Holders Scotland defeated in European opener

Holders Scotland were downed in the defence of their European Championship title as Wales registered their first triumph since 2010, winning 18-12 in Wrexham.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” said Wales coach John Kear. “In the first half we played a controlled, composed game.

“But the way we defended in the 15 minutes after half-time, that showed we have a team because we were under the cosh, tired and somehow managed to diffuse the Scottish attacks. I take great heart from that and I’m immensely proud of the players’ efforts.”

Victory for the Welsh meant an end to a run of a record 12 consecutive defeats.

Rhys Williams and Danny Addy swapped early scoring chances, the Welsh taking the lead when Steve Parry stepped through to score by the posts, Courtney Davies converting. 

A dangerous tackle on Davies gave Wales a penalty and he increased the lead to 8-0.

Scotland pulled a try back on 27 minutes when hard working Dale Ferguson left the Welsh defence standing, skipper Danny Brough – in his 19th international – adding the extras, but an excellent passing move and mazy run from Christiaan Roets set up Dalton Grant whose acrobatics gave him a try in the corner to extend the Welsh lead at the break. 

After dominating the opening exchanges of the second period, Ferguson just held up, Scotland gave away a penalty 25 metres from their own line and Davies made no mistake with the kick to make it 14-6.

On 64 minutes, a terrific run from winger Williams enabled Ollie Olds to send Anthony Walker in for the decisive score, Scotland gaining consolation in the closing stages when Addy sent Oscar Thomas in for his first international try at the corner, Brough goaling from the touchline. 

“I was impressed with Wales, I thought they fully deserved the win but I am obviously disappointed with our performance,” Scotland coach Steve McCormack said.   

“They started the game a lot better, got out of their own half far too easily and punished us. They did the fundamentals and basics really well and when they had a chance they took it. 

“There was only six points in the game so that is something we can take positives from.  We came back well, had a chance of drawing but just couldn’t get the ball over the line. There were two or three times when we got held up and that is credit to Wales.”

   

WALES 18

Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams, Michael Channing, Christiaan Roets, Dalton Grant, Ollie Olds, Courtney Davies, Anthony Walker, Steve Parry, Craig Kopczak, Rhodri Lloyd, Lewis Reece, Phil Joseph

Subs: Morgan Knowles, Joe Burke, Matty Barron, Jamie Murphy

Tries: Parry (9), Grant (37), Walker (64)

Goals: Davies 3/5

 

SCOTLAND 12

Oscar Thomas, David Scott, Ben Hellewell, Harvey Burnett, Alex Walker, Danny BroughDanny Addy, Adam Walker, Liam Hood, Jonny Walker, Sonny Esslemont, Dale Ferguson, Ben Kavanagh

Subs: Joe McClean, Corbyn Kilday, Richard Harris, Scott Plumridge

Tries: Ferguson (27), Thomas (78)

Goals: Brough 2/2

 

Half-time: 12-6

Attendance: 1,253

 

Referee: Joe Cobb (England)

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