Fixture

Maesteg Harlequins RFC | 1st Team 31 - 8 Waunarlwydd RFC | 1st Team
Benjamin Andrew Davies
Try 2
Lloyd Bradley
Conversion 4
Penalty 1
Nathan Smith
Try 1
Lee Evans
1 Penalty
1 Try

Match Report
26 March 2018 / Team News

Maesteg Quins 31 - 8 Waunarlwydd

Saturday March 24th 2018

Maesteg Quins 31 - 8 Waunarlwydd

WRU Division One West Central

The score-line does not reflect how close this game was for long periods, between a club one below top spot and the other just above the relegation area.

Starting with an abrasive bang, Waunarlwydd were lively on the ball and kept possession in the face of ferocious Quins competition. It took the Quins every ounce of combined defensive effort to keep their visitors at bay.

A sudden Quins attack should have resulted in a try. A two-man overlap was spurned for a cut inside. Then good handling and excellent fancy footwork from Geraint Evans put Ben Davies over. Skipper Lloyd Bradley converted.

Having swung into action, Quins split open Waunarlwydd’s defence on a number of occasions. A mixture of bad luck and mistiming meant the score-line remained unchanged. Yet with a back-line who had never played together before, it was interesting to see new partnerships blend and bond.

Alex Griffiths made a good break but support was lacking. Ryan George bombed through the gain-line. He couldn’t quite get his pass away before the shoulder support had gone in front of him. Lloyd Bradley kicked a penalty to put the Quins into double figures.

Just as it seemed the Quins were taking a hold on the game, Waunarlwydd went from their own twenty-five to ten yards away from the home line. Quins resurrected Wednesday’s line-out defence tactics to perfection and repelled the attack at the earliest opportunity.

Whatever was thrown at the home defence; whether multiple phased attacks or individual break, Waunarlwydd were halted in another excellent defensive effort. Centres Blackmore and George stoutly suppressed the opposing midfield. Throughout Quins held up attackers to turnover possession.

Sometimes, the Roseland Road outfit’s efforts were foiled by handling errors. However, Waunarlwydd try to play an expansive game and such events are an occupational hazard.

Even though the ball wasn’t gathered from an up-and-under, there were enough visiting bodies to re-gather and launch an attack. This resulted in a penalty which, given such close proximity to half time, Waunarlwydd’s scrum-half Lee Evans converted.

Starting the second half brightly, the coal black and blood reds went about the business of making a decisive blow. Waunarlwydd’s unerring ability to rip the ball from Quins possession prevented the necessary momentum to score.

A kick ahead from half-way resulted in an attacking five yards scrum. Two scrum penalties could have resulted in a penalty try. The referee balked at the idea, but awarded a second yellow. This handed Waun’ a get out of jail card. Calling for passive scrums didn’t prevent a score. Quins still called a scrum and after a skirmish, Nathan Smith drove over. Lloyd Bradley converted.

Ben Davies made a wonderful break. He re-gathered his own chip ahead and even though the ball was quickly recycled and a four to one overlap awaited to conclude the move, the ball wasn’t transferred quickly enough. It was back for a scrum at which another infringement occurred. Ben Davies was away with a quick tap to score. Bradley converted.

Quins shaded the line-out contest with a few steals and a one hundred percent record of success. Rhydian Jenkins threw in impeccably, forming a particularly good partnership with the imperious Nathan Smith. Jay Ronan came on kept up the momentum.

The scrummaging contest was fascinating as fortunes fluctuated. At first and towards the end, the Quins showed a total dominance. Yet Waunarlwydd are such a gutsy team, they fought back with a tenacity to cause a host of problems.

A charge down hack and chase concluded with a scrum close to the visiting line. A powerful explosive Quins shunt drove Waunarlwydd off their own ball and ploughed forwards. This time the controlled ferocity of the push gave the referee no other option than to award a bonus point fourth try.

Having used all their replacements, when Ben Davies departed with a sprained ankle the Quins were reduced to fourteen. Waunarlwydd made the one man difference pay. Exploiting the extra space, using every centimetre of South Parade’s width Lee Evans sped up the right wing, to expertly finish in the corner and conclude the match.

Bridgend Athletic recorded a victory but the Quins' bonus point returns them to the top of the table. With every club looking to knock the Maesteg men off their perch, it will be an extremely hard run in to the end of the season… whenever that may be.

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