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Friday, October 22, 1999 Published at 20:44 GMT 21:44 UK


Sport: Rugby League

Scots thrill at Firhill



Scotland 36-16 Wales

Scotland thrilled the 637 fans at Firhill with a comfortable victory in the Lincoln Triangular Tournament.

RFL officials declared themselves satisfied with the turn-out, although the vast empty spaces at Partick Thistle's football ground were reminiscent of those seen at Murrayfield in recent days.

A brace of tries from Danny Arnold and Andrew Lambert set up a comfortable win as the home side eventually cruised home after a nail-biting first hour.

The visitors had constantly rallied when they fell behind, but the Scots made their extra week's rest tell to set up a Dublin decider against Ireland in eight days time.

Having lost the opening game of the competition against Ireland in Swansea last week, Wales needed a win to avoid the embarrassment of being handed the wooden spoon.

But it was Scotland who had the edge in experience and also produced the most fluid play of the match.

Teenager stars

Leeds teenager Scott Rhodes had the confidence to prompt the Scottish side even though he has never played a first team game for the Headingley club.

It was no surprise when Scotland took the lead, with Huddersfield's Arnold taking Andy Craig's inside pass to cut in from the wing and race over the try line.

Wales drew level for the first of three times when when Martin Pearson evaded the cover after half-back partner Lee Briers had sent him clear.

Rival skippers Danny Russell and Neil Cowie crossed within two minutes of each other to maintain parity.

But it was Scotland who led at the interval courtesy of Andrew Lambert's injury-time try.

The Workington youngster, one of only two home players not attached to Super League clubs, added another in the later stages as Wales faded.

Wales level again

But at the break his first try looked like a vital score, since it took Wales just seven second-half minutes to reply, Lee Briers dummying his way over from close range.

The scoring pattern recommenced when Mike Wainwright finished off a move which started in the Scottish half.

David Maiden, Jason Roach and Nathan Graham were all involved before Wainwright finished off with a 20 metre sprint to the line.

By now Wales were wilting and Scotland sensed one more score would secure victory.

The excellent Matt Crowther nabbed it, following his own kick through and beating Martin Pearson to the final touch.

Crowther also kicked four goals in the convincing win, while Lambert's second try ensured Scotland went past Ireland's seven point victory margin of last week.

Arnold then widened the margin to 20 points, pouncing as the ball dribbled towards the dead-ball line.

Teams:

Scotland: Graham, Roach, Maiden, Craig, Arnold, Crowther, Rhodes, Cram, Russell, MacDonald, Shaw, Anderton, Wainwright. Subs: Lambert, Duffy, Berry, Lowe.

Wales: Davis, Smith, Gibson, Thomas, Lee, Pearson, Briers, Makin, Watson, Cowie, Morley, Highton, Hammond. Subs: Eaton, Price, Eyres, Lockwell.

Referee: J Connolly (Wigan)



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