Wales Rugby League



Wales Students win opening friendly

28th May 2012, 10:11

Wales Students win opening friendly

Wales Students demolished Conwy Celts in a friendly game as preparation for the Student Four Nations, which will be hosted by Wrexham at the Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium.

Wales Students 84-12 Conwy Celts

By Ryan Gould


Wales Students demolished Conwy Celts in a friendly game as preparation for the Student Four Nations, which will be hosted by Wrexham at the Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium.


Although the score shows that Conwy were well-beaten, for a community club playing a side with a squad made up of some semi-professional players in the Wales Students side, they coped well for long periods.


The humid conditions certainly didn’t help the Celts in any way and the student outfit recorded nine tries in the first half, Luke Evans grabbing a hat-trick in that period and Lewis Warner going over for a brace, whilst Izaak Duffy, Nathan Rainer, Angus Hogg and Simon Wright all recorded a single score.


The Celts tried to slow the game down and for some periods they did, but a great deal of damage was done up the middle, with several breaks through the defence finishing with tries.


Simon Wright opened the scoring with an easy touch down under the sticks and the next tries from Luke Evans and Izaak Duffy all came in similar fashion with their power too much for their North Wales Conference opponents to handle.


The Celts managed to get some strong possession near the students’ line for a while around the 20-minute mark, but it was a matter of choosing the wrong options and some solid defence kept them out.


Angus Hogg increased Wales’ lead after this spell of the Celts’ dominance, it was strong running down the left that created it and he had too much pace for the Celts and ran away to score in the corner.


Lewis Warner added his two scores before the interval, both came with bursts down the left and this was showing that the centres and wingers were beginning to dominate with their speed and power far greater than that of the Celts, as was to be expected.


Nathan Rainers try came next as he dived over next to the posts and Luke Evans completed his hat-trick right on the hooter. The score at the break was 48-0 to Wales Students.


The second half was a real gutsy effort from the Celts and they managed to record two tries in comparison to Wales Students’ six. Mike Ward opened the scoring after the interval for the students, but Conwy soon replied with the best try of the day.


A neat kick over the defence by the fullback was claimed on the 30-metre mark by the Celts’ influential winger and he showed great pace and determination to come inside and ground under the posts.


Yanic Parker and Mike Ward then hit back for Wales with their first and second tries respectively. But it was the Celts who struck again next, with some superb leg-drive seeing them force their way over in the corner.


Patrick Evans, Mike Ward and Lewis Warner rounded off the scoring. All plays came down the right wing for the tries as they broke from deep, Lewis Warner grabbing his fourth and Mike Ward getting the hat-trick with their efforts.


If it weren’t from some latch-ditch tackling on the wings, the impressive Mike Ward would have gone over for more in what was a superb second-half display.


This was an opportunity for the Wales Students side to gel together as a squad and put together a game plan as to how they will move forward for the Four Nations tournament.


For the Celts, this was a great experience and something they can take positives out of. Many teams would have gave up, but they stuck at it all game and their two scores were a just reward for their efforts on the day. However, the injuries accumulated for them during the game is a major setback for their North Wales Conference campaign.