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Friday, October 15, 1999 Published at 20:47 GMT 21:47 UK

Sport: Rugby League

Ireland make most of Eyres dismissal

Eyres, seen here during his Leeds days, now plays for Swinton

Wales 17-24 Ireland

Ireland won the first game of the Lincoln Financial Group triangular tournament international in Swansea, after Wales were forced to play most of the match with 12 men.

Former Leeds and Widnes forward Richie Eyres was sent off just 11 minutes into the game.

The Welsh second rower received his marching orders from referee Nick Oddy for a high tackle on Ireland prop Terry O'Connor.

Eyres was famously dismissed while playing for Widnes against Wigan in the 1993 Challenge Cup final at Wembley.

Wales were already weakened by the absence of three Great Britain tourists and injured St Helens duo Chris Smith and Paul Atcheson.

They were trailing 6-0 at the time to a Mick Cassidy try, converted by Ian Herron, but they briefly hit back to take the lead.

Brief Welsh lead

Scrum-half Lee Briers, who was involved in most of Wales' attacking moves, re-gathered his own kick to send centre Steve Thomas racing over for a try, which Martin Pearson goaled from near touch.

And a drop goal that went in off the left-hand upright edged Clive Griffiths' men 7-6 in front before Ireland regained the lead on 28 minutes.

Captain Martin Crompton stretched out of a three-man tackle to plant the ball over the line.

The accurate Herron added the goal and landed a penalty on the stroke of half-time after Wales were caught offside in front of their own posts.

Empty Vetch

This first meeting of Ireland and Wales was played to a near-deserted Vetch Field Stadium in Swansea but the Irish did not appear short of motivation.

The visitors extended their lead seven minutes into the second half when stand-off Tommy Martyn slipped a tackle from Wales debutant full-back Wes Davies to race over for a solo try.

Herron kicked three more goals to maintain his 100% success rate but at least Wales managed two late consolation tries through centre Damian Gibson and stand-off Pearson, who kicked his second conversion.


Wales: Davies, Lee, Gibson, Thomas, Woodward, Pearson, Briers, Cowie, Price, Makin, Morley, Eyres, Hammond. Subs: Eaton, Watson, Highton, Luckwell.

Ireland: Prescott, Herron, Smith, Smyth, Forster, Martyn, Crompton, O'Connor, Lawless, Mathiou, Southern, Cassidy, Dwyer. Subs: Carney, Harmon, Bretherton, Bradbury.

Referee: N Oddy (Halifax)

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