Fixture

Maesteg Harlequins RFC | 1st Team 43 - 27 Bonymaen RFC | 1st Team
Gavin Mark Burridge
Try 1
Grant Epton
Try 1
Alex Griffiths
Try 1
Michael Owen
Try 1
Lewis Francis
Try 1
Rhodri Davies
Conversion 5
Penalty 1
Ryan George
Try 1

Match Report
24 April 2018 / Team News

Maesteg Quins 43 - 27 Bonymaen

Saturday, April, 21st, 2018

Maesteg Quins 43 – 27 Bonymaen

Division One West Central                              

Unlike January’s Parc Mawr encounter, where defences were as tight as a Tory budget, both teams played expansively, regularly splitting open the defences.

Enjoying the benefit of a generous Quins reception, an early ruck offence allowed Bonymaen to take a three-nil lead with a well-struck Lloyd Thomas penalty.

Bonymaen chanced their arm and were adjudged off-side in midfield. Rhodri Davies levelled the scores.

Initially inaccuracies ended moves before the Quins suddenly clicked with a devastating effect. For Bonymaen the honeymoon was over.

Taking hold of a clearance, Geraint Evans’ rich vein of form was again evident. Looking refreshed, eager and in ideal conditions, the Quins full-back straightened his angled run and tore Bonymaen open. Popping to Dean Ronan, Mike Owen then took over carrying duties. Owen Richards was felled short of the line. Quick recycling saw a defence in disarray. Running among the retreating opponents, Grant Epton burst onto a short pass to touchdown. Davies converted.

Bonymaen were making half breaks but handling errors prevented them from making further headway.

Rhodri Bwye snapped up a visiting tap back feet from the opponent’s line. The ball careered into midfield. Even though contact was taken instead of passing to an unmarked Ryan George, the ball was recycled at such an express pace the right-wing had a second chance. Handing off the defender who stood in his way, he dabbed down from point blank range. Davies converted from a wide angle.

A Thomas penalty hit an upright. Gathered by George deep inside the Quins twenty-five, he set off and sent Geraint Evans on his way up the touchline. Chasing his own excellent chip ahead, the full-back smothered his opposite number and dragged him into touch. The driving maul eased forward and Lewis Francis scored. Again the angled conversion bisected the uprights.

It seems if you can’t beat ‘em – go passive. Bonymaen didn’t have a specialist tight-head replacement. Uncontested scrums were called and it was all the more galling when the Quins had six back-rowers in the pack, with flanker Gavin Burridge looking horns at hooker.

Keeping possession for five minutes with few stoppages, Bonymaen expertly worked wing Lee Brown over.

Home impetus seemed lost. A second Bonymaen try was foiled by a knock-on, but the Swansea suburbanites were not to be denied.

The ploy was simple. Out-half Richard Cuncliffe raced onto the passive scrum passes to quickly cross the gain-line. Support runners honed in on this point to create passing options. On this occasion Bonymaen were close to the line and Dean Evans received the pop-up pass to dive over. Thomas converted and nine points separated the teams.

Was it the try or half-time pep talk that acted as smelling salts? Straight from the second half kick-off the Quins seemed reinvigorated.  Another Geraint Evans break put the Quins in the Bonymaen twenty-five. Kicking a penalty into touch, even if the scrums were passive driving line-outs weren’t. Gavin Burridge swam through the maul and scored a bonus point try within minutes.

Ryan George easily had his most impressive attacking display for the club, again cutting ‘Maen to the bone with another of his rocketing bursts, the pocket battleship showed great energy, pace and accuracy. Clearly enjoying the dry, high veldt conditions.

Replacement scrum-half Jakob Williams made an impressive half debut. Seemingly illegally caught at a ruck, he created a touch of magic with Lewis Tutt, who was also thriving in the heat. The back-rower left opposing defenders for dead. Support runner Mike Owen was then unleashed and gathered no moss as he rolled under the posts.

Mesmerised by a sleight of hand and run, two Quins tacklers went for the same dummy runner. Bonymaen needed no second invitation and Brown eluded two defenders to score.

An Alex Griffiths kick was charged down on half-way. Whether anticipated or reactionary, when the ball fortuitously fell into tireless Lewis Tutt’s hands, it was an act of pure quality when the flanker turned on the afterburners leaving everyone standing in his wake. Then he had the composure to draw and return the ball to Alex Griffiths who glided over from thirty yards.

Quins’ ‘total rugby’ fluidity was a pleasure to watch. Support runners were also in abundance. However, another notable feature was the Quins’ magnificently disciplined defensive effort. Although the entire team put their collective shoulders to the wheel, skipper Steve Williams stood out chasing everything and halting all-comers. Few penalties were conceded, denying Bonymaen easy points and opportunities to clear.

The visitors sneaked in for a bonus point try with the final move of a marvellous ten tries match. This was a superb Quins performance as they gave their all to produce ‘a game that will live long in the memory.

It was clear as the players relaxed they enjoyed the intoxicating feelings of winning and exertion to produce a top result against top opponents.

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