Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sport

Wales hold on to beat Ireland – Final score: Wales 21 – Ireland 16

Published

on

AN UNEVEN display by Wales, who spent 65 minutes of the game with an extra man, was enough to see of an Irish side which never stopped pressing for an against-the-odds win.
And the win is what counts.

In a punishing and physical encounter, Wales lost players to injury and head assessments, which might explain the up and down nature of their performance.

When Peter O’Mahony was given red on fifteen minutes for a headshot on Tomos Francis, Wales might have fancied their chances; especially with the benefit of a six-point lead, courtesy of
Leigh Halfpenny’s reliable boot. The brutal physical exchanges favoured Ireland, who spoiled Welsh possession, tackled like demons, and played a territorial kicking game to pin Wales back in their own half.

That was enough for Ireland to chisel their way to a 13-6 lead at the half.

With O’Mahony off the pitch, Ireland scored thirteen unanswered points. Six from Sexton’s boot and a try from a Welsh mistake.

Ireland’s try came when Wales made a hash of their own put in at the lineout. Scruffy ball got to Henshaw, who carved a gap through Wales’ defence. His pass found Josh van der Flier, who powered on before being hauled down. From the resulting ruck, Tadhg Beirne forced his way over the Welsh line and Sexton added the routine extras.

The lead was no more than Ireland deserved. After a promising first ten minutes, Wales faded out of the game for the last twenty minutes of a rugged first half in which the sides traded heavy tackles. Having got sucked into a physical encounter, Wales missed out on the chance to spread the ball wide to make the best use of their one-man advantage. Hallam Amos, out on the blindside wing, barely touched the ball or received a pass in an attacking position.

The third quarter of the game was Wales’ best period of sustained play as they, at last, managed to get on the front foot. Some brutal tackling blunted Wales’ efforts, with Taulupe Faletau losing the ball in contact when well-placed.

However, tries from George North – who was impressive at outside centre – and Gloucester flyer Louis Rees-Zammit, with an acrobatic effort, were a fair reward for the Welsh team’s efforts.

Those scores were enough to give Wales and 18-13 lead, which Leigh Halfpenny increased to eight points with a 65th-minute penalty.

With that lead, Wales brought on fresh legs for the final fifteen minutes.

Callum Sheedy stepped in at fly-half with Dan Biggar moving to full-back and Halfpenny switching to the left-wing in place of Hallam Amos. Will Rowlands came on in at lock, and Leon Brown and Rhodri Jones came on in the front row.

Billy Burns, on as HIA replacement for Robbie Henshaw only minutes before came on at fly-half to replace Johnny Sexton, with Sexton’s half-back partner Conor Murray leaving the field shortly afterwards.

Burns kicked a penalty to make it 21-16 with eight minutes left.

The outstanding Justin Tipuric, who played from the first whistle to last made a vital tackle in injury time at the end of the game, as Wales clung on to their five-point lead.

Ospreys number six Dan Lydiate waited two years for a call-up to Wales’ starting fifteen. His return lasted all of twelve minutes before what is thought to be a serious ligament injury. The blow means he will miss the rest of Six Nations. In his place, substitute Josh Navidi, himself working his way back from injury, had a decent game but was some way from his rampaging best.

Wales also lost centre, Johnny Williams, to a head injury assessment (HIA), while scrum-half Tomos Williams left the field with a hamstring injury at the half. Near the end of the game, Hallam Amos also left the field for an HIA. In exchange, Ireland lost lock Johnny Ryan and the talismanic Johnny Sexton, while Robbie Henshaw left the field for an HIA, returning after Sexton left the pitch.

The Welsh tight five looked a lot better in the scrum than they did throughout the autumn internationals. The return of Ken Owens certainly added heft to the front row, but the lineout problems which plagued Wales throughout 2020 persisted. Wales also lost the ball in contact too many times for comfort and that is an area they will need to tighten up against Gregor Townsend’s in-form Scotland team this Saturday.

PIVAC COUNTS THE COST OF VICTORY

After the game, Wales’ coach Wayne Pivac reflected on Wales’ performance.

“We’ve picked up a few injuries, so we’re looking at those now. We’re sort of counting the walking wounded after that one,” said Pivac.

