SRL 4 Nations match reports
By Ryan Gould at the Racecourse Ground
England Students kicked off the Four Nations tournament in Wrexham with a big win over the Irish, 58-12. Ireland didn’t give themselves much of a chance though after having a player sent off after just seven minutes for a headbut.
After the dismissal, the current champions of the competition took complete dominance with Jack Powley getting the ball rolling as scoring goes; he was set up by Dean Chapman who was mightily impressive.
Jack Powley went from scorer to provider next, sending Sam Blainey over following a break and then Connor Farrell inflicted more pain on the Irish when he crashed over underneath the posts.
Ireland did create a few chances to try and pull back the deficit, the best to note being from a Danny O’Reagan kick that was floated to the corner. Callum Muliceen contested for the ball, but knocked on in-goal.
Hamish Locke went over for Englands fourth as he broke from deep and had too much pace for the covering defenders, seeing several of them off before he reached the whitewash.
Both Greg Scott and Pat Toft went over for scores underneath the uprights, and there was also enough time for Liam Thompson to add another on the hooter as he dived over in the corner.
That took England into a comfortable looking 34-0 lead at the break, and Ireland had minimal chance of reviving that scoreline. The determination was there though as they recorded two tries of their own in the second half and only conceded 24 points.
It was them who also started the scoring after the interval with Muliceen showing great power and leg drive down the left wing to out-muscle the England tacklers.
The English came back at them with three tries in 15 minutes though, Hamish Locke grabbing the first of those, which was also his second of the evening. The second came through Deon Chapman in what was a remarkable try for a second rower.
Matt Bradley squeezed through a gap and sent Chapman down the wing. He showed blistering pace to stay out of reach of the onrushing Welsh defenders and scored in the corner. The last of that treble came on the hour mark when Fairhead hit the defensive line and offloaded to Thompson, who ran in from close range.
J J Baird grabbed a second Irish try, which turned out to be a mere consolation as it was Evan Simmons who rounded off the scoring with two late tries for England.
England will be more than pleased with this victory, but will possibly look to improve on their defensive display after letting in two tries to a side with 12 men. They next face Scotland at the Racecourse Ground this coming Wednesday, their opponents are on the back of a 74-4 thumping against Wales. Ireland will therefore face Wales, in what is a hard game to predict.
You can't judge the Irish fairly on this evenings performance with 12 men for around 77 minutes. Wales have to prepare for what could happen, with Ireland still hoping to push the other sides right to the end.
Tries: Powley 8, Blainey 12, Farrell 21, Locke 23, 45, Scott 32, Toft 36, Thompson 40, 60, Chapman 49, Simons 75, 80.
Goals: Hynes 3/7, Fairhead 2/5
11.J J Baird
Tries: Muliceen 43, J J Baird 72
Goals: Savage 2/2
Referee: David Butler
MOTM: Deon Chapman
Wales Students 74-4 Scotland Students
By Ryan Gould at the Racecourse Ground
The pressure was on for Wales to deliver following England’s opening winning a few hours earlier, but that didn’t faze them what so ever. Infact, it spured them on to produce a fantastic performance that showed a great level of skill and pace which Scotland quite simply couldn’t handle.
The game was over by half time as Wales went in with 40-0 lead, most of the damage being done around the ruck area. The play-the-ball seemed to be at lightning speed from the Wales Students and that allowed them to gain strong metres, with the pack doing a lot of hard graft.
The pace was set immediately in the second minute as Yannic Parker collected a Kristian Hawkes grubber to score. Tom Morgan increased the advantage just two minutes later, showing great strength to break through and see his way over the try line.
They didn’t stop there as they added two more scores before the 15 minute mark, Owain Griffiths powering his way through the line firstly, and then James Gahan collected a floated Mark Wool kick in the corner to roll over and score.
Scotland toughened up in an attempt to keep the Welsh out, but that only last for a short while as Wales went over for two more before the interval. The first came via Luke Evans as he ran in for a simple score, and then Gahan claimed his second of the evening in a superb move.
Luke Evans burst through a gap in the Scots defence, and the ball then went through the hands of Yannic Parker before Gahan finished off the move in the left hand corner, which took the Welsh into that 40-0 lead.
The second half continued as the first one finished, Wales in full flow and producing some delightful moves. Scotland were tiring even more and with the forwards constantly laying the platform, the backs could work their magic.
Harrison Elliott made a superb break down the right hand side and that provided the field position for Tom Morgan to go over for his seond, down the middle. Gahan then sealed his hat trick after a Scott Amber pass fell to ground, which he gathered and finished off nicely in the corner.
Tom Morgan was agonisingly close to claiming a treble for himself, but a collision with the posts held him short of the line. Louis Singleton made no mistake though as he crashed over from acting half in the next play.
Another South Wales Hornets player had their say on the scoreline as Simon Wright was sent through a hole for a try and the last Welsh score came from Tom Beaumont with ten minutes to go.
The Scottish had the last say on proceedings though, as Phillip Laing managed to reach out to ground the ball with a matter of minutes left.
Any chance Scotland had of putting a strong bid in for the trophy this time looks slim if they continue as they are. However, for Wales, the future is looking bright with emphatic performances like this. Ireland are Wales’ next opponents, in what is a tough game to predict following todays game which they play 77 minutes with 12 men. Scotland will face England in the earlier game at 5pm.
Tries: Parker 2, Morgan 4, 48, Griffiths 11, Gahan 14, 38, 50, Ward 30, Evans 32, Warner 57, Singleton 60, Wright 63, Beaumont 70
Goals: Wool 11/13
Tries: Laing 75
Referee: Robert Webb
MOTM: James Gahan