Wales Rugby League




27th August 2017, 15:42


A good win for our youngsters in Ireland.


By Steve Hogan in Ashbourne

In a superb advertisement for the game of rugby league Wales under 16s defeated the Republic of Ireland under 17s in a fast flowing, hard hitting representative fixture.

The Welsh came over to Ireland on the back of a win a month earlier and they were determined to make it back to back victories.

The game started at a fast and frenetic pace and the hits came in early.  Both sides tried to play structured rugby and early on the game was cagey, with neither team being dominant.  The Welsh were, however, better at ball retention whereas the Irish were nervous and lost the ball too frequently in attacking situations.

When the Irish did get into try scoring positions the Welsh defence was outstanding, forcing the Irish to work around the ruck and nullifying them brilliantly.

The Welsh made the first breakthrough when Will Smith was put in out wide and they soon doubled their total with a try for Ewan Badham.  A superb break by Finlay Swift, and some great advantage play by referee Simon Owens for a flop on Swift, allowed the Welsh to first move the ball left and then back to the centre for Badham to crash over.  The try was converted by Lewis Hall and the score remained at 10-0 to the Welsh, until half time.

In the second half the Irish came out strong and Josh Thewlis narrowed the game out wide. 

The Welsh responded quickly and Morgan Johns worked his way over after good work by Kienan McDade, who scooted at speed through a split defence and then threw an outstanding pass to the left wing, for McDade to charge down the flank and step Thewlis and score to the left of the posts. 

Soon after James Machin, who had directed the Welsh around the pitch superbly, showed for a pass out to the right before stepping back inwards to score an excellent individual try, which he then converted himself.

The Irish didn't give up and after a penalty gave them good field position they drove towards the line.  At the play the ball the Welsh defender was too quick for his own good and went over the top of Nathan Kiernan.  Kiernan scrambled on the ground to get the ball over the line and this was converted by Thewlis.

As the game closed out the Welsh were edging the game in the hit-ups, their experience showing, and they then scored tries by Finn Swift, which was well deserved for his performance, and by Jake Cannon, both converted by Lewis Hall.

Both coaches were positive about both teams; James Seddon of Wales praised the Irish for their efforts and stated they had stepped up even more from the first game, giving the Welsh a real challenge.  Casey Dunne was wholesome in his praise for the Welsh, commenting that it was games like these that gave the Irish a yardstick in which to measure themselves.

Work now goes into organising the series for next year; both teams want to create an annual event to further their growth.  As Dunne said during the aftermatch celebrations, the biggest winner here was the game of Rugby League; he wasn't wrong.


ROI Eagles

1. Josh Thewlis

2. Daniel Montayne

3. Matthew Jennings

4. Ethan Ryan

5. Josh McNamee

6. Sam Cullen

7. Callum O'Neill

8. Harry O'Reilly

9. Nathan Kiernan (c)

10. Ronan Michael

11. James Mulvany

12. Cormac Murphy

13. Kevin Vargas


14. Aaron Kelly

15. Ethan Williams

16. Jordan Tapley

17. Eoin Creeby

18. Eoin Mahon

20. Shalun Carey


Tries: Thewlis, Keirnan

Goals: Thewlis



1. Harvey McDaid

5. Joel Davies

4. Billy Glover

2. Finlay Swift

7. James Machin

6. Matthew Morgan

8. Ieuan Badham

9. Kiernan McDaid

10. Ewan Badham

12 Jacob Lee

11. Teifion Thomas

13. Lewis Hall


Adam Young

Jake Cannon

Matthew Jones

Kyle Huish

Cameron Samuel

Morga Johns

William Lynch

Ewan Challenger


Tries: Smith, Badham, Johns, Machin, Swift, Cannon

Goals:: Hall 3, Machin


Half-time 0-10