Ian Golden, NRL.com
Australian Institute of Sport under 18s started the British leg of their tour with a win as, in torrential rainy conditions, they beat Wales 36-0 in Neath on Wednesday night.
The Welsh end their autumn campaign with a win and a defeat while the Australians will be full of confidence before their games against England and Great Britain Community Lions, the latter of which will surely contain a number of Welsh youngsters following some healthy individual performances this month.
The home side were beaten but not disgraced and the scoreline doesn’t show how much effort they put in against a strong Aussie side, many of whom are affiliated to NRL clubs.
An early Australian attack was well picked up by TJ Collin, but from the next play, Jack Creighton dived over. Doug Hewitt missed the kick.
Mawedo Waianga attempted a second but was held up over the line, but Aleki Falepaini scored following the play-the-ball. Doug Hewitt missed both conversion attempts.
Wales attempted to fight back. Jack Molloy was held up over the line while Jacob Morgan’s grubber was too long for anyone to latch onto.
At the other end, Rhett Webster fumbled a Kodi Nikorima pass as he looked for Australia’s third try and Hayden Hanson had a score disallowed for a forward pass.
However with two minutes to go in the first half, Falepaini was sent over for his second of the game. Hewitt converted to make the score 14-0 to the visitors at the interval.
Wales started well in the second half and with the rain now stopped, both sides were able to play more of a skilled game with the visitors especially excelling.
The home side attempted to break through but were denied by some strong defence.
But the Australians scored on their first major attack of the period and a good passing move ended with Kodi Nikorima running home. Hewitt converted to make the score 20-0 before adding a try of his own minutes later.
Jarrod Watson scored the next Australian try, breaking free of the Welsh back-line to run 30 metres to the line. Hewitt easily added the extras.
There could have been more but Brandon Lee and Dan Clarke were both called back following forward passes leading to their disallowed tries.
Wales battled but couldn’t get over the line. Rhodri Lloyd and Ben Burgess combined to set up Chris Leyshon but he was pushed into touch.
The Australians recovered and from the next play, Watson ran the length of the field to extend his side’s lead to 34-0. Corey Jenson’s conversion completed proceedings.
Australian Insitute of Sport:
Tries: Falepaini 2, Watson 2, Creighton, Nikorima, Hewitt
Goals: Hewitt 3 from 6, Jenson 1 from 1