Rugby League World Cup: Wales 6-34 Ireland
|Rugby League World Cup|
|Wales (0) 6|
|Try: Morris Goal: Davies|
|Ireland (22) 34|
|Tries: Pewhairangi, Roberts 2, Philbin, Finn, Kay Goals: Finn 5|
Ireland bowed out of the Rugby League World Cup in style as they crushed Wales at the Perth Rectangular Stadium.
Papua New Guinea's 64-0 win over USA earlier on Sunday, along with their 14-6 win over the Irish, meant the Kumuls had already topped Group C to claim a quarter-final spot ahead of Ireland.
Api Pewhairangi, Oliver Roberts twice, Joe Philbin, Liam Finn and Liam Kay all crossed for Ireland.
Ben Morris' try just after half-time gave Wales some consolation.
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Wales, already beaten 50-6 by PNG and 72-6 by Fiji, were seeking a win to restore damaged morale but coach John Kear now faces some tough choices over how he takes this team forward.
The Dragons' exit means they have now failed to win a World Cup match since 2000, having also lost all three games at the 2013 tournament under Iestyn Harris.
By contrast Ireland, who beat Italy 36-12 before their narrow loss to PNG, can be pleased with how they performed during the campaign although coach Mark Aston will be disappointed at missing out on the knock-out stages.
Ireland took control when Pewhairangi was sent over on the left by Micky McIllorum for the opening try, converted by Finn.
Regan Grace nearly hit back for Wales after good work by debutant Josh Ralph, but the winger just put a foot in touch before touching down.
Roberts came off the bench as Ireland used their interchanges and the back row soon made an impact, barging through Matty Fozard to stretch over for Ireland's second try.
A third soon followed when Wales' Joe Burke could not stop Philbin from reaching the line.
Finn darted down the short side to turn the screw for Ireland just before half-time, although the Wakefield player missed his first kick at goal as he was unable to convert his own try.
Wales came out revitalised after half-time and at last exerted some sustained pressure on Ireland.
Ralph again impressed pulling the strings and Morris crossed to give Wales hope, with Courtney Davies adding the conversion.
Ireland nearly hit back immediately only for Roberts' effort to be ruled out after a video replay, but the Huddersfield Giants player was not to be denied and he showed great power to claim his second try.
Kay rounded off a flowing backs move to add a sixth Ireland try before the end to heap further pain on Wales.
Wales: Elliot Kear; Regan Grace, Michael Channing, Ben Morris, Rhys Williams; Courtney Davies, Josh Ralph; Craig Kopczak (capt), Steve Parry, Ben Evans, Morgan Knowles. Bench: Matty Fozard, Phil Joseph, Rhodri Lloyd, Joe Burke, Gavin Bennion, Andrew Gay.
Ireland: Scott Grix; Shannon McDonnell, Ed Chamberlain, Api Pewhairangi, Liam Kay; Joe Keyes, Liam Finn (capt); Anthony Mullaly, Michael McIllorum, Kyle Amor, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Will Hope, Brad Singleton. Bench: Oliver Roberts, George King, Joe Philbin, Matty Hadden.
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