Cardif Arms Park, 26 January 2014
Four tries by full back Wes Pooley helped Wales Deaf secure a 36 point to 3 victory over England Deaf at Cardiff Arms Park today.
The world’s first deaf rugby international to be played on a 4G artificial pitch was played in front of a healthy crowd who braved the elements on a challenging afternoon for both sides.
England started strongly with some powerful surges from their strong pack of forwards. Their early dominance was rewarded by a penalty for an infringement at the lineout, however outside half Sam Scadeng pulled the attempt wide.
Wales began to enjoy more ball from the lineout and a firm platform at the scrum. From a period of prolonged pressure inside the England twenty two, full back Wes Pooley evaded despairing tackles to slide over for the game’s first try after 15 minutes. Celyn Ashton kicked the conversion to take Wales into a 7 – 0 lead.
Directly from the kick off, the ball was kicked long by England, which offered Wales a great opportunity to attack from a scrum on half way. The ball was unfortunately lost by the Welsh pack at the following ruck and from the lineout that followed a penalty to England, scrum half Graham Sage put 3 points on the board to the visitors.
The wind was making kicking difficult and both sides attempted to keep the ball in hand. A thrilling length of the field counter attack was started by Pooley from his own try line, only to be ended with the ball being lost forward close to the England try line.
With half time nearing, further pressure inside the England twenty two by the Welsh forwards allowed space for Pooley to cross for his second try of the game. Celyn Ashton’s conversion saw Wales lead 14 – 3 at the break.
Following the break, Wales enjoyed the benefit of the strong wind which allowed them to control territory with some probing kicks deep into the England half. Despite their willingness to spread the ball, Wales’ next try came through the forwards as prop David Wellbeloved capitalised on some excellent close interplay to stretch the home side’s lead to 19 – 3.
With England beginning to chase the game, Wales were offered a straightforward 3 points as the visitors were caught offside at a ruck. Celyn Ashton slotted a well struck penalty from 38 metres to keep the scoreboard ticking over at 22 – 3.
As the game entered its closing stages, the game started to open up as England attempted to breach the firm Welsh defence.
This allowed the home back line to stretch the visitors and man of the match Pooley capitalised with two further well taken tries, converted by Celyn Ashton, that saw Wales reclaim the Broadstreet Cup by 36 – 3.