Cadair Olwyn | Wales 34 The Army 24

Wales fought hard for a morale-boosting 34-24 win against the Army, with their tour of the USA just a fortnight away.

The match in Cwmbran was attended by former Wales men’s internationals Kevin Ellis and Allan Bateman and was filmed by S4C’s Heno programme with the feature to be shown on Monday evening (tomorrow).

The Army took first blood in the game, scoring an unconverted try in the third minute through Liam Stancliffe.

Wales struck back in the 17th minute, slightly against the run of play as the Army had been pressing for a second for some time. But when Scott Trigg-Turner outpaced everyone to latch onto a long kick, he easily wheeled over to score. Andrew Higgins converted.

From kick-off, Wales increased their lead. Co-captain Gary Preece going in under the sticks and Higgins converting again.

There was nearly a third, but Martin Lane’s score was chalked off for a forward pass, but his next try was allowed, scoring on 26 minutes.

Army got a try back straight away through former England captain James Simpson. Former Ireland captain Toby Burton-Carter converted.

Wales addressed the balance quickly. Trigg-Turner scoring his second of the game and Preece converting to give them a 22-10 lead.

But it was Army who finished the first half in the ascendancy with tries from Burton-Carter and Steven Sampher, with Burton-Carter converting his own try to put them just two points behind at the break.

Wales increased their lead early in the second half when Lane zoomed from the half-way line to make the conversion easy for Higgins.

Again the Army struck back as Stancliffe went over in the corner for his second, that went unconverted.

Harry Jones was the next to go over for Wales for an unconverted try and Wales were eight points up with 20 minutes to go.

With points now becoming tough to come by and defences tightening, Wales chose to go for the points when presenting with a kickable penalty with four minutes to go, and Preece made no mistake to cement the win.

Wales: Jodie Boyd-Ward (Leeds Rhinos, co-captain), Gary Preece (Hereford Harriers, co-captain), Scott Trigg-Turner (London Roosters), Martin Lane (Wigan Warriors/Torfaen Tigers), Andrew Higgins (Hereford Harriers). Subs: Phillip Davies (Hereford Harriers), Mason Baker (North Wales Crusaders), Harry Jones (North Wales Crusaders).

Tries: Trigg-Turner (17, 32), Preece (19), Lane (26, 47), Jones (59)
Goals: Higgins 3/5, Preece 2/2

Army: James Simpson, Steven Sampler, Tristan Norfolk, Liam Stancliffe, Justin Wells. Subs: Toby Burton-Carter, Luke Simmonds.

Tries: Stancliffe (3, 54), Simpson (29), Burton-Carter (37), Sampher (40)
Goals: Norfolk 0/1, Burton-Carter 2/4

Referees: Kim Abel and Ewan Cribbins
Half-time: 22-20