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Scintillating win sends sales soaring

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THE wow-factor woven into Wales’ dramatic NatWest 6 Nations win over Scotland at Principality Stadium on Saturday (Feb 3) has caused a significant ticket sales spike ahead of the next home clash for Warren Gatland’s side – against Italy on Sunday, March 11 (3.00pm).

Gatland must first face England tomorrow after saying ‘same again’ to the side which claimed a bonus point against the Scots and scored four tries in an impressive 34-7 victory, the second highest winning margin for Wales in the 135 year history of the fixture (the highest being the 51-3 win in 2014).

The long-serving Wales supremo has made just one change for the trip to Twickenham – to his bench where George North replaces Owen Watkin – and another big performance this weekend would surely see the remaining scarce supply of tickets to see the Azzurri in Cardiff run-out completely – with the 74,500 capacity ground already nearing capacity.

Wales’ Six Nations climax against France, on the final weekend of the Championship, is already sold-out and a trip to Ireland follows this weekend’s clash with England, so the Italy game is the last remaining chance for many to see Wales this campaign and supporters are warned to act quickly to avoid disappointment.

“We have been selling tickets at a rate of over 1,000 a-day since the performance against Scotland, more than doubling the figures of the previous week,” said a Welsh Rugby Union spokesperson.

“A limited amount of tickets are still available for the clash with Italy, priced from £20 for children or £60 for adults, and they are best accessed online at wru.wales/tickets or from your local club.

“But they are selling fast and a big performance at Twickenham on the weekend would surely see sold-out signs soon follow for Italy’s visit to Cardiff on Mothering Sunday.

“So the message is clear, if you want to see this exciting Wales side during the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations, it’s still possible, but you must act quickly.”

Tickets are available now from www.wru.wales/tickets or from a rugby club near you.

A concessionary price ticket is available in Cardiff for the first time in the Championship, for the round-four meeting with the Azzurri, meaning U16s can access this game for £20.

And, in another first for the national stadium, a unique ‘curtain-raiser’ also means supporters will be treated to two-matches-for-the-price-of-one.

The event is a double-header starting with Wales Women’s Six Nations clash with Italy (which kicks off at  11.45am), with the men’s game following immediately after – making the day a must-see occasion for all the family.

Official Hospitality Packages are available from 02920 822 413 or visit www.wru.wales/hospitality and official travel packages can be purchased from the WRU’s official travel supplier, Gullivers Sports Travel by visiting www.gulliverstravel.co.uk/event/six-nations .

The WRU’s official resale marketplace, which gives clubs the opportunity to re-sell a limited selection of their allocated tickets to the general public, can also be found at www.seatwave.com/wru

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Sport

Vikings smash seven past Clarby to lift Senior Cup

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HAKIN United lifted the Senior Cup for the first time since 2012 as they put in an excellent second half performance to thump Clarbeston Road 7-1 on Saturday (Apr 21).

The Vikings had raced into a two goal lead but Clarbeston Road’s Tom Reubens pulled a goal back as the game was evenly poised at 2-1 at half time.

However Hakin smashed in a further five goals in the second half to put the result beyond doubt.

Justin Harding: Scored and set up a goal for Hakin

The game was only three minutes old when Hakin’s Leigh Marchant sent a cross into the box which Clarby keeper Lee Scott flapped at before his defenders cleared the danger.

The first goal came on eight minutes and it was a goal worthy of gracing any final stage. Nicky Woodrow flicked the ball up and volleyed the ball into the back of the net, leaving the keeper with no chance.

Adam John then saw a shot blocked before Ben Fawcett made his way through a couple of defenders before firing into the net to double Hakin’s lead.

John was then sent through on goal and he beat the keeper to the ball but Clarby’s defenders got back to snuff out the danger.

With 22 minutes gone, Clarbeston Road got themselves back in the game as Jason Griffiths crossed the ball into the middle for Tom Reubens who squeezed the ball under Adrian Devonald and into the net.

