Ipswich boys beat Welsh

Two months on from the bitter Six Nations defeat to Wales at Twickenham some English pride was restored at Ipswich Rugby Club recently.

By Sefa Atay

Two months on from the bitter Six Nations defeat to Wales at Twickenham some English pride was restored at Ipswich Rugby Club recently.

The Suffolk club's under-14 side did something the national side couldn't and beat Celtic opposition in the form of their peers at proud Welsh side Penarth.

The exhibition game, which ended in a 28-22 victory for the home side, was played in front of a large crowd prior to Ipswich's first team game against Chelmsford last weekend.


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The link between the two teams stretches back to 2006 when they were drawn against each other in a tournament played in Arras, France.

Ipswich went on to win the tournament and subsequently maintained a strong relationship with the Cardiff based side by playing a number of friendly matches against them in Wales.

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Finally visiting Suffolk in return, one Ipswich family agreed to the accommodate the entire travelling band of Penarth players and fans for the weekend.

After a highly rewarding weekend, Jez Porter, coach of the Ipswich under-14s, expressed his delight at hosting the event.

He said: “It's a fantastic opportunity for the kids. It's a unique experience at that age and there's always good support from both clubs and the parents.”

The victory for the Ipswich youngsters tied the series at 1-1 and, with plans to return to Cardiff next year already underway, the relationship between the clubs is going from strength to strength.

Porter added: “We definitely hope to organise a similar event next year, it's a fun weekend for everybody involved. The standard of rugby was outstanding and I hope it continues in the future.”

The Penarth side also travelled to Bury St Edmunds on the Sunday with a weakened squad due to a number of injuries but, after some players from Ipswich offered to help their Welsh friends, the weekend culminated in another very enjoyable day.

Penarth Rugby Club Factfile

Founded: 1879

Nicknames: Donkey Island Butcher Boys / Seasiders.

Notable Senior Players: Former Wales captain Hemi Taylor and Wales sevens player Jamie Ringer.

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