Wales pick up title hat-trick

Wales’s character shone through in bucketloads at the Westpac Stadium, New Zealand, when they fended off the challenge of France to claim their third Bowl title on the trot in the IRB Sevens series.

Having already picked up the silverware in the first two legs in Dubai and George, Wales went into the Bowl round confident of completing the job at hand. France gave them a good run for their money but Paul John’s men did just enough to win 7-5 in the final.

Wales began their quest for a third successive Bowl title with a routine 31-12 quarter-final victory over the fast improving Papua New Guinea side.

Free wheeling Alex Cuthbert continued his fine form at this level by racing over for two tries with others coming from Ifan Evans, Justin Tipuric and Lloyd Williams with Aaron Bramwell completing the job with three conversions.

In a replay of last year’s Rugby World Cup Sevens final, Wales squeezed home against Argentina in an extremely tightly fought encounter. Neither side gave each other room to breathe, let along attack but the Welsh eventually came out on top 17-12.

Scarlets winger Darren Daniel dotted down for a brace of tries with Cuthbert once again getting in on the action by scoring once and adding a conversion.

The Bowl final was another tight affair but Paul John’s men withstood a mighty challenge from France before prevailing 7-5.

Ifan Evans sped over for Wales while Bramwell added the extras with his boot but with France replying through Mathieu Besson Wales were left to defend for their lives before picking up their third Bowl title on the bounce.

“The boys would have learned a lot from this experience,” said head coach Paul John. “We came up against two very strong sides on day one with New Zealand and South Africa proving they are a force to be reckoned with at this level. The boys bounced back today and deservedly got their reward.”

Bowl Quarter-final

Wales 31 Papua New Ginuea 12
Bowl Semi-final
Wales 17 Argrentina 12
Bowl Final
Wales 7 France 5