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2003 Ireland A 32 Wales A 28

28th June 2003, 17:30

2003 Ireland A 32 Wales A 28

Wales could have snatched a win with the last pass of the game

Wales could have snatched a win with the last pass of the game but it didn't go to hand so it was Ireland who celebrated a famous win. Ireland's defence and their ability to counter from deep was the deciding factor over Wales who had the best of field position over the 80 minutes.

Wales opened up a 12 point lead thanks to two converted tries from Simon Bevan,
the first after only two minutes. Wolfhounds hooker, Gerry Williams brought his side back into contention going over from the play the ball, Dave Hancock added the extras. Michael Healy landed a penalty in reply for Wales. On the half hour Ireland closed the gap when Phil Coles finished off a move for a converted try. Ireland now took control of the match and winger Sharpe flew in to put his team in front 16-14 at the break.

Ireland started the second half well in control, O'Connell's break inside his own half finished as he put Hartas over near the posts. Soon after Sharpe scorched in for his second and at 28-14 Ireland looked comfortable winners. But Wales refused to throw the towel in and after some heavy pressure in the middle of the park a scrambled up and under brought them six points, Michael Healy converting the Phil Carleton try.

Ireland thought they had secured the game when man of the match, Cork Bulls
prop, Simon Buckley stampeded over the line from close in.

Again Wales fought back to score through Darren Ryan and with the vocal crowd on the edge of their seats the final play of the game in injury time saw a dropped pass close to the Wolfhounds line call an end to a glorious fightback.

IRELAND
1. Ger Hensey - North Kildare Knights
2. Rob McDonnell - Dublin Blues
3. David Hancock - East Coast Eagles
4. Damien Wake - Dublin City Exiles
5. John Sharpe - Dublin City Exiles
6. Phil Coles - Dublin City Exiles
7. Derek Billings - Dublin Blues
8. Simon Buckley - Cork Bulls
9. Gerry Williams - Dublin Blues
10. Garret Molloy - Dublin Blues
11. Mark O'Connell (Capt.) - Cork Bulls
12. Rick Hartas - Dublin Blues
13. Scott Wilson - East Coast Eagles

Substitutes
14. Steve Szpara - Dublin City Exiles
15. Carl Roche - Dublin City Exiles
16. Mark McAuley - North Kildare Knights
17. Larry Faifua -Dublin Blues

Coach: Brett Maron

WALES
1 Phil Carleton Rumney Rhinos
2 Sean O'Brien Aberavon Fighting Irish
3 Dean Scully Aberavon Fighting Irish
4 Sion Williams Cardiff Demons
5 Ben Kerr Cardiff Demons
6 Mike Healy Aberavon Fighting Irish
7 Simon Bevan Swansea Bulls
8 Carl Cerasulo Aberavon Fighting Irish
9 Mark Bow Cardiff Demons
10 Andy Jones Cardiff Demons
11 Neil Thomas Cardiff Demons
12 Sean Gilbertson Cardiff Demons
13 John Byers Cardiff Demons (captain)

SUBSTITUTES
14 Simon Baillie Aberavon Fighting Irish
15 Stewart Richards Cardiff Demons
16 Darren Ryan Aberavon Fighting Irish
17 Pete Moore Cardiff Demons

Assistant Coach Andrew Bradshaw
Head Coach Wayne Williams

Article by Ian Golden
29 June 2003