Sporting Digest: Rugby Union: Welsh women in command

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

THERE was a time when Wales specialised in losing to opponents such as Kazakhstan. But these are uplifting days in all spheres, and even when the Welsh women trailed 8-6 at half-time there was no danger of their world championship bid falling apart yesterday in Edinburgh, writes Bill Leith.

Wales took control up front and two tries by the lock Kate Eaves and some consistent kicking from a fly-half called Bennett - when have we heard that before? - carved out a 29-8 win. Amanda Bennett landed four penalties and converted a late penalty try in what was ultimately a comfortable win with an extremely tough defence. Victory gave Wales a quarter-final tie against either England or Scotland at Melrose on Sunday.

The hosts, Scotland, may not win the title but they are guaranteed a good party after opening with a 51-0 win over Russia, also in Edinburgh. A brewery has promised the Scottish girls a crate of beer for every try scored. Yesterday they notched eight.

Not a lot went right for Russia who, for the second successive match, failed to breach the opposition 22.

In other matches, Ireland defeated Scottish Students 18-5 while a Japanese team, whose tallest player stood at 5ft 7in, won 10-5 against Sweden.