18th June 2012
WALES 16 FRANCE 28
Mynydd Isa born Rhys Williams rewrote the record books for Wales against France on Saturday in Wrexham, scoring two tries to become Wales’ top international try scorer of all time.
And with age on his side, he’s only 22, he has plenty of time to increase his scoring record, which is currently 13 tries in as many appearances beating Iestyn Harris’ record.
Wales lost the game 16-28 but the result mattered little. Wales fielded six debutants, all youngsters who are in with a good chance of making the 2013 World Cup squad if they continue their development in this fashion.
Despite the dreadful weather, both sides started well and completed their first few sets. However both sides were unable to get that near to the line, defences were on top during the early period.
David James had a nice mazy run and looked to create a try. The ball was worked out to Michael Channing but he was forced into touch.
France were closest in the first ten minutes but Kane Bentley knocked on as he was looking to ground.
Their persistence was rewarded on 15 minutes when Cyril Stacul grounded after excellent build up work from William Barthau and Thomas Bosc. Bosc converted.
The French carried on attacking. Mickaël Simon was close but now with the balls starting to get greasy, he knocked on with a fairly clear run to goal. Antoni Maria was held up over the line minutes later.
Clément Soubeyras also had a try ruled out. It would have been a well-worked effort following a good run from Stacul but he was judged to have been pushed into touch.
Finally they scored a second when Grégory Mounis received Barthau’s pass to score under the sticks. Bosc easily converted.
On the brink of half-time, Rhys Williams equalled Harris’ record by grounding in the corner after being set up well by David James. Danny Jones missed the kick.
Wales looked for another try back. Andy Bracek and Danny Jones looked to create a chance for some excellent skills but a forward pass prevented a try at the end of the set.
But France extended their lead when Matthew Griffi charged through but Bosc missed the kick.
South Wales Scorpions’ David James struck back for Wales, brilliantly weaving his way through and grounding under the sticks for a try on his debut.
Straight away France regained possession and Griffi charged through for his second which Bosc converted.
However that was before the piece of history was made when Williams slid in for his second and Wales’ third try of the game which Jones converted.
France struck back again when Cyril Stacul charged over to the left of the sticks and Bosc converted.
Wales attempted tries back. After having one disallowed for an infringement, Danny Jones was a metre short of the line on the final tackle of a set while debutant Craig Moss was alleged to have been held up over the line.
But in the end it was the more experienced French who held out but Wales should be credited for their efforts and spirit throughout.
1 David James - South Wales Scorpions
2 Jack Pring - Leeds Rhinos
3 Michael Channing - London Broncos
4 Christiaan Roets - North Wales Crusaders
5 Rhys Williams - Warrington Wolves
6 Danny Jones - Keighley Cougars
7 Ollie Olds - Leeds Rhinos
8 Jordan James - Salford City Reds ©
9 Steve Parry - South Wales Scorpions
10 Jacob Emmitt - Castleford Tigers
11 Andy Bracek - Barrow Raiders
12 Rhodri Lloyd - Wigan Warriors
13 Ross Divorty - Halifax
14 Daniel Fleming - Castleford Tigers
15 Iwan Brown - North Wales Crusaders
16 Joe Burke - South Wales Scorpions
17 Craig Moss - Keighley Cougars
Tries: Williams (39, 60), D.James (53)
Goals: Jones 2/3
1 Cyril Stacul - Catalan Dragons
2 Jérémy Guiraud - Carcassonne
3 Jean-Philippe Baile - Catalan Dragons
4 Mathias Pala - Saint-Estève
5 Clément Soubeyras - Pia
18 Thomas Bosc - Catalan Dragons
7 William Barthau - Saint-Estève Xiii Catalan
8 Mathieu Griffi - Lézignan
9 Kane Bentley - Lézignan
20 Mickaël Simon - Catalan Dragons
11 Olivier Elima - Bradford Bulls ©
12 Antoni Maria - Saint-Estève XIII Catalan
13 Grégory Mounis - Catalan Dragons
14 Eloi Pelissier - Catalan Dragons
21 Romaric Bemba - Carcassonne
16 Andrew Bentley - Lézignan
17 Kevin Larroyer – Toulouse
Tries: Stacul (15, 67), Mounis (32), Griffi (48, 56)
Goals: Bosc 4/5
Referee: James Child (England)