WALES 25 IRELAND 10
Wales qualified for the World Shield Final following an excellent second half performance in their 25-10 win over Ireland in Brisbane on Tuesday night. Both sides were able to name as many substitutes as they wanted to enable the full squads to have run out.
The match was littered with handling errors by both teams due to the slippery pitch conditions following an hour's worth of rain beforehand. Completed sets of six were at a minimum, especially in the first half.
Ireland had the better of the first 15 minutes, throwing their all at the solid Welsh defence but were unable to find a way through.
It was Wales who took the lead slightly against the run of play in the 13th minute as Andrew Bond finished off a good passing move that involved Neil Davies and Gavin Curry.
Shaun Quinn leveled things up at 4-4 in the 21st minute after he broke through on the final tackle but Wales went into the break with an 11-4 lead after Jason Massey stormed in under the posts following another good passing move. Dean Scully converted the try then kicked a tactical fieldgoal just minutes before the hooter.
In the 44th minute, man-of-the-match, Matt Jackson set Dewi Scourfield up with a try under the posts while Jackson could have had one himself just minutes later but his 60 metre run was brought to a halt just metres from the line.
Wales wrapped up the match with two tries in five minutes. The first, the try of the match in the 58th minute was by Ben Smith after Dan ap Dafydd had skillfully knocked down Dean Scully's pass.
Then after Jackson was tackled following an excellent weaving run, Pete Moore brilliantly ran through the defence at dummy half.
However, Ireland had the last word after strong pressure in the last ten minutes. Paul O'Connor was unlucky knocked to score after he was beaten to the ball following a Gaz Simpson grubber, but Ireland finally got a second half score with five minutes left on the clock after Adam Walsh converted his own try, a 70-metre run to the line.
But it was too little too late as Wales qualified to meet the Pacific Islands on Friday.
WALES: Matt Jackson, Andrew Bond, Geraint Davies, Austin Saunders, Ben Smith, Phil Carleton, Mark Dando, Gavin Curry, Dan ap Dafydd, Jason Massey, Gareth Thirsk, Neil Davies, Dennis Pugh. Subs (all used): Dean Scully, Pete Moore, Dewi Scourfield, Matt Drew, Gareth Morgan, Mark Burke, Neil Hesketh, Jonathan Brinkworth, Dave Roberson, Ross Olney.
Tries: Bond (13), Massey (30), Scourfield (44), Smith (58), Moore (62). Goals: Scully 2/5. Fieldgoal: Scully
IRELAND: Paul O?Connor, Shaun Quinn, Keith Armstrong, Danny Shaw, Ste Smith, Adam Walsh, Jimmy Giblin, Matt Clarke, Phil Wood, Dave Bulmer, Luke Garnett, Paul Lane, Lian Julian. Subs (all used): James Gross, Dave Heathwood, Kieran McTaggart, Mark Molyneux, Ben Toleman, Gaz Simpson, Rich Mulrooney, Jon Clarke, Alex Gross, Dave Hudson, Chris Harwood.
Tries: Quinn (21), Walsh (75) Goals: Walsh 1 / 2
Gamestar: Matt Jackson who made some excellent runs and was unlucky not to be rewarded with a try.
Gamebreaker: Tries from Ben Smith and Pete Moore in five second-half minutes gave Wales an unbeatable 21-point lead.
Men of the match: Wales - Matt Jackson. Ireland -Jimmy Giblin. Referee: Matthew Hawkins (Australia). Half-time: 11-4.
PACIFIC ISLANDS 30 SCOTLAND 16
Peter Kay calls it 'fine rain'. North of the border, it's known as a 'Scotch Mist' while the locals in Brisbane just call it 'flamin' cold'. Whatever the expression, it was a dismal night weather wise but Pacific Islands and Scotland entertained on the rugby field with the Islanders battling to a 30-16 win.
The Pacific Islands went into a 16-0 lead after only ten minutes as Scotland's indiscipline cost them dearly.
Josh Stowers was first over the line after only three minutes and Junior Alesana followed that up by crossing just four minutes later. Man-of -the-match Sione Fukofuka converted both.
Luke Srana, who had set up Alesana?s try, started a move that led to a Liu Faamate score just minutes later to make it 16-0. Fukofuka was also involved in the assist.
Scotland finally got on the board in the 24th minute after a 20-metre run from Andy Grey. Dougie Thompson pounced on a grubber kick to score just three minutes later to give Scotland hope at 16-12 but Fukofuka slid in for a try that looked suspiciously offside just five minutes before half time to enable the Islanders to go into half-time with an eight-point lead.
Full-back Wil Wishere extended their lead to 12 with a try just a minute after the break but Scotland got one back in the 49th minute after a period of immense Scottish pressure as Chris Fletcher set up Calum Morrison in the corner.
The increasing rain was causing handling errors by both sides and it was 25 minutes before another try was registered.
Both sides had their chances though. Ramon Filipine was short of the line twice, stopped by Dougie Thompson on the second occasion following a 70-metre run by the second-row forward. Scotland's Barry Earl was also stopped metres short of the line following his 50-metre run while Luke Srama knocked on when grounding in the 73rd minute.
However, just a minute later, Srama made up for his error by running over the line to clinch the game.
PACIFIC ISLANDS: Wil Wishere, Bruno Schwartz, John Rece, Sam Valaau, Phillip Breslin, Sione Fukofuka, Josh Stowers, David Trone, Luke Srama, Peter Pilou, Junior Alesano, Liu Faamate, Keli Fukofuka. Subs (all used): Helmy Souvannvone, Eddie Aila, Reggie Peranara, Ramon Filipine, Bobby Makau, Nic Williams.
Tries: Stowers (3), Alesana (7), Famaate (10), S.Fukofuka (35), Wishere (41), Srama (74) Goals: S.Fukofuka 2/5, Stowers 1/1
SCOTLAND: Dave Ford, Dougie Thompson, Calum Morrison, Dougie Flockhart, Alistair Leighton-Scotts, Mike Murphy, Bobby Bahadori, Tony Williams, Chris Fletcher, Dave Simm, Ross Marshall, Stuart Dunbar, Barry Earl. Subs: Andy Grey, Chris Chamberlain, Lee Spence, Ryan Black, Dave Birchall, Dave Jones.
Tries: Grey (24), Thompson (27), Morrison (49) Goals: Ford 2/3
Gamestar: Sione Fukofuka who had a hand in virtually every Pacific Islands try, scoring one himself.
Gamebreaker: Luke Srama?s 74th minute try gave the Pacific Islanders the gap they needed following strong pressure from Scotland.
Men of the match: Pacific Islands - Sione Fukofuka. Scotland - Chris Fletcher.
Referee: Ian McGregor (Scotland). Half-time 20-12.