15th June 2002, 17:36
2002 Scotland A 22 Wales A 40
Wales have proved the critics wrong, convincingly winning their first
Wales have proved the critics wrong, convincingly winning their first match of the of inaugural Home Nations series against the much fancied Scotland side. The match, which was held at the home of the Glasgow Bulls Scotland Conference side, Burnbrae Stadium, saw the Dragons lead for most of the match, winning 40 - 22.
At the start of the match, Scotland were first to get points on the board. A slow defensive line by the Welsh, saw the referee award a free penalty to the Scots. Scotland Student Robin Lang took the opportunity in both hands and converted to see the Blue and White up 2 - 0.
The return kick off saw the Scottish return, fired up and ready to win, but a knock on by the winger, allowed Sion Williams to score for the Welsh. Aled James added the extras and in the 6th minute of the match, Wales lead 6 - 2.
The two sides fought it out for the next fifteen, with neither side giving anything to the opposition. However frustration soon started to get the better of the Scottish, with Edinburgh Eagles second rower, John McDonald interfering with the play the ball, giving Wales the perfect opportunity to get some more points on the board.
Rhondri Thomas got the try for Wales, and James once again added the extras to extend the Dragons lead to ten. The next ten minutes were all Scotland however, with the Blue and White first getting a penalty thanks to a Welsh mistake, followed soon by their first try of the match through Ross Neil, who collected a pass off Edgar who broke through three of the Welsh defence.
Lang continued his 100% kicking record and Scotland were within two of the Dragons near half time, and in a prime position for the change of ends. However the Welsh did not lie down, scoring right on the half time buzzer to give Rhondri Thomas his second try of the match. James kicked the ball between the uprights
However Scotland were determined not to let the match slip from their grasps, and after the change of ends scored less than three minutes into the new half. The try came through Edgar who scored off his own kick and chase scoring right under the black dot to allow Lang to easily bring the Scottish again back within two of the Welsh.
But that is as close as the Scottish got for the rest of the match. Pete Moore was first to score again for Wales, after a Scotland knock-on, and whilst James was unable to continue his 100% kicking, it didn't matter as he quickly got another chance when Rhondri scored his third try for the match. Adding the extras here, Wales were up 28 - 16.
Former Gateshead Super League star, and current Wales Player/Manager, Stuart Singleton was next to score for the Dragons, and his fellow player, with the same surname, Richard Singleton added the points to see Wales up 34 - 16 with only 10 minutes left in the match.
Scotland's best attacking player, Barry Edgar, got another try, a consolation for the work he had done in the match, and as a mark of respect the Scottish players let him converted it, however the Welsh didn't feel like staying kind to him and his team, with Mark Dando scoring in injury time to see Richard Singleton again put the ball between the uprights, and Wales to win 40 - 22.
The strong score line for the Welsh will become beneficial later in the tournament, if it comes down to multiple teams finishing on the same number of points.
WALES DRAGONS 40
Tries: Thomas 3, Williams, Dando, S.Singleton, Moore
Goals: James 4, R.Singleton 2
Team: Matt Cannon, Ben Kerr, Rhondri Thomas, Sion Williams, Richard Pepperill, Aled James, Scott O'Kelly, Mark Dando, Gareth Honor, Anthony Lockston, Gareth Morgan, Richard Singleton, Stuart Singleton; Subs: Andy Cough, Richard Davies, Andy Jones, Pete Moore.
Tries: Edgar 2, Neil
Goals: Lang 4, Edgar 1
Team: Simon Corrigan, Ross Neil, Kenny WIllich, Stewart Naismith, Peter Oshagemi, Barry Edgar, Robin Lang, John Malakoty, James Knight, Keiron Watret, John McDonald, James McKay, Clint Brown; Subs: Ash Carrol, Andrew Borthwick, Ian Penderleith, Neil Foster, Niall McDonald
Venue: Burnbrae, Glasgow
Date: Sat Jun 15 2:00pm
Half time: Wales 18 - 10
Article by Simon Birchall
16 Jun 2002