European Championship Round-up: Week One

Week One of the European Championship saw two fine games, watched by reasonably healthy crowds.

With almost no promotion from those at the top of the sport’s hierarchy, it was perhaps a wonder that anyone at all knew that these games were going ahead.

With no TV coverage of the tournament in place, rugby league fans have been robbed of the chance to see some great games.

Those who attended the two games, however, will certainly not have been disappointed at the excitement on show.

Scotland 42 – Wales 18

Scotland returned to the scene of their triumphs at last year’s World Cup, at Derwent Park in Workington, and put in an efficient and professional performance to beat John Kear’s youthful Wales side.

With very few Super League players making themselves available to Kear, the wily coach was forced to rely on youngsters from the South Wales Scorpions, seasoned with some older heads from the Championship.

Up against Wales was a committed and well-coached Scotland team, led around the field by the game’s one truly world class performer in Danny Brough.

Wales started well in wet conditions, scoring the game’s first try via former Warrington winger Rhys Williams, who collected a Lupton kick.

Frm that point on, though, Scotland, with Brough to the fore, dominated proceedings. Tries from the Huddersfield halfback, as well as debutants Oscar Thomas and Corbyn Kilday, put them into the lead.

Christiaan Roets hit back just before half-time, scoring his 12th try in Welsh colours. A try from Connor Farrer saw Wales back in contention after half-time.

But two tries each from Jonny Walker, plus one each from David Scott and Callum Phillips, saw Scotland take a commanding lead.

Callum Phillips‘ brother Brett rounded off the scoring for the Scots on 70 minutes, before Farrer scored a consolation try for the Welsh.

All in all, Scotland coach Steve McCormack will have been pleased with his team’s efforts, as they now look towards what could be a very tough clash with the Irish in Dublin.

Wales have work to do before they travel to France next Saturday.

SCOTLAND
1 Oscar Thomas, 2 David Scott, 3 Ben Hellewell, 4 Joe Wardle, 5 Alex Hurst, 6 Danny Brough, 7 Nathan Massey, 8 Adam Walker, 9 Danny Addy, 10 Ben Kavanagh, 11 Brett Phillips, 12 Corbyn Kilday, 13 Sonny Esslemont.

Interchange:
14 Callum Phillips, 15 Josh Barlow, 16 Jonathan Walker, 17 Louis Senter

Tries: Brough (12), Thomas (17), Kilday (28), Walker (46, 62), Scott (49), C Phillips (51), B Phillips (70)

Goals: Brough 5/8

WALES
1 Tom Hughes, 3 Yannic Parker, 8 Kyle Scrivens, 11 Christiaan Roets, 19 Rhys Williams, 6 Ollie Olds, 10 Peter Lupton, 13 Daniel Fleming, 16 Ricky Hough, 12 Matty Barron, 9 Phil Carleton,7 Ashley Bateman, 22 Joe Burke.

Interchange:
14 Connor Farrer, 15 Izaak Duffy, 16 Lewis Reece, 17 Morgan Evans.

Tries: Williams (10), Roets (39), Lupton (44), Farrer (76)

Goals: Hough 0/2, Reece 1/2

Referee: James Child (England)

Attendance: 2,036

Ireland 22 – France 12

France travelled to Dublin’s Tallaght Stadium as firm favourites for a clash with Mark Aston’s Ireland. Nevertheless, an unfancied Irish team produced one of their finest ever international displays to emerge victorious.

Ireland featured nine debutants in their line-up, whereas France‘s line-up was packed with Super League experience.

Numerous current and former Catalans Dragons appeared in the team, as well as Theo Fages of Salford and Hull KR‘s Kevin Larroyer.

Former Hull KR and Hull FC full-back Shannon McDonnell, currently without a club, played a prominent role for Ireland. But it was Josh Toole of the Illawarra Cutters who won man of the match for a fine all-round performance in the back row.

It was McDonnell who opened the scoring with an uncoverted try, with Haydn Peacock of Carcassonne extending with another to give the Wolfhounds an 8-0 lead at half-time.

France fought back strongly after the break, but it was Ireland who extended their lead to 12-0 six minutes after the interval with another unconverted try from McDonnell.

Peacock also grabbed his second, following one of Beswick’s probing grubber kicks, before Larroyer brought France back into it, with a try which was converted by Remy Marginet.

Marginet also added the extras when Catalans hooker Eloi Pelissier crossed with 10 minutes or so remaining.

Ireland had the last word, though, when Dewsbury player Jobe Murphy scored a try, which was converted by Casey Dunne, a homegrown product of the Athboy Longhorns club.

IRELAND:

1 Shannon McDonnell, 2 Callum Mulkeen, 3 Haydn Peacock, 4 Michael Platt, 5 Casey Dunne, 6 Callum Casey, 7 Ben Johnston 8 Rob Mulhern, 9 Bob Beswick (C), 10 Luke Ambler, 11 Elliot Cosgrove, 12 Joshua Toole, 13 Will Hope

Interchange:
14 Jobe Murphy, 15  Sean Hesketh, 16 Wayne Kelly, 17 Matty Hadden

Tries: McDonnell (7, 46), Peacock (30, 53), Murphy (79)

Goals: Dunne 1/5

FRANCE:

1 Tony Maurel, 2 Matthias Pala, 3 Jean-Philippe Baile, 4 Damien Cardace, 5 Frederic Vaccari, 6 Theo Fages, 7 William Barthau, 8 Jamal Fakir, 9 Eloi Pelissier, 10 Mickael Simon, 11 Kevin Larroyer, 12 Benjamin Garcia, 13 Jason Baitieri

Interchange:
14 Marginet, 15 Wood, 16 Bousquet, 17 Maria

Tries: Larroyer (58), Maurel (70)

Goals: Marginet 2/2

Referee: Tim Roby (England)

Attendance: 1500

Week Two fixtures:

Both games scheduled for 25/10/2014, kick off 14:00 BST

France v Wales (Albi)

Ireland v Scotland (Dublin)

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