3rd July 2011, 16:34
2011 Ireland Wolfhounds 22 Wales Dragonhearts 54
Wales Dragonhearts began their campaign for the Conference Home Nation
Wales Dragonhearts began their campaign for the Conference Home Nations crown with an outstanding 54-22 victory against Ireland in Limerick.
Wales were dominant throughout and scored 10 tries in their comprehensive win.
The game was over as a contest by half-time as Wales were already 34-6 up.
Dale Tucker gave Wales the lead in the eighth minute before Robbie Ford sent Rhys Miller over for the first of his two tries four minutes later.
Lloyd Ryland and Richard Brooks created a try for Ford then Rhys Meredith set up Ryland and Wales were 22-0 up on 20 minutes.
Gareth Howells, after converting the first three, scored one of his own in corner before former Crusader Grant Epton added another before half-time.
Ireland did manage to muster a score when Ian Cross ghosted through the Dragonhearts' defence to cross the try-line. He added the extras himself leaving the game at 34-6 at the break.
Newly appointed Ireland head coach Mark Aston was visibly disappointed with the Irish performance and the break and urged his side to fight back.
And that's what they did in the second half when with just five minutes gone, David Parkhill powered past his opposite number to score Ireland's second of the game and give his side some hope of pulling the game back.
However, the Dragonhearts never contemplated letting their lead slip as every time the Wolfhounds looked to get back into the game they would reply in the best possible fashion.
Further tries from Miller, Howells, Meredith and Brooks sent Wales to the top of the table. Ireland managed two more scores as Willy Stewart and Lemaki Veipulu added consolations but it was nowhere near enough.
Wales' team manager Simon Green said: "This was an excellent result for us. Three quarters of our team were new caps and for many it is their first season even playing Rugby League. Everyone out there did an excellent job. Despite losing players to South Wales Scorpions and Valley Cougars, Wales has still shown that they can produce top class players for this level. Bring on Scotland and England at home."
Next up for Wales is a Home game at Caerphilly RFC against Scotland on July 16th, before a potential decider at home to England on August 6th. On this form Wales will fancy their chances in the rest of the competition.
1. Sean Carmody (Treaty City Titans)
2. David Parkhill (Strangford Sharks)
3. Willy Stewart (Ballynahinch Rabbitohs)
4. Joe Keane (Treaty City Titans)
5. Mark Tuohy (Treaty City Titans)
6. Ian Cross (Treaty City Titans)
7. Shane Mullally (Treaty City Titans)
8. Brendan Guilfoyle (c) (Treaty City Titans)
9. Brian Flanagan (Dublin City Exiles)
10. Aaron McCloskey (Treaty City Titans)
11. Graham Taylor (Ballynahinch Rabbitohs)
12. Alan Trenier (Dublin City Exiles)
13. Lemaki Veipulu (Treaty City Titans)
14. David Dunne (Athboy)
15. Rob Stapleton (Cork Bulls)
16. Simon Deevy (Athboy)
17. Stephen Corr (Ballynahinch Rabbitohs)
Tries: Cross, Stewart, Veipulu, Parkhill
Goals: Cross 3/4
1. Grant Epton (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
2. Richard Williams (Bonymaen Broncos)
3. Gareth Howells (C) (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
4. Lloyd Ryland (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
5. Robbie Ford (Bonymaen Broncos)
6. Ian Brooks (Bonymaen Broncos)
7. Kristian Hawkes (Newport Titans)
8. Rhys Miller (Torfaen Tigers)
9. Rhys Meredith (Newport Titans)
10. Richard Murphy (Bonymaen Broncos)
11. Richard Brooks (Bonymaen Broncos)
12. Jamie Williams (Torfaen Tigers)
13. Dale Tucker (Newport Titans)
14. Craig Fox (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
15. Nathan Hawkins (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
16. Andy Milne (Bridgend Blue Bulls)
17. Neil White (Bonymaen Broncos)
TRIES: Tucker, Miller (2), Ford, Ryland, Howells (2), Epton, Meredith, R.Brooks.
GOALS: Gareth Howells 7/10
MOTM - Richard Brooks (Wales)