Wales 20-26 France (9th March 2010)
If you looked at the 20-0 scoreline to France, you'd think there was no way back in for Wales. Youd' think they'd been totally outplayed, and hadn't done anything of note. And yet, come the 60th minute, Leigh Halfpenny had just dived over in the corner, Stephen Jones had kicked 8 points, and France had Morgan Parra sent to the Sin Bin. "Not again..." cried the whole of Europe. Well, excpect the Welsh who where so busy cheering on their Shane that nobody noticed the groaning overseas.
The game started badly for Wales, with Pallison latching onto Hook's pass for an easy run-in under the posts. Parra kicked the conversion, and then two penalties, to give France a 13-0 lead, and that was before a bit of endever from Wales was punnished, as Shane Williams attempted to offload inside his own 22. Francoi Trinh-Duc snatched it from the hands of Wales lock Luke Charteris, to get himself in line for an easy conversion.
However, come the second period things began to come off to Wales. Where as France hadn't done a lot, Wales had began things but made errors at crucial points. But this was not the case now, as Jones banged over 2 penalties, before a flowing move saw winger Halfpenny go over in the corner, superbly converted by Jones. In the build up to the try, Parra was sin-binned, so France were down to 14 men. However, they didn't conceed, but scored 6 points, with replacement Freddy Mishalack kicking two penalties, so it didn't get too close for comfort, which it enevitably did, as Shane Williams scored in the final minute for the second week running for Wales, but France kicked it straight out, ending the game.
Wales: Byrne; Halfpenny, Hook, J Roberts, S Williams; S Jones, R Rees; P James, Bennett, A Jones, B Davies, D Jones, Thomas, M Williams, R. Jones (capt).
France: Poitrenaud; Malzieu, Bastareaud, Jauzion, Palisson; Trinh-Duc, Parra; Domingo, Servat, Mas, Nallet, Pierre, Dusautoir, Bonnaire, Harinordoquy.
KN's Star Man: Bradley Davies
Wales 31-24 Scotland (13th Feb. 2010)
Scotland legend and highest-ever point scorer, Chris Patterson, became the first Scot to ever reach 100 caps (International apperances) at the start of this game, and even though Wales were heavy favourites, it looked like an upset was on the cards, as straight away Scotland flanker John Barcley burst through the Welsh, scoring between the posts, giving Chris Patterson an easy conversion. Stephen Jones did boot a penalty for Wales, but it wasn't enough, recalled fly-half Dan Park chipping through for centre Max Evans to ctach, who grounded and scored the try. Patterson missed the conversion, the first time he's missed in the Six Nations for 4 years. It looked like another Scottish try was in the works, as Max's brother Thom Evans had a run, but Lee Byrne and Ryan Jones hauled him down 20-odd metres short. However, this was it for Evans, as he recieved a knock to his neck, and was carried off on a strecher. He is currently in hospital and has been told he will require major surgery. We at KN would like to wish him and his family all the best.
Parks kept the score board tickinhg, with two penalties and a Drop-Goal, putting Scotland into a demanding 24-9 lead just after the half-time break. However, Wales began to strike back, magician Shane Williams creating an overlap, putting Byrne over in the corner. Jones missed the conversion, but it looked like the mommentum wa sbegining to swing. Or, at least it did until Parks kicked another drop-goal, this time from near the half way line.
Wales were 10 points down with 7 minutes to go, before Leigh Halfpenny was put into space and ran down the touchline and under the posts, at an incredible speed. Jones kicked the conversion, making it 21-24. Wales then got the ball back, and Jamie Roberts made a break, giving the ball to Byrne, who would have scored, but as he chipped the ball ahead to chase, Phil Godman deliberately tripped him up. He was red carded, and Wales were given a penalty. With 50 seconds left to go, they opted to kick it for the draw, Jones making it 24-24, with 10 seconds to go. The ref ruled there time to be one more play, and Wales quickly regathered from the restart, and an intelligent kick from Jones to Halfpenny put them 20-odd yards out from the Scottish try line. Alun Wyn Jones drove on, bringing them within 5 yards, but Scotland continued to defend. Blues lock Bradley Davies charged and took five defenders with him, opening up space for Richie Rees to pass to record try-scorer, Shane Williams, who dived between the posts, winning the game for Wales in the 82nd minute. Stephen Jones kicked the conversion, bringing it to 31-24 to Wales. A glorious victory for the Dragons.
