Services International, England v Wales


13,000 see Wales beat England

By R. C. [Rupert Cherry]

Although by no means an exhibition of brilliant football the Services’ International between England and Wales at Kingsholm on Saturday had its moments.

Much of the play was clumsy and scrambling, but there were several high spots which provided the crowd of 13,000 who saw the game with enough excitement to last the afternoon.

The attendance and gate – £2,120 was taken, compared with £2,489 17s at the 1940 International – were well up to expectations, and the charities of the three Fighting Services will receive a very substantial balance after the bare expenses have been paid.

The only thing that one can say about the result, disappointing as it was to English supporters, although not unexpected, is that once again England were beaten by a better team. The score of a penalty goal and two tries to a try, 9 points to three, just about represented the difference in the sides.

English Forwards Better

England had the advantage forward, particularly in the first half when “the old brigade,” Newton-Thompson, Prescott, Longland and Huskisson were clearly stronger than the more youthful Welsh pack. Gilthorpe hooked splendidly, and never could the England backs complain of lack of chances.

The “old brigade,” however, clearly could not stay the course at the pace the game was played, and as they began to tire so Wales went ahead with the two tries which won the match.

Behind the scrum the deftly handed short passes and well understood team-work ot the Welsh backs together with the worrying tactics of the wing forwards reversed any advantage England had in the scrum. The difference was that the Welsh threequarters played as a line, and England had one brilliant man out on the wing who could at best play his gallant lone hand.

The Two Williams

Indeed, the individual struggle between the two Williams’, E. J. H. of England and Sydney, of Wales, was one of those high spots of the match. E. J. H.’s tackling was superb, and he saved a certain try with a dash across the field reminiscent of Obolensky, to bring down W. T. H. Davies a yard from the line.

On the other hand he was never quite able to beat his own opposite number and so did not score as he really deserved to do. He was the originator, however, of England’s only score, breaking away in a fine turn of speed and sending inside to Kenyon. Reynolds followed up Kenyon’s kick and touched down in the corner. Previously Risman had opened the Welsh scoring with a hefty penalty goal kicked from 40 yards.

Wales frittered away golden chances of winning the match just before half time by overdoing their pretty passing instead of going for the line. They managed to wear down the English pack in the second half, and although Simmonds actually crossed the Welsh line, he had extremely bad luck in dropping the ball at the very moment when he was going to touch down. Edwards and Foster sealed England’s fate with unconverted tries.

Gloucester people were naturally delighted that Grahame Parker had a chance to play and he delighted them with his long punts and safe handling, but there were moments when he could have done with more speed.


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