide; 23 Ffion Jones; 24 Sian Davies; 25 Courtney Greenway; ; Travelling Reserves; ; 26 Aimee Turner; 27 Hannah Powell
England TDG: 1. Detysha Harper 2 Connie Powell, 3 Jessica Thomas, 4 Louisa Ward, 5 Iona Antiwis, 6 Jasmine Hazell, 7 Bronwen Jackson-Turner, 8 Ebony Jefferies, 9 Jessica Weaver, 10 Ellie Green, 11 Merryn Doidge, 12 Cara Wardle, 13 Megan Varley, 14 Jodie Ounsley, 15 Jessica Cooksey
Replacements: 16 Ellie Pigford 17 Bryony Field, 18 Florence Long, 19 Teya Ashworth 20 Anya Richmond, 21 Poppy Wheway, 22 Eloisie Hayward, 23 Lauren Fisher 24 Kayleigh Waller, 25 Emma Sing