Photo: Man of the match Kurtis Haille racing for one of his tries, plus the Dragonhearts side
By Ian Golden at Cardiff Arms Park (Photo Credit: www.ianlovell.com)
It was a baptism of fire for Lithuania in their first ever full rugby league international, as they went down 58-0 to Wales Dragonhearts at Cardiff Arms Park on Sunday.
The Dragonhearts, Wales’ community representative side, who are celebrating 25 years of internationals, will face a much tougher task in Leigh next week when they take on an England Lions U23 outfit who beat Ireland’s domestic XIII 26-14 in Dublin on Saturday.
Wales took the lead on five minutes after Adam Watton caught a cross-field chip to ground in the corner. Mike Hurley missed the kick.
Lithuania nearly scored their first ever try on nine minutes. From a scrum, Mindaugas Kazlaukskas did well to twist past his markers, but dropped the ball as he was attempting to ground whilst under pressure.
Sadly that was the closest the newcomers got to a first half score.
Wales recovered from their good fortune and from the next set, a good 100 metre move, Liam Watton emulated him brother by scoring in the same corner. Hurley converted.
The lead was extended to 16-0 on 17 minutes. Kurtis Haille found a gap to score left of the sticks and Hurley converted.
From kick-off, Jonah Huntley notched Wales’ fourth with Hurley having an easy kick to extend the lead to 22-0.
Haille slipped through his markers from the next set for his second and Wales’ fifth. Sam Pridgeon sprinted through for sixth straight after that. Hurley converted both and Wales were 34-0 up on 25 minutes.
Lithuania finally touched the ball after those three tries, but a knock-on gave Wales possession again and they didn’t waste it, Shane Lee storming through for Wales’ seventh try. Hurley missed the kick.
Four minutes before the interval, Haille got on the end of a good passing move to claim his hat-trick, again going unconverted so Wales were 42-0 up at half-time.
The start of the second half didn’t have the flow of the first 40 minutes where referee James Jones didn’t have to make any stoppages. Following a couple of injuries, there was a lengthy delay following a brawl where Tom Matthews was given a straight red card for punching.
Despite being a man down, Wales was first on the board in the second half. Hurley slipped through the centre and improved his own try.
Jarad Hinnem eased over for Wales’ tenth try of the day on the hour with Ben Jones converting.
That was before man of the match Haille slid in for his fourth of the day which Jones couldn’t converted.
Jones ended the game ten minutes early for safety reasons after injuries brought the Lithuania side down to 10 men.
1 Jonah Huntley (Rhondda Outlaws, West Wales)
26 Adam Watton (Valley Cougars, East Wales)
2 Kurtis Haille (Torfaen Tigers, East Wales)
3 Liam Watton (Valley Cougars, East Wales)
5 Sam Pridgeon (Valley Cougars, West Wales)
6 Ben Jones (Valley Cougars, West Wales)
23 Shane Lee (Valley Cougars, West Wales)
19 Darrel Moyle (Torfaen Tigers, East Wales)
9 Dean Higgs (Valley Cougars, East Wales)
21 Paul Welch (North Wales Crusaders A, North Wales Origin)
4 Jarad Hinnem (Torfaen Tigers, East Wales)
15 Morgan Nicholas (Latchford Albion, North Wales Origin)
13 Mike Hurley (Valley Cougars, East Wales)
14 Grant Harrington (Torfaen Tigers, East Wales)
17 Tom Matthews (Torfaen Tigers, East Wales)
8 Shaun Watton (Rhondda Outlaws, East Wales)
12 Craig Lewis (Valley Cougars, East Wales)
Tries: A Watton (5), L Watton (11), Haille (16, 23, 36, 66), Huntley (20), Pridgeon (25), Lee (29), Hurley (56), Hinnem (59)
Goals: Hurley 6/9, Jones 1/2
Sent off: Matthews (52, punching)
19 Mindaugas Kazlaukskas (Bath Rugby League)
2 Jonas Pranevicius (Kings Lynn Black Knights)
3 Tadas Bileišis (Canterbury RU)
4 Vytautas Pavilonis (Hendon RU)
5 Irvidas Juškys (Kings Lynn Black Knights)
6 Ernestas Lisauskas (East London RU)
7 Andrius Balanavicius (Gravesend RU)
8 Raimondas Vinksna (Kings Lynn Black Knights)
17 Ricardas Matulis (Barking RU)
10 Gediminas Valentukonis (unattached)
11 Vitalijus Truksinas (Kings Lynn Black Knights)
12 Saulius Kaleda (Boston Buccaneers)
13 Justinas Treciokas (unattached)
9 Kornelijus Paltanavicius (unattached)
14 Brett Mikalauskas (Culcheth Eagles)
15 Marius Steponaitis (Kings Lynn Black Knights)
16 Andrius Baltuska (Kings Lynn Black Knights)
Referee: James Jones