WALES 70 SCOTLAND 8

Wales successfully opened their defence of the Parkhouse Recruitment Conference Home Nations Championship at the Brewery Field on Sunday after beating Scotland 70-8 in front of a crowd of over 700.

Wales took the lead after only four minutes. Scotland?s Al Stewart knocked on and from the resulting set, Damien Hudd forced his way over despite being challenged by a pack of defenders. Unfortunately one of that pack, Mark Slatter was crushed in the pile and was stretchered off taking no further part in the game.

As well as missing the conversion, Gareth Jones was unsuccessful with a penalty five minutes later but Wales eventually extended their lead in the 18th minute after Owen Jones set up Gareth Holtham in the left corner.

Damien Smith made it 12-0 minutes later after a 30-metre run down the left wing. Gareth Jones kicked the extras.

Scotland finally got on the board in the 27th minute, Barry Edgar kicking a penalty, but that just spurred Wales on to start a first half demolition.

The Dragons struck back straight away after Sean O?Brien ran 20 metres to ground on the right. Matt Entwhistle added another, scoring under the sticks before Gareth Holtham got his second try of the afternoon. Neil Dixon added another just before half-time to put Wales 34-2 up at the break.

Wales started where they left off in the second half, scoring from the first set of six as Jim Barnes ran 40 metres to ground.

Scotland struck back straight away after Andy Champ intercepted a pass and ran 50 metres to score under the posts.

But Wales responded with two tries in as many minutes. Gareth Jones set up Earl Palmer to score in the corner before weaving his way through the Scottish defence to ground himself.

Barnes was set up by Karl Hocking for his second after 55 minutes before running 30 metres for his hat-trick eight minutes later.

Neil Dixon ran 50 metres to make the score 66-8 in the 70th minute. Holtham got his hat-trick three minutes later to complete the rout.

Wales? under-15 and under-19 teams also registered emphatic victories earlier in the day, beating their Scottish counterparts 64-4 and 36-12 respectively.

Wales: Neil Dixon (Bridgend Blue Bulls), Damien Smith (Torfaen Tigers), Earl Palmer (Newport Titans), Gareth Holtham (Cardiff Demons), Sean O'Brien (Aberavon Fighting Irish), Owen Jones (Newport Titans), Gareth Jones (Cardiff Demons), Nathan Strong (Bridgend Blue Bulls), Lloyd O'Connor (Bridgend Blue Bulls), Steve Mayley (Torfaen Tigers), Karl Hocking (Bridgend Blue Bulls), Damien Hudd (Torfaen Tigers (Capt)), Marcus Sainsbury (Bridgend Blue Bulls). Subs: Mark Wheeler (Newport Titans), Jim Barnes (Royal Navy), Tyrone Mahoney (Newport Titans), Matt Entwhistle (Torfaen Tigers).

Tries: Hudd (4), Holtham (18, 34, 73), Smith (20). O?Brien (28), Entwhistle (32), Dixon (40, 70), Barnes (41, 55, 63), Palmer (45), G.Jones (46)

Goals: G.Jones 7/15

Scotland: Barry Edgar (Clyde Bulls), Andy Champ (Hemel Stags), Andy Brown (Fife Lions), Kieran Eddy (Clyde Bulls), Paul Clark (Somerset Vikings), Ian Gilmour (Leicester Pheonix), Al Stewart (Liverpool Buccaneers), Ash Carroll (Edinburgh Eagles), Mark Burns (Birmingham Bulldogs), James McKay (Penrith Pumas), Mark Slatter (Sheffield Hawks), Scott McGillivray (Fife Lions), Andy Borthwick (Newcastle). Subs: Ray Baselala (Royal Scots), Gavin Curry (Fife Lions), Ewan Drummond (Kent Ravens), Adam Nunn (Clyde Bulls).

Tries: Champ (43)

Goals: Edgar 2/2

Gamebreaker: Four tries in 12 minutes before the break finished off Scotland.

Gamestar: A very difficult choice as this was a great team effort from Wales. Special mentions must go to Neil Dixon, Jim Barnes, Gareth Holtham and Gareth Jones but just edging it for his all-round work rate is Bridgend?s Marcus Sainsbury.

Referee: Steve Davies (Australia)

Half-time: 34-2

Men of the Match: Wales: Marcus Sainsbury. Scotland: James McKay

Photos courtesy Ian Lovell

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