17th September 2017, 14:18
Report: North Wales Origin 22-20 South Wales Dragonhearts Possibles
North Wales Origin came from fourteen points behind to beat South Wales Origin Dragonhearts Possibles 22-20.
NORTH WALES ORIGIN 22 SOUTH WALES DRAGONHEARTS POSSIBLES 20
By Ryan Gould at Queensway Stadium
North Wales Origin have given the Wales Dragonhearts selectors a few questions to answer after beating a South Wales Dragonhearts Possibles side 22-20.
The game was used for the Wales Dragonhearts coaching staff to consider players for selection for the matches against Devon Country and a full Germany, and a few players from the north will have put their hands up for selection after this game.
Although South Wales led 12-4 at half-time, it wasn’t necessarily a fair reflection as North Wales competed well, despite not playing together on many occasions beforehand.
With South Wales travelling with just two substitutes, they tired as the match went on and as North Wales were visibly building with confidence throughout, they staged an impressive comeback to earn a well-deserved win.
North Wales’ side was made up predominantly of Crusaders U18s players, with a number from local community clubs.
South Wales, meanwhile, fielded players who mostly play for clubs in the South Wales Premier League.
The first ten minutes were a little scrappy; both sides came up with errors and struggled to get a foothold in the game.
However, South Wales took the lead when Matt Cummins profited from a fortunate bounce that had thrown the North Wales defence.
It didn’t take long for North Wales to respond, though, as Ben Stelmaszek broke through the line directly from a scrum and finished in the right corner.
John Lloyd then went close for the visitors as he flung a pass out near the touchline, but he couldn’t find Yasif Suliman and the ball was collected by North Wales.
Lloyd was in the thick of the action again soon after and was over for his second of the afternoon, only to have it chalked off as Matt Cummins’ pass was called forward.
South Wales were then over through Rhys Pope, who forced his way over next to the sticks.
Shortly before the break – in between 35-minute halves due to Crusaders’ 2.30pm kick-off against Oxford – South Wales grabbed their third try, with Liam Silver forcing his way over in the corner after they had kept the ball alive well on the last.
A couple of minutes after the restart, the visitors went close. On the last, Mike Hurley collected a lofted kick, was halted short of the line and managed to offload to Suliman, but the referee called that the tackle was complete and the ball was turned over.
However, they didn’t make a mistake on their next attack, with Kurtis Hallie knocking off four defenders to crash his way over in the right corner.
But North Wales did hit back through Stelmaszek, who bulldozed his way over the line for his second.
They then pulled the deficit back to within four points as Billy Forrester ran on to a short ball and had too much strength for the South Wales defence.
And North Wales were over again with eight minutes remaining when Andy Oakden collected a high kick and did well to offload to Leon Welling Jones, who crossed in the corner.
Alfie Matthais’ kick went wide, however, and North Wales were level at 20-20.
South Wales had a great opportunity to see the game out when Rhys Pope broke the line from deep, but North Wales’ Mike Walker did well to track back and force an error.
Right on the full-time hooter, North Wales were awarded a penalty and Matthias kicked the two points to earn his side a 22-20 win.
North Wales Origin: 1. Mike Walker (Chester Gladiators), 2. Andrew Oakden (Chester Gladiators), 3. Alfie Matthias (North Wales Crusaders Juniors), 4. Ben Stelmaszek (Flintshire Falcons), 5. William Mills (North Wales Crusaders Juniors), 6. Damian Goss (Chester Gladiators), 7. Morgan Johnson (North Wales Crusaders Juniors), 8. Rhys Pomeroy (North Wales Crusaders Juniors), 9. Geraint Jones (Flintshire Falcons), 10. Leon Wellings Jones (North Wales Crusaders Juniors), 11. Jonny Rae (Thatto Heath Crusaders ARLFC), 12. Morgan Shaw (North Wales Crusaders Juniors), 13. Billy Forrester (Chester Gladiators RLFC). Subs: 14. Thom Crossman (Flintshire Falcons RL), 17. Paul Magee (Conwy Celts), 16. Dan Crabtree (Ulverston ARLFC), 15. Gethin Evans ('Unattached').
Tries: Stelmaszek (14, 50), Forrester (58), Welling Jones (62)
Goals: Matthias (3/5)
South Wales Dragonhearts Possibles:1. Matt Cummins (Torfaen Tigers), 2. Yousif Sulliman (Valley Cougars), 3. Jon Lloyd (Bridgend Blue Bulls), 4. Kurtis Haille (Torfaen Tigers), 5. Liam Silver (Torfaen Tigers), 6. Mike Herbert (Rhondda Outlaws), 7. Mike Hurley (Valley Cougars), 8. Max Hendy (Rhondda Outlaws), 9. Kyle Rose (Cardiff Blue Dragons), 10. Gethin King (Valley Cougars), 11. Dafydd Hellard (Valley Cougars), 12. Rhys Pope (Bridgend Blue Bulls), 13. Ryan Shallish (Cardiff Blue Dragons). Subs 14. Morgan Knight (Torfaen Tigers), 15. Corey Phillips (Rhondda Outlaws).
Tries: Cummins (11), Pope (28), Silver (32), Hallie (41)
Goals: Hurley (2/4)