Wales defeat Ireland in Wheelchair International
WHEELCHAIR INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY
WALES 62 IRELAND 48
By Ian Golden
Ireland gave an experimental Welsh side a scare, but in the end, the home side won through, beating the Irish 62-48 in a friendly at Glyndwr University in Wrexham.
The Wales side contained one debutant in 16-year old Lee Sargent of Torfaen Tigers, his father Paul having previously played for Wales in 2015-16 and his mother Alana being currently the head of Wheelchair match officials in Wales.
Martin Lane, making his Wales comeback after eight years, had the best possible start as he gave Wales a second minute lead. Wales co-captain Harry Jones converted.
A try and goal from Peter Johnston soon levelled things, and they led on 24 minutes after Toby Burton-Carter scored under the sticks and Johnston converted.
Wales levelled immediately. Martin Lane scored in the corner and Andrew Higgins converted well.
Ireland soon regained the lead. Burton-Carter got onto the end of a nicely placed punch to score in the corner and Johnston converted.
Again Wales equalised. Scott Trigg-Turner with their next try, which Higgins improved.
Wales gave away a penalty just before half-time, for tackling without the ball, but surprisingly Johnston failed to convert and the sides went in level, 18-all, at the break.
It took Wales just 30 seconds to get on the board in the second half as Lane went in for his hat-trick try. Higgins missed the conversion.
Lane increased Wales’ lead five minutes later with Higgins converting to put them two scores up for the first time in the game.
Ireland soon struck back through a Rick Rodgers’ try that Johnston converted before immediately going over for a claiming his hat-trick try which he again improved. Burton-Carter also got his hat-trick and Johnston converted well to put them 36-28 up.
Wales then scored four on the bounce to put them back in control. Trigg-Turner went over for two of them, co-captain Jodie Boyd-Ward added one, before Lane scored his fifth with Higgins’ sixth goal bringing up the half-century.
However that was Higgins’ last major piece of action of the day. Wales had to play the remainder of the game with just four players after he was sinbinned for foul language on 69 minutes. That was later turned into a red on the sideline after Higgins continued his protests. Ireland took advantage straight away through a Burton-Carter try that Johnston converted.
Wales then addressed the balance with a Harry Jones try that he converted himself. Ireland’s Tom Martin replied with a try and goal, before Lane completed proceedings with his sixth try, Jones again adding the extras.
Wales Wheelchair return to action in a fortnight when they face Scotland at the same venue on Saturday 30 October (kick-off 12.45pm). This weekend's double header of international rugby league action continues on Sunday 17 October when Wales Women take on Ireland at Stadiwm Zipworld in Colwyn Bay (kick-off 2.30pm).
2 Andrew Higgins
5 Jodie Boyd-Ward (c)
10 Mark Williams
11 Harry Jones (c)
12 Alan Caron
13 Scott Trigg-Turner
14 Jamie Reynolds
16 Jason Reynolds
17 Martin Lane
18 Lee Sargent
Tries: Lane (2, 26, 41, 46, 67, 79), Trigg-Turner (31, 55, 63), Boyd-Ward (56), Jones (73)
Goals: Jones 3/3, Higgins 6/8
6 Rick Rodgers
8 Peter Johnson
13 Tom Martin
18 Scott Robertson
20 Damian McCabe
21 Toby Burton-Carter
24 Stephen Campbell
NN Darren Dowey
Tries: Johnston (8, 50), Burton-Carter (24, 30, 53, 70), Rodgers (48), Martin (76)
Goals: Johnston 7/8. Martin 1/1
Referees: Steve Abel, Kim Abel