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Joyce at the double as Wales Women beat Japan

Tries from Siwan Lillicrap and a Jaz Joyce double helped Wales Women get the better of Japan 23-5 in an entertaining encounter at the Cardiff Arms Park.

Fly half Elinor Snowsill added eight points from the boot, to ensure a Bears clean sweep of the scoreboard on Sunday evening, in a game that saw eight Bristol players on show for Ioan Cunningham's side.

Natalia John, Keira Bevan, Courtney Keight, Alisha Butchers and Meg Webb joined the game's three point scorers, to give Wales the perfect start to their Autumn internationals.

Skipper Lillicrap led from the front and gave Wales the perfect start with a try after a minute before speedster Joyce’s brilliant stepping score in the second half, followed by her second late on.

Japan had plenty of chances but could not break down Ioan Cunningham’s side who were very solid defensively until right at the death when Seina Saito got over from close range.

Wales got the perfect start when, frrom a rolling maul after a five-metre lineout, Lillicrap went over to put Wales in front and they were never in danger of relinquishing that lead.

The experienced Elinor Snowsill kicked two more penalties in the first half, both from dominant scrums as Wales went in 11-0 up at half-time.

Georgia Evans was sent to the sin-bin early in the second period for an intentional knock-on, but despite a great deal of pressure, Wales held out.

And it was while they were playing with 14 that they went in for the second try that effectively sealed the win, Olympic star Joyce receiving the ball just outside the 22 and stepping inside one defender and outside another before sprinting home.

She was influential both in attack and defence, putting in a huge tackle shortly after as Japan searched for a way back into the game.

And it was fitting that Joyce took advantage of more Welsh pressure late on, powering over from close range after Wales had worked their way back into the 22 once again.

Japan finally got over with three minutes remaining when No.8 Saito showed her power to force the ball over the line, but it did not detract from a fine Welsh performance.


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