Tries: L Byrne, L Halfpenny, S Williams Cons: S Jones 2 Pens: S Jones 4
Tries: J Barclay, M Evans Cons: C Paterson Pens: Parks 2 Drop-goals: Parks
Yellow Card: S Lawson (62nd Minute) Red Card: P Godman (79th Minute)
England 30-17 Wales (13th Feb. 2010)
Sorry the report's slightly late, but it's here now. As the centenary game at Twickenham, this match had a lot to live up to. The game began with fly-halfs Jonny Wilkinson and Stephen Jones trading kicks, before the turning point: Alun Wyn Jones' controversial trip. The Wales lock did the stupidist thing of his career, sticking his foot out for England hooker Dylan Hartly to trip over. He was sin binned for this, and during that 10-minute period while he was off the pitch, England scored 17 points, 7 through the boot of Jonny Wilkinson, plus tries from James Haskell and Danny Care.
Things began to swing the moment Jones was back on the field, though, as he delivered the scoring pass to prop Adam Jones, who scored for the first time since 2002. The momentium was certainly with Wales, as James Hook broke through, giving a pass to Tom James, which Wilkinson tapped down, and the ref saw it as a knock-oin from Wales. However, not one to be held back, Hook broke the defense again, slippnig and sliding round 6 different England players, and managing to do the hard stuff himself, scoring a fantastic try. Stephen Jones kicked his second conversion of the match. It was now 20-17 to England, as Wales once again made a dart down field, and Stephen Jones launched a pass to replacent winger Leigh Halfpenny, only for England fullback to intercept it. He gave it to Matthew Tait, who ran the length of the field, before poppnig it to Haskall, who scored his second try. A great result for England, if disapointing for Wales.
Wales: Six Nations ’10 Squad (25th January)
Warren Gatland’s Wales announced their squad last Monday, with a number of surprise inclusions and exclusions, with teenage Ospreys Kristian Phillips and Tom Prydie (Who has only played 7 minutes this season.) getting the nod over in-form Dragons duo Aled Brew and Jason Tovey. Cardiff Blues forwards Gareth Williams and Deiniol Jones are recalled, while Adam Jones and Lee Byrne return from injury. There are two players based outside of Wales in the squad, both props, in the form of Eifion Lewis-Roberts and Rhys Gill. (Who will get his first cap for Wales.) Mike Phillips and Dwayne Peel (Wales’ first-choice Scrum-Halves) are both out injured, so uncapped Blues No. 9 Richie Rees comes in as the final uncapped player.
The squad in whole:
Backs: Gareth Cooper, Leigh Halfpenny, Tom James, Richard Rees, Jamie Roberts, Tom Shanklin (all Cardiff Blues) Dan Biggar, Andrew Bishop, Lee Byrne, James Hook, Kristian Phillips, Tom Prydie, Shane Williams (all Ospreys), Jonathan Davies, Stephen Jones, Martin Roberts (all Llanelli Scarlets)
Forwards: Bradley Davies, Gethin Jenkins, Deiniol Jones, Andy Powell, Sam Warburton, Gareth Williams, Martyn Williams (all Cardiff Blues), Huw Bennett, Ian Gough, Paul James, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Ryan Jones, Jonathan Thomas (all Ospreys), Matthew Rees, (Llanelli Scarlets), Luke Charteris, Dan Lydiate (both Dragons, Eifion Lewis-Roberts (Sale Sharks), Rhys Gill (Saracens)