Wales A Go Down To Record Six Nations Defeat In Cork
2 February 2002 20:41pm
IRELAND A 55, WALES A 22
Wales A slumped to a record Six Nations A Championship defeat as they crashed to an eight try to one defeat at Musgrave Park, in Cork.
Nobody expected such a heavy defeat, espcially after the visitors' had gone into the break leading 15-14. But with the wind at their backs in the second half the Irish side went from strength to strength and added six tries to their two in the first period.
"We picked an experienced side to come out here to play against a very experienced Irish side. Unfortunately, we have failed." said Wales A team manager Ian Stephens.
"We had our ideas on the way we wanted to play, but on the day we were unable to gel as a team. It was disappointing to lose in the manner that we did - we just never got going.
"Give credit to the Irish, they played very well and prevented us from achieving what we set out to do. There is a lot of work to be done before the French game."
Only the boot of Neath outside half Lee Jarvis offered Wales any hope and had it not been for his kicking the defeat would have been even worse.
Wales had first use of the strong wind and two penalties from Jarvis gave them an early lead. The Irish response, on the other hand, was to drive through the forwards and look to keep the ball in hand, resulting in their first try after 20 minutes.
Leinster No 8 Victor Costello made the hard yards form the base of a five metre scrum before Ulster scrum half Neil Doak burrowed over for a try which his half back partner Paul Burke converted.
Three scores from Jarvis, a drop goal followed by two penalties, in the space of five minutes regained the lead for Wales, but that advantage was cut to a point on the stroke of half-time when Munster back row man Alan Quinlan ran in the try of the match.
It started when Ulster full back Paddy Wallace picked up the ball 20 metres out and, after the ball moved through four pairs of hands, Quinlan crossed near the posts for Wallace convert
With the wind at their backs the game turned into a procession of points for the Irish in the second half as they grabbed six more tries to make it a thoroughly miserable day for Wales A coach Mike Ruddock on his return to Ireland.
Doak set up Ulster team mate Jeremy Davidson for a driving try four minutes after the restart, which Burke converted, and three minutes later Ireland broke from their own 22. Costello picked up and drove off the back of the scrum, Burke featured twice in the handling movement and Leinster wing Gordon D'Arcy got the try.
John Kelly was next to cross after 55 minutes and Ulster's Lions wing Tyrone Howe got the first of his brace three minutes later.
There was some brief respite for Wales when Saracens centre Tom Shanklin raced through for a solitary try after 64 mintues, Jarvis adding the conversion, but after that bright moment Mike Voyle was sent to the sin-bin.
Reduced to 14 men for the final 10 minutes Wales conceded another 15 points. Burke punished Voyle for his indiscretion with a penalty and then the irrepressible Wallace grabbed a try he thoroughly deserved.
Then, with the final move of the match, Howe grabbed his second try and Burke brought down the curtain on a great day for the Irish with his fifth conversion.
SCORERS: Ireland A: Tries: N Doak, J Davidson, A Quinlan, G D'Arcy, J Kelly, T Howe 2, P Wallace; Cons: P Burke , P Wallace; Pen: P Burke.
Wales A: Try: T Shanklin; Con: L Jarvis; Pens: L Jarvis 4; DG: L Jarvis.
IRELAND A: Paddy Wallace (Ulster); Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster), John Kelly (Munster), Mike Mullins (Munster), Tyrone Howe (Ulster); Paul Burke (NEC Harlequins), Neil Doak (Ulster); Reggie Corrigan (Leinster, CAPTAIN), Paul Shields (Ulster), Simon Best (Ulster), Leo Cullen (Leinster), Jeremy Davidson (Ulster), Alan Quinlan (Munster), Andy Ward (Ulster), Victor Costello (Leinster).
Replacements: Gavin Hickie (Leinster) for Shields 75; Marcus Horan (Munster) for Best 67; Doncha O'Callaghan (Munster), for Davidson 67; Tony McWhirter (Ulster) for Quinlan 75; Ben Willis (Leinster) for Doak 75, Jason Holland (Munster) for Mullins 75; Anthony Horgan (Munster) for D'Arcy 75.
Yellow Card: P Burke 32
WALES A: Adrian Durston (Bridgend); Gareth Wyatt (Pontypridd), Tom Shanklin (Saracens), Gareth Thomas (Bridgend), Shane Williams (Neath); Lee Jarvis (Neath), Gareth Cooper (Bath); Iestyn Thomas (Ebbw Vale), Mefin Davies (Pontypridd, captain), Andrew Millward (Neath), Mike Voyle (Newport), Gareth Llewellyn (Neath), Alix Popham (Newport), Gavin Thomas (Bath), Geraint Lewis (Swansea).
Replacements: Gareth Williams (Bridgend) for Davies 75; Martyn Madden (Llanelli) for Millward 60; Deiniol Jones (Bridgend) for Lewis 74; Nathan Thomas (Bath) for Gavin Thomas 40; Andy Moore (Neath) for Cooper 75.
Yellow Cards: A Popham 18, M Voyle 70.
Referee: G De Santis (Italy)
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