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Wales breeze past Moldova

Joe Allen: Scored his first international goal for Wales

With eight minutes to go until Wales

Danger man: Gareth Bale weaves his way through the Moldovan defence 4

Moldova 0 WALES started their qualifying

campaign for the 2018 World Cup with an excellent 4-0 win over Moldova in Cardiff on Monday night (Sept 5). Chris Coleman’s side surpassed

all expectations at Euro 2016 and they are keen to build on that success by qualifying for the World Cup in Russia. They made the perfect start on

Monday in front of a capacity crowd of 31,731, with goals from Sam Vokes,

Joe Allen and two from Gareth Bale. Coleman stuck with the majority

of the side that started their previous game against Portugal in the Euro 2016 semi-final with the exception of Ben Davies and Sam Vokes. Wales knew Moldova would be

looking to frustrate them but when Andrei Cojocari’s shot went so wide that it almost went out for a throw-in, in the third minute, they knew they wouldn’t have to worry too much. At the other end, some good play

between Bale and Andy King saw them put Chris Gunter in but despite going

half time, Wales’ patience paid off as Gareth Bale’s cross was headed down and into the net by Sam Vokes. Bale then saw a long range effort

down under a challenge no penalty was given. Pembrokeshire boy Joe Allen

looked in good form as he skipped away from a challenge before winning a free kick which Bale sent over the bar.

Another Bale run then set up Gunter

who crossed to the edge of the box for Joe Ledley but his tame shot was easily saved by the Moldovan keeper. Memories of Euro 2016 came

flooding back as fans recreated the iconic Icelandic thunder clap, made famous by the Iceland fans.

tipped wide and the resultant corner was punched out but only as far as Joe Allen, and his first time shot went in off the keeper for his first ever international goal. The game was wrapped up early in

the second half as Bale capitalised on a loose pass to run clear before lofting the ball over the keeper into the right side of the goal. Wales continued to look for more

goals with King seeing a couple of efforts go wide. Hal Robson-Kanu was brought

on with twenty minutes to go and he arguably received one of the

biggest cheers of the night, with fans remembering his famous goal against Belgium. He almost set up a fourth goal when

he ran to the by-line before squaring the ball but the Moldovan defenders were able to clear the ball. There were almost shades of his

goal against Belgium but his shot on the turn was saved by the keeper. Joe Allen continued to play well

as he kept going right until the final whistle and showed good work to win the ball back. Deep into stoppage time Wales

were awarded a penalty when Bale was brought down in the box. The Real Madrid forward stepped

up and buried the spot kick into the bottom left corner to complete an emphatic win.

Cardiff met prove too strong for Newcastle Emlyn

Newcastle Emlyn 13 Cardiff Met 20

A WET and windy Dol Wiber saw

Emlyn welcome visitors Cardiff Met to the first Championship game of the season and it was the students who went away with their first ever victory at Dol Wiber. To describe the Emlyn performance

as early season rustiness would be an understatement, as the normally fluent Emlyn back line failed to function as a unit in attack or defence, presenting coach Marc Lloyd with more than a few problems to work on. Without looking for excuses, injuries and unavailability of crucial players severely disrupted their preparations for this match. The students on the other hand had

been training every day, all day for the last three weeks and it showed in their organisation and play. Credit must go to the Emlyn defence

in only conceding three tries as they, at times, defended desperately as the s tudents looked to score the all-important bonus point. The opening score of the game came

after just ten minutes and probably was due more to the Emlyn midfield not having played together ever before as to

the good play by the visitors. From a line out on the half way

line the ball was passed to the powerful visitors inside centre, Miles Moorhouse, who ran straight through two would be tacklers and perfectly drew Emlyn’s last defender to put fellow centre Robbie Smith over for an unconverted try in the corner. The speed of the Cardiff backs was

causing problems for the Emlyn defence and it took Emlyn some twenty five minutes before they were able to exert any sort of worthwhile pressure on the visitors. A counter attack initiated by Emlyn full back Shaun Leonard led to the students being penalised at a scrum some fifteen metres from their line. With the strong cross wind making

kicks at goal a lottery the home side opted for another scrum. This time the ball shot out of the side of the scrum but quick thinking centre Alun Howells picked up the bouncing ball and was brought down five metres short of the line.

He managed to feed powerful

number eight Luke Kendall who, using all his strength, managed to force the ball down by the posts despite the attentions of some four defenders. Outside half Nico Setaro added the extra points.

The students came back at Emlyn as

the half drew to a conclusion. Outside half Alex Seers was just wide with a long range penalty attempt from the ten metre line and was unlucky to go off injured after a collision with Emlyn prop Gethin Davies. Some poor play by the home side

saw them placed under a great deal of pressure and it was only some fine defensive play by winger Llyr Jones that managed to keep the students out. Emlyn however were unable to clear their line and ended up conceding a lineout five metres out. Showing the benefit of their training and organisation they executed a perfect peel around the front of the line enabling second row James Little to crash over in the corner for another unconverted try just before half time. The start of the second half saw

Emlyn exert some pressure on the visitors’ line, but some fairly basic errors allowed the students to clear their line comfortably. Cardiff showed far greater urgency especially when Emlyn made any sort of mistake, which unfortunately as the half went on increased in frequency. Their line out work was exemplary

and a lesson to the Emlyn forwards as they won a constant stream of quality

possession and often disrupted and stole ball on Emlyn’s throw. After quarter of an hour the Emlyn

coaches sent on Mike Jones at scrum half and Joel James in the back row and they did bring some much needed urgency to the Emlyn play. Their cause was not helped however

when flanker Brynmor Jones was binned for kicking the ball out of a ruck. From this offence the students opted

to go for touch, Emlyn managed stop the resultant driving maul but scrum half Ben Williams cleverly fed second row Alex Dombrandt who crossed in the corner for their third try, superbly converted by Miles Moorhouse. This did spur Emlyn into some sort

of action and some powerful runs by Joel James took play into the Cardiff twenty two. From loose play outside half, Setaro, made an incisive break and fed Owain Powell. The flanker looked certain to score

but was brought down short of the line, Emlyn quickly recycled the ball and moved it wide. Winger Llyr Davies looked certain to score in the corner but instead of diving for glory opted to come back inside and was comfortably tackled by the defenders. On the half hour another powerful

run by James led to the students conceding a penalty on their twenty two line which Setaro converted to bring the home side within reach of a bonus point. The visitors were determined to get

what could be the all-important fourth try and bonus point. Emlyn’s midfield defence was once again opened up by the Met centre’s try. Emlyn were unable to effectively

clear their lines and clearance kicks were continually run back at them by the students. Try as they might they could not

breach the home defence with some excellent defensive work being done by the forwards. Deep in injury time Cardiff Met were awarded another penalty in the Emlyn twenty two and they opted for the kick at goal. Converted by Moorhouse to take the losing bonus point away from the home side. Excellent referee Andrew Davies

from Aberystwyth had other ideas though, and the students were penalised at the re-start and then a further ten metres were added for back chat. Outside half Setaro calmly walked

up and stroked the ball through the posts to give the home side a losing bonus point which the team and their loyal supporters were relieved to get.

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