Match Report

2021 World Cup Qualifying Campaign

11 November 2018 • KO 15:00

40 v 8

Glyndwr Racecourse Stadium, Wrexham

Attendance: 1257

Referee : Gareth Hewer

Match Stats
6   Tries   2
5   Conversions   0
3   Penalties   0
0   Drop Goals   0

Match Report


By Ian Golden at Racecourse Ground, photos by Ian Lovell. #TheTwoIans

Wales became the tenth team to qualify for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England after they pushed aside Ireland 40-8 in Wrexham on Sunday.

It was a role reversal from a year ago to the day, where Wales were easily second best to their Celtic neighbours in Perth, Australia in both nations’ final game of the 2017 World Cup. However this time around, it always looked like that there was only going to be one winner as the Welsh put in a dominant performance.

Wales took the lead on four minutes when from an inch-perfect Josh Ralph kick, Chester Butler leapt on the ball to score. James Olds’ missed the conversion but he made up for that moments later when he kicked a penalty goal.

They extended their lead further after a superb length of the field set which culminated in Rhodri Lloyd, leaping on a Ralph grubber. Olds converted before adding another penalty to bring the score up to 18-0.

After a poor set of six from the visitors, Wales regained the ball and scored their third try from another length of the field set. Curtis Davies fed Gavin Bennion who squeezed his way too easily through the Irish defence to ground. Olds converted.

If anything was going to get Ireland back into the game, it was Wales’ discipline. Following a knock-on, the Welsh conceded two successive penalties and Ireland made them pay. Scott Grix used his skill to burst through the Wales defence for four points back. Liam Finn missed the tricky kick and Wales went into half-time 20-4 up.

The Irish had the first chance of the second half, but they failed to execute. Jack Higginson leapt on his own grubber kick but his dive for the line was more than a metre short.

Wales again made the Irish pay. Curtis Davies was again the provider with Ben Evans doing well to reach out to the line when being held by a group of Irishmen. Olds converted and once again followed that up with a penalty kick to extend Wales’ lead to 28-4.

Wrexham-born Rhys Williams was winning his 30th Welsh cap on his home turf, bringing him level with the two other record cap holders Jordan James and Ian Watson, and he celebrated in style by running in Wales’ fifth try of the game on 64 minutes. Olds missed the kick.

George King pulled a try back for Ireland two minutes later, also going unconverted, but it was just consolation.

But Wales weren’t finished yet. Man of the match Josh Ralph burst through the tiring Irish defence for his side’s sixth try which Olds converted and finished off the scoring with a another penalty goal.

Team Lists and Scoring Information

Wales Tries Goals DGs Pts Cards
1 Elliot Kear (c)
2 Dalton Grant
3 James Olds 8 16
4 Ben Morris Y
5 Rhys Williams 1 4
6 Elliott Jenkins
7 Josh Ralph 1 4
8 Ben Evans 1 4
9 Steve Parry
10 Dan Fleming
11 Rhodri Lloyd 1 4
12 Chester Butler 1 4
13 Connor Davies
16 Jake Emmitt
17 Gavin Bennion 1 4
19 Curtis Davies
22 Mike Butt
Ireland Tries Goals DGs Pts Cards
1 Scott Grix 1 4
2 Alan McMahon
3 James Bentley
4 Jack Higginson
5 Ethan Ryan
6 Greg McNally
7 Liam Finn (c)
8 Liam Byrne
9 Dec O'Donnell
10 George King 1 4
11 Will Hope
12 Tyrone McCarthy
13 Lewis Beinek
15 Ronan Michael
16 Gareth Gill
17 Michael Ward
19 Peter Ryan
Time Score Player Team Action
4 4 - 0 Chester Butler Wales Try
7 6 - 0 James Olds Wales Penalty
19 8 - 0 James Olds Wales Conversion
19 12 - 0 Rhodri Lloyd Wales Try
23 14 - 0 James Olds Wales Conversion
28 18 - 0 Gavin Bennion Wales Try
29 20 - 0 James Olds Wales Conversion
34 20 - 4 Scott Grix Ireland Try
43 24 - 4 Ben Evans Wales Try
44 26 - 4 James Olds Wales Conversion
48 28 - 4 James Olds Wales Penalty
62 32 - 4 Rhys Williams Wales Try
65 32 - 8 George King Ireland Try
69 36 - 8 Josh Ralph Wales Try
69 38 - 8 James Olds Wales Conversion
74 38 - 8 Ben Morris Wales Yellow Card
77 40 - 8 James Olds Wales Penalty
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