Rugby

Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup: Wales beat Scotland 70-36 to set up England semi-final

Wales captain Stuart Williams takes on the Scottish defense
Scotland (20) 36
Attempts: Scholarship 4, Willans, Mellon 2 Goals: Willans, award 3
Wales (36) 70
Attempts: Trigg-Turner 3, Preece, Higgins 4, Lane 2, Jones 2 Goals: Higgins 9, M Williams 2

Wales will face England in the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup semi-finals after a 70-36 victory over Scotland in Sheffield.

Andrew Higgins scored four tries and Scott Trigg-Turner scored a hat-trick as Wales edged past the Scots.

Wales scored 12 tries against Scotland’s seven to secure their place in the quarter-finals.

It was Wales’ second win in Group B after beating the United States, while Scotland lost for the third time in the World Cup despite four tries from Dan Grant.

The Welsh justified their tag as favorites in this decisive group game to prepare for Sunday’s encounter with England, although they will start that tie as underdogs.

Wales took control early on against Scotland, with Trigg-Turner and Gary Preece going down in the opening six minutes.

Dan Grant scored the first of his three tries to give Scotland hope, but Trigg-Turner and Higgins responded quickly for Wales.

John Willans and Mike Mellon scored quick tries to give Scotland hope of getting back into the competition, but Martin Lane and Harry Jones crossed before the break to put Wales in control despite Grant’s goal just before the buzzer.

Jones extended Wales’ lead right at the start of the second half before player of the match Higgins, who also had nine goals, scored twice in three minutes to put his team in total control.

Quick hands then saw Trigg-Turner drop into the corner before Scotland scored tries through Mellon and Grant.

But Wales soon went back on the offensive, with Higgins and Lane crossing closely before Grant’s fourth try for Scotland right at the end.

Wales’s match against England will also be in Sheffield, as will the other semi-final between France and Australia.

Andrew Higgins from Wales said:

“I am very happy for the boys and girls in the team. Reaching the semi-final is an unreal result.

“We didn’t take anything for granted. I think the USA showed that when they beat Scotland the other day.

“We did our analysis and we knew we had to have our game plan. I think we mastered our game plan and got the result in the end.”

“I can not wait [for the semi-finals]. I don’t think we expected it as a team. It’s going to be amazing, so roll on Sunday.”

Scotland head coach Mark Roughsedge said:

“It’s been a true story of our competition: we are our own worst enemy, aren’t we? We need to eliminate our mistakes.”

“But honestly, I think we are not that far away. I think we are one or two years away from being really competitive. I am confident that in the next World Cup we will be in those final stages.”

“We really need to grow the game in Scotland. We need to create new clubs and hopefully our own competition where we can feed the national team.”

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