By Ian Golden at Sardis Road, Date: 18/7/18
WALES 48 IRELAND 10
Two former South Wales rugby league stars met as head coaches in the opening day of the Student Home Nations tournament in Pontypridd, with Paul Emanuelli’s Wales overcoming Carl de Chenu’s Ireland 48-10.
Emanuelli scored 282 points in 77 games for South Wales Scorpions from 2014-17 whilst De Chenu starred for a season for Celtic Crusaders in 2006 scoring 22 tries in 29 matches.
Ireland played well in the first half and matched Wales all the way, but there was only one winner after the break as the Welsh scored 32 unanswered points, despite not having a full complement of players when scoring over half of those.
Wales took the lead on nine minutes after Dylan Evans slipped the ball to skipper Jarred Hinnem to ground. Morgan Johnson converted.
The try didn’t open the floodgates. The first eight minutes saw Ireland close to scores a few times, and the same for about 15 minutes after Wales’ opener.
An error on Wales’ 10 metre line gave Ireland a repeat set and a scrum in the perfect place which they didn’t waste. Peter Ryan dived in under the sticks and Adam Malone converted to level.
Wales regained their lead straight away. After a mix-up in the Irish defence, Dafydd Rees grabbed a loose ball and ran home. Johnson converted.
Then came the try of the day. James Bartlett did well to beat his markers before cleverly creating a gap for Hinnem who skillfully avoided tackles to score his second of the game.
Ireland got back into the game just before half-time after Paul Bolger kept enough ball control to dive and score an unconverted try to bring the score back to 16-10.
Wales increased their lead five minutes into the second half when Lloyd Selby-Smith scored in the corner and Johnson converted well.
Ireland were unlucky not to get a try back when Matt Connolly’s pass to Mark Woods was deemed forward. Woods had grounded after a well-worked move.
Wales took advantage of their good fortune, went onto the attack and scored again. Bartlett touched down in the corner and Johnson’s kick went wide.
They cemented the win on the hour. Macauley Harris squirmed his way over for a typical hooker’s try, Johnson again unable to land the extras but Wales were 20 points up.
Ireland were given an advantage 13 minutes from time when Rhys Davies was sinbinned for a high tackle but it was Wales who scored with a man down. Harris was short of getting his second but from the next play, Hinnem grabbed his hat-trick try. Johnson converted.
Wales briefly went down to 11 men when Aled Davies was given a yellow card for tackling a man in the air, but again they scored, Harris with his second after Wales gained metres via a 40-20. Johnson converted.
They weren’t finished yet. Now back to 12 men, Wales scored their ninth try through Conor Harding. Johnson’s sixth conversion ending the game.
In the tournament’s opening game, England beat Scotland 58-18.
Day two of the tournament is on Thursday at the same venue, Sardis Road in Pontypridd with England taking on Ireland at 2.30pm before Wales face Scotland at 4.45pm. Free entry for all fans.
1 Rhys Gant (Educ8)
2 James Bartlett (Cardiff Met University)
3 Jarad Hinnem (University of South Wales)
4 Aled Davies (Liverpool John Moores Uni)
15 Dylan Evans (University of South Wales)
6 Morgan Johnson (Ellesmere College)
7 Fraser Stroud (Cardiff and Vale College)
8 Dafydd Rees (Manchester Met University)
9 Macauley Harris (Cardiff and Vale College)
10 Dewi Billingham (Leeds Beckett University)
11 Rhys Davies (University of South Wales)
12 Lloyd Selby-Smith (University of South Wales)
13 Ashley Bateman (Coleg Y Cymoedd)
5 Conor Harding (Hartpury College)
16 Joel Hopkins (Oxford Brookes University)
17 Ryan Griffiths (Wigan Warriors Sports College)
18 Billy Forrester (West Cheshire College)
Tries: Hinnem (9, 33, 70), Rees (29), Selby-Smith (45), Bartlett (56), Harris (60, 77), Harding (80)
Goals: Johnson 6/9
Sinbin: R Davies (67, high tackle), A Davies (74, tackle in the air)
1 Dean McMahon (Athlone Institute of Technology)
2 Mark Woods (Ulster University)
3 Conor Creaby (IT Blanchardstown)
4 Matt Connolly (IT Blanchardstown)
5 James Millar (Ulster University)
6 Adam Malone (University of Limerick)
7 Bradley Sheridan (University of Warwick)
8 Aaron Ryan (Dublin Institute of Technology)
23 Ryan Guilfoyle (NUI Galway)
10 Peter Ryan (Coventry University)
11 Roy Stanley (NUI Galway)
12 Matt McKelvey (Belfast Metropolitan College)
13 Richie McHugh (Trinity College Dublin)
15 Rory Wise (Oxford Brookes University)
17 Paul Bolger (University of Gloucestershire)
18 Jonny Mooney (Belfast Metropolitan College)
25 James Foley (Institute of Technology Carlow)
Tries: Ryan (26), Bolger (40)
Goals: Malone 1/2
Referee: James Jones