16th June 2007, 16:31
2007 Wales A 44 Scotland A 30
Wales got off to a winning start in the Home Nations tournament
Wales got off to a winning start in the Home Nations tournament as they fought back to beat Scotland 44-30 in Cardiff on Saturday.
Scotland had the best of the opening period and they were rewarded on seven minutes when Blair Skipper broke through and ran 50 metres to score under the sticks. Paul Kelly converted.
But an excellent Gareth Jones try, converted by Entwhistle, levelled things on the quarter-hour. This was just after Jones' first try was disallowed due to an obstruction.
Scotland went back into the lead on the 20 minute mark after a successful Paul Kelly penalty kick. They could have gone further ahead less than five minutes later but Kelly missed a similar chance following a Welsh infringement at the play-the-ball.
Wales took the lead for the first time on 27 minutes. An 80 metre run by Paul Morgan stopped was short of the line but from the next play, Entwhistle forced the ball over the line while under pressure.
To their credit, Wales decided to run in a penalty rather than kick it from a scoreable position, and this was rewarded with a further try before half-time. Jason Hill set up David James and Entwhistle kicked the tricky conversion.
Scotland got back into the game straight after the interval. Taking advantage of a bad bounce, Scotland kept possession from their own kick-off with Graeme Fisher scoring after good work from Keiron Blacker and Andrew Todd.
And they took the lead minutes later when Skipper broke through to score while Rob Sloman extended that advantage from kick-off with a try in the corner. Skipper converted the first two tries.
But Wales got back into the game straight away after John Bowd set up Christian Roets to run in. Gareth Jones added the extras to level the scores.
Jones followed that up with his second try of the day to put Wales back in the lead.
They extended their lead ten minutes later after David James picked up a loose ball to score his second. Entwhistle converted to give Wales a ten-point advantage.
Entwhistle was sinbinned for dissent after a further Welsh try was disallowed, and Scotland took advantage of the extra man straight away with Scott Porteous scoring a try and Kelly converting.
But a length of the field try from David James sealed the game. Jones converted to give Wales their 10-point lead back.
Roets added salt in the wound by grabbing his second try right on the full-time hooter.
Welsh coach Wayne Williams said: "This was just the start we wanted. We want to regain our championship and a win against Scotland today was essential. It was a tough game and Scotland were, as always, difficult to beat, but I'm pleased with the result."
1. Neil Dixon (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
2. Jon Breakingbury (Valley Cougars)
3. David James (Blackwood Bulldogs)
4. Chris Roets (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
5. Paul Morgan (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
6. Owen Lewis (Valley Cougars)
7. Gareth Jones (Cardiff Demons)
8. Mark Wheeler (Newport Titans)
9. Miles Davies (Cardiff Demons)
10. Karl Hocking (Bridgend Blue Bulls, capt)
11. John Bowd (Newport Titans)
12. Dean Scully (NPT Steelers)
13. Matt Entwhistle (Torfaen Tigers)
14. Steve Mayley (Torfaen Tigers)
15. Joey Davies (Cardiff Demons)
16. Jason Hill (Torfaen Tigers)
17. Craig Fox (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
18. James Thatcher (Cardiff Demons)
Tries: Jones (15, 55), Entwhistle (27), James (31, 65, 73), Roets (50, 79)
Goals: Entwhistle 4/5, Jones 2/3
Sinbinned: Entwhistle (69, dissent)
1. Blair Skipper (Fife Lions)
2. Graeme Fisher (Glasgow Bulls)
3. Andrew Todd (Edinburgh Eagles, Capt)
4. Richard Knight (Leicester Phoenix)
5. Rob Sloman (Blackpool Stanley)
6. Scott Porteous (Liverpool Buccaneers)
7. Paul Kelly (Edinburgh Eagles)
8. Ashley Carroll (Edinburgh Eagles)
9. David Vernon (Gateshead Storm)
10. Robert Truesdale (Fife Lions)
11. David Lynn (Edinburgh Eagles)
12. Bryan Aspinall (Fife Lions)
13. Patrick Coupar (Edinburgh Eagles)
14. Greg Wallace (Fife Lions)
15. Giles Lomax (Edinburgh Eagles)
16. Euan Rose (Edinburgh Eagles)
17. Gareth McColl (Fife Lions)
22. Kieron Blacker (Huddersfield Giants)
Tries: Skipper (7, 44), Fisher (41), Sloman (47), Porteous (70)
Goals: Kelly 3/4, Skipper 2/2
Men of the Match: Wales - Owen Lewis, Scotlans - Blair Skipper
Referee: Darren Scott (Australia)
Scoring Sequence: 0-6, 6-6, 6-8, 12-8, 18-8, 18-14, 18-20, 18-24, 24-24, 28-24, 34-24, 34-30, 40-30, 44-30
Gamestar: A close call, but David James' hat-trick sealed it.
Gamebreaker: David James' final try with seven minutes to go gave Wales a ten-point lead.
article by Ian Golden
16 June 2007