3rd August 2006, 20:09
2006 Wales A 10 Ireland A 24
Wales face an uphill battle to win the Skanska Home Nations title
Wales face an uphill battle to win the Skanska Home Nations title for the fifth year in a row after crashing 24-10 to Ireland at Brewery Field on Saturday. That result means that Wales must now beat England by 31 points at Featherstone Rovers on September 10th to retain their crown.
Wales took the lead when Torfaen's Jason Hill weaved his way through the Irish defence for the opening try after only four minutes. Blackwood's Jeremy Lloyd converted.
Torfaen's Damien Smith looked to have had another for Wales four minutes later but he was pulled into touch as he dived for the line.
Ireland equalised just before the quarter hour. The chance was created after Ireland kicked a successful 40-20 and from the resulting scrum, Billy Treacy forced his way over converting his own try.
A Peter Cunningham try in the corner gave Ireland the lead on 26 minutes but Kevin O'Riordan knocked on from the kick-off giving Wales the ball back. Cougars' Jon Breakingbury attempted an equaliser from the resulting set but like Smith before him, he was pulled into touch.
Ireland's Alan McNamara was sinbinned for holding town in the tackle giving Wales the extra man for the remainder of the first half. But it was Ireland who increased their lead before half-time. An initial chance looked to have been wasted as Barry Sweeney's pass to Peter Cunningham on the overlap went into touch. But the scrum went against the head and from the resulting set, Steve Gibbons scored under the posts and converted his own try to put the half-time score on 16-6 to Ireland.
Wales made the perfect start to the second half as they scored from their first set. Tyrone Mahoney kicked a high ball on the fifth tackle, Evan Griffiths dropped the ball when under pressure and John Breakingbury pounced on it to score.
They had a good chance to get another try back following a well-kicked penalty but Dennis Pugh knocked on as he received a pass near to the Irish try-line. Mahoney also had a try disallowed for a knock-on while Lloyd was centimetres short when diving for the line.
But it was Ireland who increased their lead on 67 minutes after Eric Roberts finished off a well-worked move. Cunningham added his second seven minutes later to seal the Wolfhounds' win.
1. David James (Blackwood Bulldogs)
2. Damien Smith (Torfaen Tigers)
3. John Breakingbury (Valley Cougars)
4. Chris Roets (Swansea Valley Miners)
5. Lewis Culverwell (Newport Titans)
6. Jeremy Lloyd (Blackwood Bulldogs)
7. Andrew Jenkins (Valley Miners)
8. Dennis Pugh (Aberavon Fighting Irish)
9. Tyrone Mahoney (Newport Titans)
10. Graham Hughes (Cardiff Demons)
11. Jason Hill (Torfaen Tigers, capt)
12. Mark Wheeler (Newport Titans)
13. Gareth Holtam (Cardiff Demons)
Subs (all used):
21. Wes Palmer (Cardiff Demons)
17. Mark Devine (Cardiff Demons)
16. Jim Barnes (Royal Navy)
14. Mark Cooke (West Wales Sharks)
22. Sean Gilbertson (Cardiff Demons)
19. Ian Higgins (Cardiff Demons)
15. Byron Williams (Blackwood Bulldogs)
Tries: Hill (4), Breakingbury (42)
Goals: Lloyd 1/2
1. Alan McNamara (Treaty C Titans)
2. Ciaran Barry (Treaty City Titans)
3. Mike Brodie (Treaty City Titans)
4. Vinny O'Dowd (Dublin Blues)
5. Peter Cunningham (Dublin Eagles)
6. Billy Treacy (Treaty City Titans)
19. Steve Gibbons (Carlow Crusaders)
8. Brendan Guilfoyle (Treaty C Titans)
9. Declan Nash (Treaty City Titans)
22. Kevin O'Riordan (Treaty C Titans)
11. Carl Roche (Dublin City Exiles)
12. Mick Harte (Tullamore Knights)
13. Phil Perdue (N Dublin Eagles)
Subs (all used):
17. Barry Sweeney (Waterford Vikings)
18. Alan Pembroke (Kilkenny Wildcats)
20. Evan Griffiths (Dublin Blues)
27. Eric Roberts (Kildare Dragons)
14. Steve Nolan (Dublin City Exiles)
25. Brian Murphy (Treaty City Titans)
Tries: Treacy (14), Cunningham (26, 74), Gibbons (34), Roberts (67)
Goals: Treacy 1/2, Gibbons 1/1, Brodie 0/2
Referee: Ian Jefferson (Featherstone)
Penalty Count: 9-4
Earlier in the day North Wales, with all players coming from the Rhyl Rugby League Club, beat South Wales 18-6 in an under-15 international on Saturday at Celtic Crusaders.
This was an exceptional result for the Northerners as they were all playing only their second ever game of league.
South Wales took the lead early in the first half with a try from Valley Cougars' Bowdy Davies with Newport's Nick Meakin kicking the goal.
But North Wales went into half-time with a 12-6 lead after two Tom Beaumont tries and one from Jake Brown.
Beaumont completed his hat-trick midway through the second half with Ethan Woodfine adding the extras but the match ended ten minutes early due to serious injury to South Wales' Nathan Jones and the 6-18 result stood.
Next up the Wales' B side fought hard to beat their Irish counterparts 38-12 in a friendly international at the Brewery Field on Saturday.
An early Clive Gee drop goal attempt went wide but he made up for it in the 16th minute by kicking a penalty to give Ireland the lead.
Following a sinbinning for a high tackle, Gee was unable to add to Ireland's score as his penalty following the offence went wide.
But despite being a man down, Wales took the lead in the 23rd minute after Newport's Chris Vitalini forced his over and Valley Cougars' Nick Griffiths converted.
Wales extended their lead on the half-hour after a fine run and try from Aberavon's Jason Kenneally but Simon Twaites got a try back for Ireland just before the interval with Gee converting to put the half-time score on 10-8.
Wales extended their lead after ten minutes of the second half. Cougars' Rhodri Morris created the try with a fine lay-off to Adrian Owen who sprinted 40 metres to score. Morris got a try of his own four minutes later with Griffiths converted both to put the score on 22-8.
Ireland got a try back straight away after Gee ran half the length of the pitch to touchdown in the corner but Lee Drabble forced his way over six minutes later with Griffiths converting to extend Wales' lead to 28-12.
Garyn Lucas set up Gareth Pugh for a further Wales try on 74 minutes before Owen ran in for a score in the final minute with Griffiths converting for the final time.
article by Ian Golden
19 August 2006