Wales vs Ireland RLWC2017

 

By John Davidson, Date: 9/11/17 (Photo Credit NRLPhotos)

Venue: Perth Rectangular Stadium, Western Australia

TV Kick-off time: Sunday 12th November 2017, 3.30pm AWST

Wales is out to salvage pride and Ireland is daring to dream as the two Celtic nations prepare to meet in Perth on Sunday.

The Dragons and the Wolfhounds will go head to head in Western Australia this weekend in their final 2017 World Cup group game. Wales have already been eliminated after suffering huge defeats to Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

Ireland have one win and one loss, against Italy and to the Kumuls, after two pool matches. The Irish need to beat Wales by a big margin, and hope Papua New Guinea fail to overcome the United States in Port Moresby, to stay alive in the tournament. If that happens, though highly unlikely, they could snag a quarter-final spot against England in Melbourne.

Ireland was impressive against the Azzurri in round one and were unlikely to lose in a tight contest against the Kumuls. That contest went down to the final minutes, with both teams bottling chances to win until Watson Boas’ late try.

Wolfhounds coach Mark Aston has made a number of changes for Sunday, with Joe Keyes starting at five-eighth and Api Pewharirangi moving into the centres.

Anthony Mullally will start at prop, with Leeds teammate Brad Singelton moving to lock, while Casey Dunne and Jack Higginson will get their chance from the bench. Keyes is adamant there is a lot of pride and passion in the Irish team.

“The Irish are known for ‘the fighting Irish’ – we compete for everything, and we’re passionate. You’re not playing if it doesn’t mean a lot to you,” he said.

“We’re a very proud country. I think we’ve shown that in our last two performances. We’ve got a good core of players who’ve been in the squad for maybe 10 years, Liam Fin, Scott Grix, Tyrone McCarthy – they’ve been in the system a long time and leading the way for us.”

Wales are reeling after going down 72-6 to Fiji and 50-6 to the Kumuls. Dalton Grant comes into the centres for Christiaan Roets, while Matt Fozard replaces Steve Parry as the starting hooker. Gavin Bennion, Ben Evans and Ben Morris have all been named on the bench.

The tournament has been tough going for Welsh coach John KEar, one of the most experienced coaches in the world of rugby league. The Englishmen wants to stay on in his post, despite a disappointing World Cup.

“If they do not want me because of results, I would understand it and take it on the chin,” he said.

“But I do not see any point in throwing the towel in. I believe in the international game and I would like to improve it, but we have had our bottoms spanked and we have got to learn from it.”

 

WALES
1 Elliot KEAR
5 Regan GRACE
3 Michael CHANNING
4 Dalton Grant
2 Rhys WILLIAMS
6 Courtney DAVIES
7 Danny ANSELL
8 Craig KOPCZAK (c)
9 Matty FOZARD
10 Philip JOSEPH
11 Rhodri LLOYD
12 Joe BURKE
13 Morgan KNOWLES
14 Steve PARRY
15 Gavin BENNION
16 Ben EVANS
17 Ben MORRIS

18 Andrew GAY
19 Matthew BARRON
20 Christiaan ROETS
21 Matt Seamark

IRELAND
1 Scott GRIX
2 Shannon McDONNELL
3 Ed CHAMBERLAIN
4 Api PEWHAIRANGI
5 Liam KAY
6 Joe KEYES
7 Liam FINN (c)
8 Anthony MULLALY
9 Michael MCILLORUM
10 Kyle AMOR
11 Louie McCARTHY-SCARSBROOK
12 Will HOPE
13 Brad SINGLETON
14 George KING
15 Matty HADDEN
16 Joe PHILBIN
17 Oliver ROBERTS

18 James HASSON
19 Tyrone MCCARTHY
20 Casey DUNNE
21 Jack HIGGINSON

 

 

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