Leigh Marchant then saw a cross hit the bar as the action switched back and forth before Clarby won a series of corners but were unable to find the net.

On the stroke of half time, Justin Harding crossed into the box for Wilson but his shot was saved.

It remained 2-1 at half time and both sides were still very much in with a chance of winning the Cup.

Clarbeston Road came close to equalising three minutes into the second half as Matthew Davies beat the keeper to the ball but he lost sight of the ball as it bounced in the air and Hakin were able to clear the danger.

Challenge: Players of both sides go for the ball

Ten minutes later, Hakin added a third goal as Harding sent a free kick into the box and Nicky Woodrow got a touch on it to divert it into the net.

With just over an hour gone, Ryan Wilson crossed into the box for Ben Fawcett and his header went in despite Scott getting a touch to it.

Four minutes later the game was as good as over as Harding fired the ball into the top corner with Scott again getting a touch on it.

Hakin continued to attack and with ten minutes to go they made it six as Woodrow side-volleyed in his third goal to complete his hat trick.

John then sent a free kick into the box but Daniel Armstrong’s header was well tipped over the bar by Scott.

However, just moments later it was seven as the ball fell to Jack Wilson on the edge of the box and he drilled it low into the bottom left corner of the net.

That was the end of the scoring and it left referee James Olyott, who had an excellent game in the middle, to blow the whistle for full time.

It sparked wild celebrations amongst the Hakin players and supporters as they sealed a first Senior Cup win since 2012.

Hakin’s Ben Fawcett was named man of the match and Kristian Bennett picked up the trophy for the first time as a manager.

Winning manager: Kristian Bennett

Speaking after the match, Kristian said: “I am just overwhelmed, I couldn’t have asked for a better performance in the final. Give Clarby some credit they battled back and it was anybody’s game but in the second half the boys smashed some good goals in.

“I did rip into them at half time, just because we gave the goal away and let them back in the game when we were well on top, that’s all it takes and Clarby Road are a good side.

“It’s brilliant, first Senior Cup as a manager, total new feeling but absolutely awesome.”

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Pembroke replace Cardiff in Bowl Final

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PEMBROKE will take part in the final of the WRU Bowl after all after semi-final opponents Cardiff University were found to have breached the competition’s eligibility rules.

The National Bowl Final will take place on Sunday, April 29, at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

Pembroke were beaten by Cardiff in the semi-final but lodged an appeal following the game.

Pembroke, whose Youth team will compete in today’s National Youth Plate Final v Tondu (Principality Stadium, 1.15pm) will now face Porthcawl in next week’s National Bowl Final in the first of the National Finals Day encounters (1pm), Nant Conwy play Brynmawr in the National Plate Final (3.15pm) and Merthyr play Newport in the National Cup Final (5.35pm).

All three finals will be broadcast by S4C and tickets for National Finals Day are available on www.wru.wales/tickets

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Carew earn deserved win

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CAREW earned a deserved 3-1 victory on Friday night (Apr 20) as they beat Neyland thanks to goals from Jordan Richards, Sam Christopher and Alex Bayley.

It also means that the Rooks are still very much in with a chance of finishing third in the league as they, Merlins Bridge and Clarbeston Road are all locked on 39 points.

Jordan Richards gave the hosts the lead in the first half and it could have been much more for the home side if they had taken some of their chances.

Instead it remained 1-0 at half time and Neyland were still in with a chance of getting something out of the game.

Alex Bayley came close to scoring for the Rooks after he beat a tackle to run into the box before cutting side but his effort was saved by the Neyland keeper.

Neyland then brought themselves level as Jake Booth slid the ball across the box and Geraint Rees was on hand to tap the ball in.

Jordan Richards then did well to keep hold of the ball on the by-line before passing to Sam Christopher who fired past the keeper.

Bayley was causing problems for the Neyland defenders and he brushed past one of them before firing low into the bottom corner of the net to make it 3-1.

Neyland looked to get back into the game late on but Carew held on for the three points.

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