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Young Guns Go Down Fighting

In a tough opening round of LV= Cup fixtures the region’s rising young stars helped their teams to some battling performances and a great away win. Despite the regions only being able to record one win it was still a great opportunity for the next generation of Welsh players to develop in the senior game.

Cardiff Blues

The Blues secured a fine 21-22 win away against Newcastle Falcons in their opening LV= Cup fixture. Their young team was captained by Ellis Jenkins and although they trailed at half time tries from Harry Davies, who scored on his debut, Rory Watts-Jones and Tom Davies clinched a great win.

For the Blues, who also handed starting debuts to Gavyn Smith and Jevon Groves, a strong second half performance in the North East was enough to bag them the win. A Simon Humberstone penalty in the 57th minute nudged them into a lead they would not relinquish despite late pressure from their hosts.

Newport Gwent Dragons

The Dragons led Harlequins 8-21 at the Stoop at half time through tries from James Thomas and Johnathan Evans plus 11 points from the boot of fly half Dorian Jones.

However, they were unable to see off their hosts, who responded with 23 unanswered second half points to claim a 31-21 win. Harlequins scored tries through James Chisholm (2) and Ollie Lindsay-Hague, whilst fly half Tim Swiel landed 16 points from the boot to help seal the victory.

Ospreys

The Ospreys went down 9-21 to Saracens in tough weather conditions at the Gnoll despite some sustained periods of pressure on the visitors’ try line. The Ospreys were unable to score a vital try in difficult handling conditions and could only manage three Sam Davies penalties on a night which saw them hand starting debuts to Aled Jenkins, Gareth Thomas, Rory Thornton and Ifereimi Boladau.

Solid forward play throughout the match, combined with errors from the hosts, saw Saracens gain a string of penalties and their scrum half Ben Spencer kicked 21 points to give his side the win.

Scarlets

A converted first half try from young Scarlets full back Steffan Evans had seen them go into the half time break drawing 7-7 with Northampton Saints at Parc y Scarlets.

But last season’s losing LV= Cup finalists added second half tries through England internationals Lee Dickson and Calum Clark, who both came off the bench to strike for the Saints and secure them a 7-24 win. Although Scarlets exerted much pressure on their visitors late on some strong defence was able to hold them out on a night that saw starting debuts handed to Scarlets youngsters Kieran Hardy and Shaun Jones.