“With a six-day turnaround before Scotland, it means any players with head knocks are gone. That means we’ll lose a couple of players straight away.

“Then we’ve got a hamstring for Tomos Williams, which we’re hoping is not serious. I wouldn’t have thought it will turn round in six days. We’ll see how the rest of the squad is tomorrow and look at what sort of side we can put together on Tuesday.”

If the injuries were the downside of the 21-16 victory, they couldn’t dent the pride Pivac and his coaching team felt at seeing their side upset one of the favourites for the title.

“It was game one, so to get off to a winning start was very important. It was a mixed performance, really. Our scrum went well, which was a big improvement on the last outing, but there are still things to tidy up on in our line-out on our ball.

“On their ball, we turned some over and put pressure on, so it was a mixed bag in that area of the game. It was our discipline which cost us last time when they kicked 18 points. That’s what got them back into this game and put pressure on us throughout.

“We really have to have a look at that area of the game and what’s causing those penalties. We must make sure we tidy that up.”
What did please the Wales boss, though, was the way Georg North and Louis Rees-Zammit took their tries in the second half to spearhead Wales’ second-half revival. It was try No 42 for Wales from North on his 99th appearance for his country.

“It was good to see them both cross and a really good finish from Louis. George just used his power and pace and took good advantage of that opportunity – you’d expect that from a player of his experience,” added Pivac.

“It was a fantastic finish from Louis. We’re just disappointed we put ourselves under so much pressure in the end. We could have won the game at the scrum put-in, looked at creating one phase, cleaning out that ruck and then kicking the ball out.

“But we put ourselves under a bit more pressure for another three to four minutes. We have discussed that in the changing room as well. In a game like that with the injuries, we did not really need that.

“The players had already called the play and knew what they needed to do to make one last ruck and get the ball out, but there was one player on the pitch who wasn’t on the same page and Ireland got the ball back. Unfortunately, it meant a lot more defending and a lot more out of the tank before a six-day turnaround.”

“We talked around our discipline and how important it was after the last time we played them, and I think after the sending off we conceded the next six penalties,” said Pivac.

“It was very difficult to get our hands on the ball and the possession and territory stats showed that right away. We talked about that at half-time and the third 20 minutes were a lot better and we managed to claw our way back into the game and get two scores ahead.

“To get a win in circumstances like today was important. Since taking over the role, it has really been about this competition. It was day one, round one and it was very important we got a win. Now we’ve got to re-focus before facing a very confident and very strong Scotland squad in their backyard after a very good win.”

Continue Reading

Sport

Pembrokeshire Junior Netball League results

Published

on

IN the latest round of fixtures in the Pembrokeshire Junior Netball League, there were some excellent wins while one game finished all square.

Chaos Thunder Under 12s drew 11-11 with Pembroke while in the other game Fishguard were 33-0 winners over Pembroke seconds.

Sapphires Black and Chaos Cyclones were winners in the under 14s league while Sapphires White were the winners of the only game played in the under 16s league.

Results for Saturday, November 20:

Under 12’s:

Chaos Thunder 11 vs 11 Pembroke 1

Players player:

Chaos: Leah Davies

Pembroke: Freya Cook

Fishguard 33 vs 0 Pembroke 2

Players player:

Fishguard: Anna Walden-Jones

Pembroke: Willow Lewis

Under 14’s:

Sapphires Black 16 vs 4 Fishguard

Players player:

Sapphires: Anna Banf-Beynon

Fishguard: Maegan Peters

Sapphires White 1 vs 24 Chaos Cyclones

Players player:

Sapphires: Bella Evans

Chaos: Ella Joyce

Under 16’s:

Sapphires White 29 vs 13 Pembroke

Players player:

Sapphires: Alice Goltwaltz

Pembroke: Olivia Probert

Fishguard Under 12s
Continue Reading

Sport

Broad Haven win and Kilgetty maintain unbeaten start

Published

on

KILGETTY maintained their unbeaten start to the Division 2 season on Saturday (Nov 20) while there were also wins for Broad Haven and Milford United.

Table toppers Kilgetty were 7-0 winners away at Solva with two goals coming from Lloyd Hughes, and other from Richard Cope and Ross Hurst.

16-year-old Oscar Miles also scored a hat trick for Kilgetty.

