Wales Deaf overcome England Deaf to retain the Broadstreet Cup
Wales Deaf faced a hugely spirited England Deaf side at Pontypridd today but held out by 23 points to 12 to retain the Broadstreet Cup.
England began the brighter of the two sides and dominated both territory and possession during the first 10 minutes. Seeking to make it seven wins on the bounce, it was the home team who had the opportunity to open the scoring on 12 minutes however Dunvant outside half Richard Lewis was narrowly wide with his attempt from 23 metres out.
The Welsh forwards then began to see more of the ball with some powerful and direct rolling mauls. Desperate English defence resulted in a maul being brought down illegally, which offered Lewis another attempt at goal from a similar position to his earlier attempt. The result however was the same and the scoreboard remained blank after 15 minutes.
Lewis, who was making his final appearance for Wales Deaf soon found his range when only a minute later, he put Wales ahead by 3 – 0 with a straightforward penalty in front of the posts.
Some outstanding interplay from the Wales backs almost led to the game’s first try but the ball was lost forward with the try line at their mercy. Wales soon extended their lead though with a well taken penalty by Lewis after 33 minutes following a high tackle.
With half time looming, Wales winger Aron Humphreys latched onto a loose ball inside his own half, kicked on and a foot race ensued to be the first to the ball. The ball sat up perfectly for the pacey Nelson winger to cross under the posts however the try was disallowed as play was pulled back for a knock on.
Wales weren’t to be denied though as on the stroke of half time, full back Gareth John was put away in the far right hand corner following a well worked overlap.
Half time: Wales Deaf 11 – 0 England Deaf
England began the second half in much the same way as the first and enjoyed plenty of ball as they put Wales under early pressure. As the visitor’s intensified their assault on home try line, Wales winger Aron Humphreys received a yellow card on 49 minutes following an intervention from the assistant referee. England were quick to capitalise on their numerical advantage as second row Barney Reid crossed to reduce the deficit to 11 – 5.
With the number of unforced errors increasing for the home side, England were quickly on the attack from the re-start. As another try appeared almost inevitable, desperate defence from Wales turned to relief as they were awarded a penalty following an infringement at a scrum that allowed them to clear their lines.
The visitors gained confidence in spreading the ball across the field at every opportunity however were unable to add further to their score. The turning point of the game came 6 minutes from time as Wales were awarded a penalty 26 metres out. Anticipating a relatively straightforward kick at the posts, outside half Lewis chose instead to kick for the corner and keep the pressure on England.
The decision proved to be decisive one as from the ensuing line out, the Wales forwards combined well to drive hooker Dan Vella over in the right hand corner. Lewis kicked the conversion to extend Wales’ lead by 16 points to 5.
Two minutes later, Nelson winger Aron Humphreys latched onto a loose ball and sprinted in from around 25 metres to give Wales an unassailable lead. Lewis kicked the conversion.
With time in the red zone, England continued to play positive rugby and were duly rewarded as Max Thorne dived over in the corner. Scrum half Jack Haddock kicked the conversion.
Final score: Wales Deaf 23 – 12 England Deaf