SRL 4 Nations match reports
Scotland Students - 10 England Students – 50
The Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium England Students showed their desire to hold on to their Four Nations crown with a comfortable win over a spirited Scotland outfit in Wrexham.
Winger Marcus Brooker grabbed four tries for England, with centre Greg Scott also bagging a hat trick against a brave Scotland outfit, who continued to battle until the final whistle.
The Scots began brightly but it was the Auld enemy who struck first.
Scot Ellam darted from dummy half before his cheeky back pass found its way into the hands of Marcus Booker to finish in the corner.
Jack Powley was next to get on the score sheet. The English back-line got the ball out to the towering centre, who powered over from close range.
England extended their lead when Gregg Scott broke through some weak Scottish defence on the half-way line.
He showed good pace to beat several Scottish defenders on his way for the try.
There was an air of fortune surrounding England’s next try when Sam Blainey’s pass deflected off the Scottish defender into the welcoming hands of Evan Simons for a try out wide.
Scotland continued to battle hard and got the try their efforts deserved.
The Scottish pack gained good yards before the ball made it’s way out to Phil Laing.
The centre still had a lot to do before cutting inside Greg Scott to crash over the whitewash and cut England’s lead to 16 points at the interval.
Scotland threatened a comeback in the opening exchanges of the first half and scored their second try through Aidan Holland.
Phil Lang was again at the heart of the Scotland attack as he drew Gregg Scott before slipping the ball to Holland on the wing.
Holland’s score served as a wake up call to England as the reigning champions began to regain the initiative.
Dan Haney took advantage of a Scotland knock on to score under the sticks before Marcus Booker completed his hat-trick.
Scotland were once again exposed out wide as Charlie Eccleston’s pass found it’s way out to Brooker, who strolled over with no Scottish defenders in front of him.
Evan Simons added an equally simple effort before completing his hat-trick and Greg Scott doubled his tally with super individual efforts.
And there was still time for Scott to complete his hat-trick in the dying moments of the game.
The Centre leapt above his opposite number Gavin Grant to meet Adam Fairhead’s crossfield kick to collect and score.
England ran out comfortable winners but will need to up their game if they are to topple a red-hot Welsh side, whilst Scotland will look to avoid the wooden spoon against Ireland.
Scotland 1. Liam Wiggins - 3. Aiden Holland - 4. Phil Laing - 17. Gavin Grant - 20. James Bird - 6. Luke Wating 14. Sinclair Matthews 15. Ben Owram - 9. Mark Lees - 8. Louis Spencer - 12. Callum Doyle - 18. Harry Chapman Walker - 13. Jordan Rice - Subs (all used) 10. Bobby Stables 11. Mikey Stewart 19. Ben Morrow 7. Doug Critchen
Tries: Laing, Holland Kicks: Watling 1/2
England 1.Gareth Hynes 5. Evan Simons 3. Greg Scott 4. Jack Powley 2. Marcus Booker 6. Matt Bradley 7. Adam Fairhead 8. Dan Haney 9. Scott Ellam 10. Jamie Wallace 11. Charlie Eccleston 12. Dean Chapman 13. Liam Thompson subs (all used) 18. Steven Taylor 19. Alistair Leake 15. Tom Davies 17. Sam Blainey
Tries: Brooker 3, Powley, Hanley, Simons 3, Scott 3, Kicks: Hynes 3/11
Wales Students 64 Ireland Students 4
Wales students sent out a warning to reigning champions England after they dispatched Ireland in ruthless fashion in Wrexham.
Led around the park superbly by Mark Wool and Scott Amber, Wales’ high tempo and aggressive game may see them wrestle the Four Nations crown from their cross border rivals on Friday.
In what was a bruising encounter, Wales struck first through Izaak Duffy.
Owain Griffiths darted from dummy half and offloaded the ball to on rushing prop to crash over under the sticks. Mark Wool added the extras. Wales extended their lead minutes later.
The ball was shifted out wide and Tom Morgan sent Yannik Parker through a big hole in the Irish defence as the floodgates threatened to open.
But the plucky Irish struck back. Wales gifted Ireland good field position through conceding back-to-back penalties. Irish centre Callum Mulkeen drew the defender before offloading to Jason Thong for a try out wide.
Wales struck back five minutes later.
Stand-off Kristian Hawkes spotted a gap in the Irish defence and burst through.
Centre Jason Blackmore was in support and Hawkes drew the Irish full-back before offloading to his team mate to score.
Winger Patrick Evans got on the score sheet as the first half drew to a close.
The ball went through the hands of the entire Welsh backline before it found its way into the hands of Evans, who finished superbly to ensure Walesle took a commanding lead into half-time.
Wales started the second half in typically aggressive fashion and were gifted a try in the opening exchanges.
Ireland full-back Joe Taylor spilled Scott Amber hanging bomb deep inside his own half. Wales’ Luke Evans was quickest to react as he picked up the ball for an easy try.
Jason Gahan beat several defenders on his way for Wales’ next try before Lewys Weaver tool advantage off the tiring Irish defence after being set up by the outstanding Mark Wool.
Weaver then turned creator as he set up Yannick Parker for his second try with an audacious one-handed pass.
Hooker Owain Griffiths scored a brace of tries by darting from dummy half as luck began to desert the Irish.
And Prop Tom Morgan capped off a great evening for Wales with a superb individual try.
Ireland can take heart from their first half performance, where they matched Wales’ physicality and could put further points on the board with more clinical finishing.
But the evening belonged to Wales, who now face a mouth-watering game against England to see who will be crowned this year Four Nations champions.
1 Lewis Walker 2. Patrick Evans 3. Jason Blackmore 4. Yannik Parker 5. James Gahan 7. Scott Amber 6. Kristian Hawkes 8. Isaac Duffy 9. Owain Griffiths 10. Tom Morgan 11. Luke Evans 12. Mike Ward 13. Mark Wool Subs 15. Lewys Weaver 18. Simon Wright 16. Callum Wilkinson 17. Nathan Rainer
Tries - Duffy, Parker 2, Blackmore, P Evans, L Evans, Gahan, Weaver, Griffiths 2, Morgan Goals – Wool (7/8) Hawkes (3/3) Ireland 1. Joe Taylor 2. Jason Thong 3. Sean Hogan 4. Calllum Mulkeen 5. Daniel Moore 6. Ken Savage 7. Joel Hunchcliffe 8. Matty Hadden 9. Jamie Ward 10. Oscar Oakley 18. Dave O’Connor 11. Sam Wellings 13. Robbie Stewart Subs 14. Ronan Hogan 12. Connor Farrell 15. Danny O’reagan 16. JJ Bird
Tries - Thong