The Regional Age Grade U16 Championships came to a conclusion on Wednesday night, with Cardiff Blues U16 North claiming the title thanks to a 19-34 victory over their Southern counterparts.
It caps off a highly successful campaign for both sides with Cardiff Blues well out ahead of the other regions, finishing at least nine points clear of the team in third, and the North going undefeated throughout the entire campaign.
Things got off to a flyer in the first block of fixtures across August and September, with both sides neck-and-neck at the top of the table. The South going four-from-four, and the North three-from-three was good, but the results were just one thing.
Scorelines of 53-5 and 54-12 contributed to average points scored of 37.5 for Cardiff Blues South, and 44.5 for Cardiff Blues North. It was raining tries.
Results dipped slightly in the second half of the campaign and other teams tried to get more competitive, but it still wasn’t enough as both sides entered the final round with records of seven wins from seven games, and six try bonus points.
Cardiff Arms Park was the apt setting for a showdown between both teams on Wednesday night, and just as the season that had gone before, there was tries aplenty.
Five tries in the first half were split 2-3 in favour of Cardiff Blues U16 North for a lead of 14-17 at half-time, before they pulled away in the second half with three more scores.
A 19-34 final scoreline gave the honours to the boys from Rhondda Cynon Taff and South Powys, but the real winner is the Cardiff Blues development pathway as the U16 sides won 15 of 16 games across the season to finish first and second in the table.
It rounded off a very successful week for the pathway as Coleg y Cymoedd had secured another trophy on Tuesday night, beating old rivals Coleg Sir Gar to win the WRU College League once again.
Two tries from Callun James and further scores from Iwan Price-Thomas and Liam Lloyd, as well as the boot of Cavan Slade, saw Cymoedd to 29-10 win at Sardis Road after a successful league campaign that saw them win 10 of 12 games.
The Cardiff Blues development pathway continues to impress at U16 and College level, and I look forward to tracking these players’ development as they move through the system in the coming years.