South Wales Wildcats claim WRU Touch Leagues Finals D3 glory in Principality Stadium thriller

The South Wales Wildcats beat the Principality Puffins 6-5 in a pulsating finale to the Welsh touch rugby season in Cardiff on Saturday.

The Monmouthshire-based outfit conceded the first score but rallied with a Joshua Griffiths double in addition to tries from Dan Hampson, Matthew Williams, Bradley Williams and Anthony Ruston to lift the WRU Touch Leagues Finals D3 title.

The Wildcats had to be at their best to defend against the Cardiff-based Puffins, who enjoyed lengthy spells of possession in the first period.

Team manager Andy Ursell had described the encounter as a “once in a lifetime” match and his charges strained every sinew in their effort to claim the coveted silverware.

The heavens opened at the Principality Stadium just after the halftime break but the sudden change of weather conditions did little to dampen the spirits of either side.

Ursell used the interval to rotate his team and the replacements wasted no time in exploiting defensive gaps to great effect.

Team captain James Serpell, who had described the atmosphere in the pre-match build-up as “absolutely buzzing” put in a good shift to inspire his lads while the likes of Rhys Morgan attacked well.

An outstanding individual effort from Griffiths was the pick of the second half scoring as his jinking run from a restart bamboozled the opposition and delighted the travelling support.

The superior fitness of the Wildcats was critical in the end and ensured the squad went back to Magor with beaming smiles on their faces.

The Wildcats, who have raised over £5,000 for various charities including Noah’s Ark and School of Hard Knocks in the 18 months of their existence, now look forward to the Bournemouth and Frome rugby sevens festivals in May and June respectively.

Further information on the 2017 Beach Rugby Wales Cup winning team can be found via Twitter (@SWWilcats) or on Facebook (@southwaleswildcats).