- Wales extend unbeaten run in Pontypridd
- Orrick sending off proves decisive in defeat
England Deaf battled hard but were left still seeking their first ever win over Wales after a 21-9 defeat in a Deaf International at Pontypridd’s Sardis Road ground.
Edges out by only seven points at Broadstreet RFC last season, England again pushed Wales hard but had centre Craig Orrick sent off for retaliation late in the first half, befpre conceding two tries while reduced to 14 men.
Orrick, of West Park St Helens, had twice kicked England in front in a close first half when he landed his first and third penalties either side of a try from Wales winger Nigel Francis, who used to play club rugby in England for Birmingham & Solihull and Dudley Kingswinford.
Two second-half tries seals win for Wales
But Orrick’s dismissal in the closing minutes of the opening period left England ill-equipped to deny the hosts.
Wales regained the lead with a penalty for Orrick’s offence, and unconverted tries on 54 and 69 minutes sealed a hard-earned victory.
England's next Deaf International fixture is against Scotland at Broadstreet RFC near Coventry on Saturday, March 12.
Players are eligible to play for England Deaf if they a combined average hearing loss of 25dB or more in both ears. This roughly translates to a minimum hearing loss in both ears or a moderate hearing loss in one ear but can hear normally in the other.
Not all of the players wear hearing aids or only communicate by sign language. This has never stopped all the players communicating and playing rugby as a squad.
England Deaf Rugby Union can offer Deaf Awareness advice to clubs and schools, integrate Deaf and Hard of Hearing players to clubs and liaise with club members to ensure player(s) are managed correctly.