Welsh Probables ease past Possibles
May 30, 2014
Jonathan Davies was fantastic for the Probables © Getty Images
The Welsh Probables smashed the Possibles 55-7 in the trial match at the Liberty Stadium on Friday evening.
It was the first time since 2000 that the traditional Welsh trial match took place and it gave Warren Gatland a chance to run the rule over his players ahead of naming the 31-man squad for their two-Test tour of South Africa.
While the pre-match hype clearly caught the imagination of the Welsh public with the game selling out, the match ended up being little more than a procession for the Probables who ended up scoring eight tries with Jonathan Davies in fine form. He finished the match with a hat-trick of tries to his name and the Man of the Match award while Dan Biggar brought up a personal haul of 20 points.
For the Possibles, the performance of Ellis Jenkins at openside would have caught the coaches' eyes while Biggar outshone James Hook in the battle of the two fly-halves. The game did come at a cost for Possibles tight-head Samson Lee who left the field in the second-half with what looked to be a serious shoulder injury.
The match was played without any of those in the Aviva Premiership due to it falling outside of the IRB's international window but those on the field did their best to put down a marker ahead of Wales trip to South Africa.
A dominant first-half saw the Probables bag five tries but injuries to Ken Owens and Jamie Roberts may have taken the shine off the performance for their coach Rob Howley and the watching Gatland. The precedent was set for the rest of the game after just two minutes when the Probables' Jordan Williams barged over into the corner. That was quickly followed by a try for Biggar though his decision moments later to slot a penalty instead of kicking it to touch was greeted with boos from the crowd.
But they soon had reason to cheer when Davies bagged a quick-fire personal double to make it 29-0 after 25 minutes. The Probables had ascendancy in every area of the game and it was little surprise when Liam Williams added their fifth before half-time.
The 34-0 lead saw a host of players taken off at half-time but it was a similar story in the second-half with Scott Baldwin going over after 44 minutes and Davies completing his hat-trick soon after. The pace of the game soon slowed to a crawl as the substitutions and various injury breaks ruined any momentum but it was the Possibles who struck next when scrum-half Gareth Davies went over after 61 minutes.
In the closing stages it was the Possibles who found another gear with Bristol-bound Matthew Morgan, who came on for Dan Fish, making a fantastic impact and causing the Probables difficulty and they nearly had a second try for their efforts but Jenkins' late score was ruled out for obstruction. Instead it was the Probables who had the final say with Williams grabbing his second to round off a comfortable win.
Jordan Williams bagged a brace of tries © Getty Images
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