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Wales Deaf retained the Broadstreet Cup in the sunshine at Cardiff Arms Park this afternoon with a convincing 34 points to 10 victory against England Deaf.
The hosts outscored the visitors by five tries to one in an entertaining encounter that saw both teams seeking to play an expansive game and in which Wales stretched their unbeaten run against England to six games.
Wales were first to register on the scoreboard with second row Owen Watkins of Maesteg Quins touching down inside the first two minutes. Dunvant outside half Richard Lewis kicked the conversion to calm any Welsh nerves with an early 7 points to nil lead.
England’s powerful pack proved to be a handful with some powerful driving mauls and probing attacks by their back line. However Wales’ defence held firm despite periods of sustained pressure inside their own half.
With just over quarter of an hour on the clock, powerful winger Aron Humphries of Nelson RFC crowned a fine move by Wales as he crossed in the corner. Outside half Lewis stepped forward to slot a difficult kick and extend the home team’s lead by 14 points to 0.
The visitors continued to play some expansive rugby and were duly rewarded after 19 minutes when outside half Graham Sage kicked a penalty to reduce the deficit to 11 points.
As England threatened to launch a fight-back, lively Wales hooker Dan Vella crashed over on 23 minutes to restore their lead to 19 points to 3.
The key moment in the game occurred on 30 minutes with the dismissal of the England loose head prop for illegal use of the boot. As tensions rose, the referee took the opportunity to speak to both captains about their teams’ discipline.
With half time looming, Wales continued to threaten as their back line enjoyed plenty of ball. A sweeping attack into the England half was halted near their 22m line however Wales wingers Jack Tugwell (Llandaff North RFC) and Aron Humphries both received yellow cards for reacting to some resilient English tackling.
Reduced to 13 players, England saw their opportunity to capitalise on their numerical advantage and try to reduce the deficit before half time. It was the hosts however who finished the stronger with Lewis kicking his first penalty of the day to give Wales a half time lead of 22 points to three.
England began the second half the stronger and dominated possession and territory for the first 10 minutes. Despite being without both wingers, Wales held out and gradually imposed a hold on the game.
Wingers Tugwell and Humphries returned after their time in the sin-bin and captain Adam Brake (Caerleon RFC) finished off some fine play from the home forwards with a try on 57 minutes to extend Wales’ lead by 27 points to 3.
As the game entered its closing stages, Wales enjoyed the majority of possession and territory and rounded off a fine afternoon with Morriston flanker Jon Cudd crossing near the posts. Lewis slotted the conversion to give a Wales a convincing lead by 34 points to 3.
England responded positively and continued to give the Wales defence plenty to think about. Their perseverance paid off in the final minute of added time as centre Cameron Roberts jinked through the Wales defence to touch down for a well taken try.
The conversion was narrowly missed and the referee called time on another splendid advertisement for International Deaf Rugby.
Final Score : Wales Deaf 34 – 10 England