REPORT: Wales 6 Ireland 34

(Image credit - RLWC2017.com / NRL Imagery)

Ireland ended their tournament with a fine 34-6 win over Wales – their biggest ever win at a World Cup.

The Wolfhounds were 22-0 ahead at the break thanks to tries from Api Pewhairangi, Oliver Roberts, Joe Philbin and Liam Finn.

Wales scored the first try of the second half through Ben Morris but further efforts from Roberts and Liam Kay saw the Wolfhounds win 34-6 against the Dragons.

TEAM NEWS

John Kear made four changes to his side that lost to Fiji last weekend. Ben Morris, Josh Ralph, Andrew Gay and Gavin Bennion came in for Christiaan Roets, Dalton Grant, Danny Ansell and Matthew Barron.

Mark Aston made three changes to his Ireland side that fell short in Papua New Guinea last time out. Michael Morgan, Tyrone McCarthy and James Hasson were replaced by Joe Keyes, Will Hope and Matty Hadden.

FIRST HALF

Ireland started well and opened the scoring when Micky McIlorum ran from dummy-half, broke the line and threw the ball out wide to Api Pewhairangi who darted over. Liam Finn converted to put his side 6-0 up after seven minutes.

Wales came close to make the score level midway through the first half. They passed it along the line to Regan Grace who thought he had scored in the corner, but the try was ruled out due to the St Helens winger having a foot in touch.

The Irish Wolfhounds got their second of the game on the half hour mark. Huddersfield Giants star Oliver Roberts stormed onto a short ball to wrestle his way over from close. Captain Finn added the conversion to put Ireland 12-0 in front.

Warrington Wolves youngster Joe Philbin made an impact when he came off the bench as he barged past tree Wales defenders to reach over the line. The conversion was good and Ireland were 18-0 ahead.

Aston would have been very happy with his side at the break because they got their fourth in the 38th minute. Ireland decided to use the short side and skipper Finn got on the scoresheet. Finn couldn’t convert his own try but the Irish were 22-0 to the good at the break.

HALF TIME: Wales 0–22 Ireland.

SECOND HALF

 It was a slow and sluggish start to the second half, with both sides making a couple of errors. Wales got their first try in the 57th minute, half-back Josh Ralph threw a fine pass to Ben Morris who went over. Courtney Davies converted by the Dragons were still 22-6 behind.

Roberts thought he scored again on the hour mark but the video referee ruled that he was short of the line when he grounded it.

The back-rower did get his second though as he scooted from close range to bulldoze over the line. The conversion was good, Wales 6-28 Ireland.

Liam Kay went over after Ireland had space out wide late on. Finn’s boot sealed a 34-6 victory for the Wolfhounds – their biggest ever win at a World Cup.

FULL TIME: Wales 6–34 Ireland.

MATCH DETAILS

Wales – 6

Tries: Morris

Goals: Davies 1/1

Ireland – 34

Tries: Pewhairangi, Roberts 2, Philbin, Finn, Kay

Goals: Finn 5/6

HT: 0-22

Loverugbyleague.com MOM: Oliver Roberts (Ireland)

TEAMS

Ireland: 1. Scott Grix, 2. Shannon McDonnell, 3. Ed Chamberlain, 4. Api Pewhairangi, 5. Liam Kay, 6. Joe Keyes, 7. Liam Finn (C), 8. Anthony Mullally, 9. Micky McIlorum, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 12. Will Hope, 13. Brad Singleton.

Interchange: 14. George King, 15. Matty Hadden, 16. Joe Philbin, 17. Oliver Roberts.

Wales: 1. Elliot Kear, 5. Regan Grace, 3. Michael Channing, 17. Ben Morris, 2. Rhys Williams, 6. Courtney Davies, 23. Josh Ralph, 8. Craig Kopczak (C), 14. Steve Parry, 16. Ben Evans, 13. Morgan Knowles, 9. Matty Fozard, 10. Phil Joseph.

Interchange: 11. Rhodri Lloyd, 12. Joe Burke, 15. Gavin Bennion, 18. Andrew Gay.

Referee – Ben Thaler