Wales beat Ukraine to finish third at European U19 Championships

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Wales U19s celebrate their third play-off win against Ukraine in Udine, Italy

Several players from rugby league side Aber Valley Wolves played for Wales as they secured third place at the European Under-19 Championships in Italy.

Bradley Toy, Billy Walkley, Michael Carter, Dafydd Morgan, Rhys Davies and Scott Pritchard were all part of the matchday squad as Wales beat Ukraine 32-7 in the third place play-off to clinch the bronze.

Ukraine took a 1-0 lead after 25 minutes thanks to a drop from Oleksandr Levandovskyi, but it was Aber Valley’s Pritchard who put Wales on the scoreboard, diving for a try at the 32nd minute.

Five minutes later Wales scored another try through Oscar Fisher to take an 8-1 lead into the break.

Wales scored another try shortly after the second half – this time from Mason Phillips – with Wolves’ Walkley scoring the conversion.

Walkley was soon back on the scoreboard, converting a second Phillips try as Wales continued to build their lead.

Fellow Aber Valley man Rhys Davies secured Wales’ fifth try on the hour mark, which Walkley converted to extend the lead to 26-1.

A feisty Ukrainian side fought back though, with Maksym Harmash forcing their way for a try, which was converted by Oleksandr Formiuk.

Wales restored their lead at the last minute as Davies ran in for his second try, which was converted by Walkley.

Wales’ tournament in Udine, Italy, kicked off on September 3, playing their six group matches on the same day.

A10-0 win over Serbia kicked off the competition for Wales, before tournament hosts Italy were beaten 24-0.

Later in the day, Wales beat Ireland 10-6, before a 2-0 loss to eventual finalists France.

Wales then beat Ukraine 16-0, before losing to England 16-4 to conclude the group stage.

Wales found themselves in the third-place play-off after a heavy loss to an emotionally charged England side on September 6, who were playing days after the loss of assistant manager Gary McMahon, who died after games in the group stage.

England then beat France 14-12 in the final, after coming back from 8-0 up at half-time.


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Dean Livingstone

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