13th June 2010, 17:14
2010 Wales Dragonhearts 34 Ireland Wolfhounds 8
Wales started their defence of the Cheltenham Regency Trophy in style,
WALES DRAGONHEARTS 34 IRELAND WOLFHOUNDS 8
By Ian Golden at The Gnoll
Wales started their defence of the Cheltenham Regency Trophy in style, excelling in both attack and defence to defeat a plucky Irish side 34-8.
Valley Cougars' Matthew Williams went over for the opening try on seven minutes which Paul Emanuelli converted.
Ireland created a good chance to level the scores five minutes later when Phillip Morrison went on a storming run, but he was pulled out into touch by Dai Norman.
Wales regained the ball and went back onto the attack. Dan Smith set up Craig Fox to go over for the second try which Emmanuelli converted again.
Ireland got a try back on 22 minutes when Adam Aigbokhae used both strength and skill to barge through the Welsh back-line. Richard Reaney missed the kick.
There was a chance for another straight away but a pass to Morrison was too far in front of him for him to be able to catch cleanly. It would have been forward pass had it not been a knock-on!
Wales extended their lead five minutes before the interval when Nathan Hawkins, who has recently been promoted from the under 18s, slipped over. Emanuelli's kick made the score 18-4.
But there was still time for the wiry Fox to slip his way over for his second try from close range. Emanuelli converted to make the score 22-4 at the interval.
Ireland should have scored four minutes into the second half. An Emanuelli kick 20 metres from the Ireland line was picked up by Paddy Barcoe. He ran half the length of the field, was supported well by Reaney who laid the ball off to an in-space Morrison but the winger mishandled when he was close to the line.
Wales could have their first try of the half too but a long range passed aimed for Dai Norman flew into touch.
It took 24 minutes for a try to be scored, and it came for Wales when Gareth Howells set up Matthew Williams to go over in the corner, Wales taking advantage of the extra man after Kyle Graydon had been sinbinned for a stiff arm.
However Ireland got a try back straight away. Wayne Kelly kicked to Stuart Lee to pounce on.
But Wales completed a memorable performance as Dai Norman scored a fine individual try with two minutes left on the clock which Emanuelli converted.
19. Scott Bessant (Newport Titans)
15. Matthew Williams (Valley Cougars)
8. Gareth Howells (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
12. Chris Holcombe (Cardiff Demons)
14. Dai Norman (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
6. Paul Emanuelli (Valley Cougars)
1. Kristian Hawkes (Newport Titans)
20. Graham Hughes (Cardiff Demons)
5. Craig Fox (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
10. Troy Brockbank (Valley Cougars)
4. Dan Smith (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
18. Liam Williams (Valley Cougars)
13. Tylon Mafi (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
2. Nathan Hawkins (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
3. James Allen (Valley Cougars)
11. Chris Watts (Valley Cougars)
7. Rhodri Morris (Valley Cougars)
16. John Griffiths (Newport Titans)
17. John Sanigar (Valley Cougars)
Tries: M.Williams (7, 64), Fox (14, 39), Hawkins (35), Norman (78)
Goals: Emanuelli 5/6
1. Richard Reaney (Ballynahinch / Ulster)
2. Andy McGrory (Coventry / Leinster)
3. Tommy Ratahi (Carlow / Leinster)
4. Stuart Lee (Cork / Munster)
5. Phillip Morrison (Portadown/ Ulster)
6. Andy Hodgen (East Belfast / Ulster)
7. Shane Kelly (Tullamore / Students)
8. Brian Kelleher (Cork / Munster)
9. Richie Jones (Laois / Leinster)
10. John Purdy (Portadown / Ulster)
11.Brendan Guilfoyle (Treaty C / Munster)
12.Darragh Williamson (Carlow / Students)
13.Paddy Barcoe (Carlow / Students)
16.Kyle Graydon (Fermanagh / Ulster)
18.Mark Sherlock (Laois / Leinster)
20.Adam Aigbokhae (Liverpool U / Ulster)
19.David Delahunt (Athboy / Leinster)
14.Wayne Kelly (Portadown / Ulster)
15. Mark O'Neill (Treaty C / Munster)
Tries: Aigbokhae (22), Lee (68)
Goals: Reaney 0/2
Sin-bin: Kyle Graydon (stiff arm, 63 mins)
Referee: Darren Hayes (England)
Men of the Match: Wales - Craig Fox, Ireland - Phillip Morrison
Scoring Sequence: 6-0, 12-0, 12-4, 18-4, 24-4, 28-4, 28-8, 34-8
Gamestar: Craig Fox who seemed like he was everywhere on the pitch, creating chances and scoring two himself.
Gamebreaker: Wales' two tries just before half-time as the home side shut up shop after the interval.