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Report: Scotland 12-50 Wales

4th November 2018, 15:28

Report: Scotland 12-50 Wales

Wales set up a winner-takes-all World Cup qualifier with Ireland in Wrexham after scoring 50 unanswered points to beat Scotland.

Report by Ryan Gould. Images by Richard Long and Ian Lovell

Rhys Williams races over for one of his three tries

Wales invited Scotland pressure early on and the hosts took the lead when they shifted the ball to the right wing and Murray Mitchell put Davey Dixon in at the corner. 

A couple of minutes later, they extended their advantage through James Bell, who ran on to Kane Bentley’s short ball near the line to bulldoze his way over next to the posts. 

However, Wales’ response to falling behind was positive as they slowly began to win the ruck and made more metres in their attacking sets.

The visitors went close to opening their account when Josh Ralph dinked a grubber kick into the in-goal area, but it had too much weight on it and Rhodri Lloyd could only ground the ball once it had gone dead. 

Soon after, though, Wales did reduce the deficit. A half-break from Elliot Kear and hand-off to London Broncos teammate Rhys Williams provided the field position and Ben Morris came up with a delightful offload later in the set for Williams to finish out wide. 

At this point, it was clear that Welsh tails were up as they continued to build pressure and put Scotland under the cosh by forcing a number of goal-line drop-outs.

The away side grabbed their second of the evening when Ralph floated a high kick into the air, Scotland fullback David Scott came up with an error and Elliott Jenkins gratefully collected to cross for a try on his senior debut. 

Wales thought they had added another as Kear put Mike Butt over in the right corner, but it was chalked off by referee Ben Casty. Replays showed that he might have stayed in the field of play and grounded the ball correctly.

The Dragons started the second half as well as they had finished the first and got points on the board within the opening six minutes. They opted to run down the short side through Curtis Davies and Morris, who supplied the final pass for Williams to cut inside and bag his second try.

For Wales’ next score, Ralph spotted a gap in Scotland’s defensive line, broke through and Chester Butler was in support on his outside to finish the move underneath the sticks. 

Ralph’s high bombs continued to cause Scotland all kinds of problems as Craig Robertson dropped one under pressure and Jenkins was in the right place at the right to gather, crossing for his second. 

Wales’ sixth of the evening was the pick of the bunch. Despite being trapped deep in their own half on the fourth tackle, they shifted the ball across the line through Steve Parry, Connor Davies, Kear and Jenkins. James Olds broke down the right flank, passed back to Jenkins on his inside and, while the youngster stumbled and missed out on a hat-trick, he provided the final pass for halfback partner Ralph to score instead. 

Targeting the Scottish right edge defence once again, Williams had the pace to break down the flank and he found Ralph on his inside to take Wales’ lead to 26 points.

When the Dragons next assaulted that side through Williams, the winger had the legs to go himself and completed his hat-trick, cutting inside to beat Dixon and Oscar Thomas and extend his lead as Wales’ all-time leading try scorer with 21. If he plays against Ireland next week, he will join Jordan James and Ian Watson as the record cap holders on 30. 

Ben Evans rounded off the Welsh scoring and completed a memorable victory, knocking off four attempted tackles to twist over the line and finish next to the sticks. 

SCOTLAND: David Scott, Craig Robertson, Will Oakes, Murray Mitchell, Davey Dixon, Oscar Thomas, Ryan Brierley, Ben Kavanagh, Kane Bentley, Oliver Wilkes, Nick Glohe, Frankie Mariano, James Bell. Subs: Billy McConnachie, Sam Luckley, Craig Borthwick, Lewis Clarke

Tries: Dixon (3), Bell (8). Goals: Brierley 2/2

WALES: Elliot Kear, Mike Butt, James Olds, Ben Morris, Rhys Williams, Elliott Jenkins, Josh Ralph, Ben Evans, Steve Parry, Dan Fleming, Rhodri Lloyd, Chester Butler, Connor Davies. Subs: Dalton Grant, Curtis Davies, Gavin Bennion, Morgan Evans

Tries: Williams (20, 42, 74), Jenkins (33, 60), Butler (57), Ralph (67, 71), Evans (78). Goals: Olds 7/9 

Referee: Ben Casty. Half time: 12-8. Man of the match: Dan Fleming

Tickets for Wales' clash with Ireland at the Racecourse Stadium in Wrexham on Sunday, November 11 (3pm) are on sale. By booking tickets in advance, you can save money on matchday prices. 

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