Wales under 16’s ended their busy programme by beating Ireland in Ashbourne with a dominant display of Rugby League writes Ian Golden.
Ireland, who were playing their first ever international match at this level, held Wales for the first ten minutes, with both sides having strong defences cancelling out any early tries.
Then Wales broke the deadlock as full back Karlin Claridge scored out wide, the try going unconverted.
Within minutes, hooker Ben Lloyd-Hunter sniped under the sticks to double the scores.
After another attack Lloyd-Hunter again found himself in another position to power over from short range, the kick this time was converted by Taylor Phillips to make the score 14-0.
Good pressure from the Welsh attack pinned the Irish in their own 20 resulting in two quick fire tries, one from Lewis Hall which Phillips converted and Taine Hendy going over on the opposite side from a great kick chase.
From another excellent kick return, the Welsh side found an edge with North Wales winger Morgan Johnson going over in the corner. The kick was unconverted leaving the half-time score at Ireland 0 Wales 28.
The second half started as of the first with a stalemate in the first ten minutes, but the deadlock was broken when powerhouse prop Ellis Brown went in under the sticks, Phillips adding the two.
This spurred Wales on to take advantage of the tiring Irish defence with captain James Bartlett scoring under the posts, Phillips converting again.
A great move down the right flank allowed centre Lewis Hall to go in for his second of the game, and shortly after his Warrington team mate James Machin added a further four points and Hall converting.
With ten minutes remaining Claridge received his own kick chase to dive over for the final try of the game, Morgan Johnson adding the conversion.
Wales Rugby League’s performance manager Jon Ellis said: “The staff have pulled together a fantastic programme this year at short notice, Wayne Ponting and Andrew Thorne have worked well in gelling the team together and getting the best from the players, and manager Peter Tiffin has done an exceptional job in coordinating the fixtures and working closely with an array of rugby league sides. It’s been a rewarding programme for both players and staff.”