Broad Haven earned their fourth win of the season as they won 2-0 away at Milford Athletic.

The Haven missed a number of chances to score in the first half while Milford Athletic saw Ben Fairbairn red carded with half an hour played.

The away side finally made the breakthrough in the 66th minute as sub Sam Pettit found the net.

Shaun Phillips made sure of the points late on as the Haven secured a comfortable win.

Milford United won 3-0 away at Johnston with Lewis Tee opening the scoring after 19 minutes.

Liam Parr doubled Milford’s lead from the penalty spot midway through the second half and he later added a second penalty to seal the points.

Craig Bendall was sent off for Johnston late on.

Saturday’s other game saw Pennar Robins seconds beat Hakin United second 3-0 at The Obs. Jack Phillips, Carl Rees and Josh Hicks got the goals for the Robins.

The fixtures for Saturday, November 27, are:

Broad Haven v Kilgetty

Herbrandston v Monkton Swifts II

Merlins Bridge II v Hakin United II

Pennar Robins II v Johnston

St Clears v Milford Athletic

Continue Reading

Sport

Pennar hold off Fishguard

Published

on

PENNAR Robins secured their third win in four games in all competitions on Saturday (Nov 20) as they beat Fishguard 5-3.

The home side got the scoring going on 14 minutes when Nick Willis found the back of the net.

Fishguard equalised though shortly before the half hour mark through Sean Seymour-Davies.

However, they were only level for three minutes as Luke Phillips scored after being set up by Craig Asparassa.

Pennar then made it 3-1 seven minutes later as Connor Roberts scored.

Fishguard’s hopes of getting something out of the game were all but ended three minutes into the second half as Asparassa got his name on the score sheet with Pennar’s fourth of the afternoon.

There was still plenty of time left though and on 64 minutes the visitors were awarded a penalty. Niall Kinsella scored from the spot to make it 4-2.

Willis then grabbed his second of the game eleven minutes from time to make sure of the points for the home side.

Jordan Raymond did pull a goal back four minutes from time for the visitors but it proved to be a consolation as Pennar saw the game out for the win.

On Saturday, November 27, Pennar are in action in the Senior Cup as they host Hakin United. Fishguard are in league action as they travel to bottom side Narberth.

Continue Reading

News16 hours ago

Firefighters want justice for Josh after leaked shock report

A SHOCKING draft report into the circumstances of the death of a firefighter in Pembrokeshire in 2019 is firmly pointing...

News20 hours ago

Milford Haven fast food worker tragically took his own life, inquest hears

A MILFORD HAVEN fast food worker took his own life after drinking a large quantity of alcohol, the local Coroner,...

News1 day ago

Email from Councillor prompts Pembroke Dock mayor to resign

AN EMAIL enquiring to why the Mayor of Pembroke Dock had been absent from his civic duties has led to...

News2 days ago

Reprieve for Cawdor Barracks: Base will not close until 2028

CAWDOR Barracks at Brawdy will remain open until 2028, the Westminster Government announced on Thursday (Nov 25). The Barracks were...

News3 days ago

Wales has ‘worst rail services in the UK’

NEWS that Wales has the worst train services in the UK is disappointing but not at all surprising, the Welsh...

News3 days ago

New Pembrokeshire police officer is award winner

A ‘PROFESSIONAL and compassionate’ Haverfordwest police officer has been awarded the title of Newcomer of the Year at the Dyfed-Powys...

News3 days ago

Monkton man admits having extreme images of children and animals

A 58-YEAR-OLD Monkton man has been placed on the sex offender’s register after admitting seven charges of taking, distributing, and...

Education4 days ago

Multi-million build Pembrokeshire school continues at pace

MORGAN SINDALL CONSTRUCTION and Pembrokeshire County Council have celebrated reaching the halfway stage of delivering Haverfordwest’s £48.7m landmark new Haverfordwest...

News4 days ago

Five Haverfordwest firefighters retire from duty

FIVE firefighters recently retired from Haverfordwest fire station had been working the Retained Duty System for well over 100 years...

News1 week ago

Paddle boarders’ inquest opened and adjourned as police probe continues

THE INQUESTS into the deaths of four paddle boarders who were killed after the accident on the River Cleddau in...

Popular This Week