Wales and Ireland Masters entertain with try fest in Cardiff

Every game in Masters Rugby League ends 0-0 and in the international game, it’s no different. Wales may have scored ten tries to Ireland’s two but in this version of the game, played by over 35s and adapted rules for the age groups, it’s all about the spirit of the game, the social aspect and improving mental health.

The match was a culmination of a long afternoon of events where past Armed Forces players took on each other in an exhibition of Masters Rugby League.

Guests of honour for the day were former Wales men’s internationals Kevin Ellis and Allan Bateman, with the latter being given the honour of presenting the Wales players with their shirts, on the pitch before the game started – a very unique and memorable event for all involved. Perhaps one day, he may wear Wales colours again in this version of the sport?


Whilst the tries didn’t count for any points, the large crowd at Cardiff Arms Park cheered them just as much as they would a rugby union Six Nations game next door.

A fantastic run from David Castle in the second minute gave Wales their first try of the game, with Russell Gardner and Gareth Evans soon adding scores.

Ireland hit back in the 13th minute thanks to a Brian Moloney try, only for Evans to cross for his second for Wales directly in reply. Evans soon ran in for his hat-trick, the first time this has ever happened in Wales Masters colours.

Gethin Morgan soon ran in for Wales’ seventh try with Evans getting the eighth before Scott Wilson scored for Ireland just before half-time.

With players tiring following an exhausting first half, it took 23 minutes before Wales’ Gareth Pierce added to the scoring after the break. Five minutes later, Morgan added his second and Wales’ tenth.

Then came the most important aspect of the day, retiring to the bar where everyone could buy a drink for their opposite number.

If you want to get involved in Masters, there are clubs all around Wales. If you’d like to join us or set up your own Masters team or find out more, get in touch with Chris Thomas at