Scotland (24) 48
Tries: Hogg, S Plumridge, Dowding, Hall, L Faughlin 3, Walters, Flowers Goals: Hogg 6
Wales (12) 18
Tries: Jones, Davies, Hinem Goals: Emanuelli 3
Report by Sian Golden (Wales Rugby League). Photos courtesy of Nigel Owen, RLWC2017.
Scotland won the battle of the Celts in the opening match of the Rugby League Student World Cup as they beat Wales 48-18 at St Mary’s Stadium, Sydney on Friday.
It was a fairly evenly matched first half in regards to possession but Scotland made more of it, leading 24-12 at the break. Errors cost the Welsh youngsters dearly and enabled their opposition to finish stronger for them to gain a convincing first victory of the campaign, led by a hat-trick of tries for Liam Faughlin.
It was Wales that opened the scoring through skipper Ieuan Jones. Paul Emanuelli goaled to put them 6-0 up.
Scotland’s Matt Hogg struck minutes later but Callum Smithson failed to add the extras. Scott Plumridge then took Scotland into the lead with Hogg taking over the kicking duties and was successful.
Mike Downing was the next to ground, taking the score to 14-6 thanks to Hogg’s boot again and the Scottish onslaught continued through Niall Hall, Hogg again goaled.
Wales hit back to bring themselves within ten points as Connor Davies’ fine efforts through the half were rewarded with a try. Emanuelli’s boot successful.
The first of Faughlin’s three tries came next as Scotland made a good start after half-time, the conversion was missed.
At the 50 minute mark, Luke Walters finished off a move from within Scotland’s own half and grounded, converted again by Hogg.
Then followed a second try to Faughlin, weaving his way through the Welsh defence and he grabbed his hat-trick after intercepting a Welsh kick metres from their own tryline, and running 100 metres to ground. Hogg kicked the extras both times.
Jarad Hinem scored a consolation Welsh try, but the damage had already been done. Emanuelli converted.
But Ethan Flowers finished off a successful Scottish second half by scoring from Hogg’s inside ball. Hogg converted.
Despite their young side, Wales showed strong performances by the likes of James Bartlett, Connor Davies and Jarad Hinem. Sion Jones also impressed by being a big influence to the inexperienced.
For the Scotland squad the performance was a reward for all the hard work that they and the staff have put into their preparation for the tournament. A true 17 man squad performance.
1 Liam Faughlin, 24 Mike Dowding, 3 Finlay Hutchinson, 4 Scott Plumridge, 5 Damien Genocchio, 6 Matt Hogg, 20 Callum Smithson, 17 Niall Hall, 9 Luke Walters, 10 Gavin Reed, 13 Justin Faughlin, 8 Luke Westman, 11 Dan Turland.
7 Doug Churnside, 15 Toby Williams, 21 Mark Cordeaux, 12 Ethan Flowers
1 Marcus Webb, 2 James Bartlett, 3 Ieuan Jones, 4 Aled Davies, 5 Adrian Chiama, 17 Fraser Stroud, 7 Paul Emanuelli, 8 Sion Jones, 6 Curtis Davies, 10 Rhys Davies, 11 Jarad Hinem, 15 Gethin Evans, 13 Connor Davies.
22 Archie Snook, 9 Liam Rice-Wilson, 16 Dan Crabtree, 23 Blake Turner