Rugby League: Wales hold on

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The Independent Online
France. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18

Wales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

WALES survived a second-half onslaught to hang on to win by a solitary point against France in Perpignan yesterday.

The French captain, Gilles Dumas, stunned Wales with an early try but Warrington's Allan Bateman retaliated, scooping up a David Bishop pass and holding off two tackles before touching down.

Wales seized the initiative and they were rewarded with tries from the Widnes centre John Devereux and the Salford loose forward Robert Ackerman.

Ryedale-York's Gary Pearce kicked the goal from all three tries and landed a drop goal as Wales built up a 19-4 lead. The French rallied towards the end of the first half, the new cap Lucien Demacedo scoring a try.

France threw everything at Wales after the interval, drawing to within a point with tries by Jean- Marc Garcia and Pierre Chamorin and a goal by Marc Tisseyre.

A tired Wales were relieved to hear the final whistle and owed much to the defensive heroics of their captain, David Young of Salford, and Widnes' Paul Moriarty.

France: Tries Dumas, Demacedo, Garcia, Chamori; Goal Tissere. Wales: Tries Bateman, Devereux, Ackerman; Goals Pearce 3; Drop Pearce.

FRANCE: J Frisson (Villefranche); C Sirvent (St Gaudens), P Chamorin (St Esteve), P Fages (Pia), J-M Garcia (St Esteve); G Dumas (St Gaudens, capt), L Demacedo (Avignon); B Llong (XIII Catalan), P Torreilles (Pia), G Delpech (Carcasonne), R Clarke (Cannes), D Cabestany (XIII Catalan), M Tisseyre (Carcassonne). Replacements: D Amat (Lezignan) for Llong, 56; C Grandjean (Lezignan) for Clarke, 63; D Despin (Villeneuve) for Fages, 65.

WALES: P Ford (Salford); A Hadley (Widnes), A Bateman (Warrington), J Devereux (Widnes), A Sullivan (St Helens); G Pearce (Ryedale- York), K Ellis (Warrington); D Young (Salford, capt), D Bishop (London), I Marlow (Hull), P Moriarty (Widnes), R Phillips (Warrington), R Ackerman (Salford). Replacements: I Stevens (Hull) for Sullivan, 26; M Moran (Leigh) for Marlow, 55; P Kennett (Swinton) for Moriarty, 76; P Williams (Salford) for Bishop, 69.

Referee: M Whitfield (England).