Builth Wells Youth produced a masterful performance to beat Bridgend Athletic 44-17 in Saturday’s WRU National Youth Cup final.
The talented team cemented their status as one of the strongest youth outfits in the country with a dominant seven-try display, to the delight of over 1000 travelling fans who had made their way down to Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.
Builth’s right wing Ciaran Price proved a constant thorn in the side of the Bridgend Athletic defence, showing devastating speed and finishing to bag himself four tries on the day.
The match began with an immediate knock on from the first kick-off, but it wasn’t too long before Builth got into their stride.
Price scored the first try of the day with a 50-metre sprint to the line, finishing an impressive counterattack for the Bulls which started from within their own 22. Fly-half Rhys Davies slotted over the extras from out wide on the right.
Bridgend Athletic responded soon afterwards with a score of their own from James Puaca.
Davies knocked over a penalty for Builth Wells before centre Alecs Williams produced a dazzling line break and run to cross for his team’s second try. Davies added the extras once again to stretch Builth’s lead to a healthy 12 points.
Before the break, Builth were able to stamp their authority on the game with further scored - Price completed an excellent first half hat-trick to give his side a 27-5 lead after the first 40 minutes.
Builth struck first again in the second half, with No 8 Iwan Coyle displaying a full range of skill to cross the try line.
Replacement wing Morgan Price scored Builth’s seventh try to well and truly put the game out of a reach for a brave Bridgend side.
Davies ended the day with three conversions and a penalty to put the icing on the cake of a glossy team performance.
Bridgend Athletic had the final word when scrum half Evan Dadamo scored a consolation late on.
Builth Wells Youth team head coach Chris Offa commended the work of his squad, as well as his fellow coaches.
“The game Saturday went very well. Oddly as it may sound but I don’t think we felt as nervous going into the final as we did before the semi-final,” he said.
“We had prepared very well and kept everything as normal as we possibly could going into the game.”
Chris said that the support at game was ‘out of this world’ and added that the game itself was streamed all over the world, including in New Zealand, The Philippines, The Netherlands and Ireland.
“We owe huge gratitude to everyone who came down to the game,” said Chris.
“I have never felt an atmosphere like that ever before. The whole day was a fantastic occasion for our squad, our rugby club, our families and the town of Builth.”
The teams step out into the Principality Stadium
Chris, who has been head coach for four years, said that his team’s fitness and pace proved to be one of the deciding factors on the day.
He said: “This particular team are capable of very high standards, and I knew they were capable of winning the national cup which why we entered the premier competition this year.
“Virtually every team we have played this season have been far bigger than us physically with and our game plan has always been to breakdown and frustrate teams with our ferocious defence and capitalise in attack with our superior pace and fitness.
“We have worked hard on our gameplan, fitness and developing our basic rugby skills so that they are second nature during games. We spend lots of time on doing drills under pressure which is clearly paying off and did so Saturday on numerous occasions in defence and attack.”
Chris added: “Its been a pleasure to work with my fellow coaches Shaun Hughes, Hughy Lloyd and our team manager Lyndon Jones this season. We have all put a 100 per cent effort in and the reward of being crowned the Best Youth Team In Wales has really made it all worth it!
“I would also like to thank our youth team sponsors Coyle Surfacing, CB Jones, Gareth Morris Contracting and Ransfords Sawmills who have all been fantastic to work with this season.”
The team celebrated over the weekend but will be back in league business this weekend. The Bulls have three important games coming up - Cowbridge at home this Saturday, Penarth away on the May 7 and the final game against Llantwit Fadre on May 14.
The Bulls will need to win all three matches to have a chance of winning the league -
“Our sights are now firmly set on the Cardiff Rugby Premier League which we want to win,” said Chris.
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