12th November 2018, 16:52
Bennion: "There was a really good feeling before the game"
Gavin Bennion believes Wales could surprise a few people if they continue to build ahead of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.
John Kear’s side secured their place at the World Cup, which will be hosted in England, by beating Ireland 40-8 at the Racecourse Stadium.
The majority of Wales’ work was done by half-time as they led 20-4 at the break, going on to win the second-half by exactly the same scoreline.
“We had four penalties to defend on our line early on and we kept them out,” Bennion said.
“After that, I felt really confident and thought it was going to be our day.
“We didn’t start very well against Scotland, but our start against Ireland was good and that set the tone for the rest of the game.
“We had a good week in training and there was a really good feeling before the game, like there was when we played Scotland the week before.”
📽️ TRY TIME | A big performance from @Swinton_Lions' @GavinBennion1 against @Irelandrl yesterday as #WalesRL 🏴 qualified for @RLWC2021! 👏— Wales Rugby League 🏴 (@WalesRugbyL) November 12, 2018
The Irish defence had no answer to this run from Bennion! 👊#rugbyleague
Like a number of players in Wales’ squad, Sunday’s clash with Ireland was Bennion’s first appearance on home turf.
“It was the first Wales game that my grandad, who is Welsh, has been to watch me play in,” he said.
“It was a big game for me personally and I’d like to think I did myself and my family proud.
“I really enjoyed playing in front of a home crowd in Wrexham. The fans were really loud and probably made a difference for us on the day.”
Wales’ squad is on the young side, starting out in its development and made up largely of home-grown players.
And Bennion is optimistic about what the future holds for the squad as the countdown to the World Cup begins.
“I hope we can keep the team together as it’s going to be really interesting to see what happens once we’ve spent another couple of years together.
“If we continue to develop, I think we’ll give ourselves a good chance in the World Cup and maybe surprise a few people.”