Rugby Union: Dragon breathes real fire: Welsh taking off

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The Independent Online
Wales A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42

Canada A. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

THERE has long been a call to revert to the traditional Welsh way of playing and those pleas are certainly being answered this season. Just look at the facts. This was the 15th international from Under-18 level through to the senior side played by Wales this season and the seven tries here took the overall haul to 62.

The only blemish, apart from the Youth XV's defeat in France on Saturday night, came four months ago when the Canadian senior team brought off a shock 26-24 victory at the Arms Park. At that time it looked as though all was lost, but the coaching hierarchy knew different.

The A team have gone through four matches this season unbeaten and end a hectic programme against France A in Cardiff on Friday night. The fact they have been able to keep on winning with anything up to eight changes per game speaks volumes for their management.

'My task is to create a team feeling and atmosphere in a short space of time. These matches are an opportunity for the national selectors to see players in action outside their normal club environment,' Kevin Bowring, the Wales A coach, said.

Bowring asked his players to spread the ball wide, transfer before the point of contact, and to provide an ever-shifting target for the Canadian tacklers. They did all three so well that the first six tries all came from the back line, Ian Jones scoring two from full-back and Neil Boobyer one in each half.

Wales A: Tries I Jones 2, Boobyer 2, Howley, Davies, Williams; Conversions Davies 2; Penalty Davies. Canada A: Try Penaluna; Penalty Pettigrew; Drop goal Pettigrew.

WALES A: I Jones (Llanelli); D Manley (Pontypridd), N Boobyer (Llanelli), S Lewis (Pontypridd), G Wilkins (Bridgend); A Davies (Cardiff, capt), R Howley (Bridgend); M Griffiths (Cardiff), R McBryde (Swansea), L Mustoe (Cardiff), G Prosser (Pontypridd), P Arnold (Swansea), H Taylor (Cardiff), G Jones (Llanelli), S Williams (Neath). Replacements: P John (Pontypridd) for Howley, 63; D Jones (Cardiff) for Williams, 76. Temporary replacement: D Jones (Cardiff) for G Jones, 20-29.

CANADA A: J Penaluna (University of Victoria); R Toews (Meralomas), D Clarke (Swilers), S Lytton (Meralomas), R Wheeldon (Velox Valhallians); S Pettigrew (Balmy Beach), A Tynan (UBC); P Moen, M Cardinal (James Bay), R Bice, I Cooper (Vancouver RC), M James (Burnaby), A Phillips (Vancouver RC), J Hutchinson (Yeoman), G Ennis (Vancouver Kats, capt). Temporary replacement: J Wheeler (Cole Harbour) for Clarke, 35-40.

Referee: D McHugh (Ireland).

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