Llanharan RFC | 2nd Team 12 - 12 Maesteg Harlequins RFC | 2nd Team

Match Report
02 October 2017 / Team News


Saturday, September, 30th, 2017.

Llanharan II 12 – 12 Maesteg Quins II


Maesteg's malicious micro-climate put paid to the massive match between the 1sts and Bonymaen, So it was off to Llanharan to view the 2nd team fixture.

In a passive scrummaging, rain induced error-strewn contest, where clear cut chances were as rare as a Ryanair pilot; it would be the team who made the least mistakes who would be more likely to win.

When two Quins defenders went for the same man, Llanharan made the most of the overlap and after a series of rucks, the mountainous home prop avalanched over the line.

A loose Llanharan kick was run back from the Quins twenty-five. The excellent move ended with a ruck knock-on on the opposite side of the field.

Motivated by this, Quins initiated a series of running movements in the face of strong home tackling. Possibly playing too much rugby in difficult conditions, it reached a point where the Quins didn’t get the best out of the ball they secured. Nobody on the field was pulling the strings. In trying to open the defence with flicks and tricks, the players were more Lady Penelope than the Taulupe. However, despite the many errors, it was great to watch the spirit of adventure exhibited.

If the attacks were faltering, then the general defence was excellent. Turnovers were regular, with Llanharan preferring stealing the ball at the ruck, whereas the Quins preference was the choke tackle.

A high kick was marked on the Quins line. The player in question has a fair boot. Why he chose to tap and pass for someone else to kick is confusing. It became even more so when the clearance was charged down, the ball just sat on the deck and the charger placed his palm on the pill to score.

The try was converted on the half-time whistle.

Llanharan held the monopoly on territory in the second half, but a defiant Quins rearguard held them at bay.

Another huge Quins clearance kick had to be run into touch five yards from the Dairymen line. This chance was wasted when the previously strong driving maul proved ineffective as more chose to stand out rather than get their head down and drive.

Entering the last ten minutes, at 12-nil a home win seemed likely, but it seemed International Rescue intervened as the Quins got ready for action.

Five… yards outside the visiting twenty-five, Llanharan had an attacking line-out but they didn’t account for a new-found line-out hero.

For… Jon Alford became an unlikely and constant source of line-out possession against the throw. Leaping like a salmon, albeit tinned, Alford took hold of the ball and lumbered forward.

Three… forwards tried to haul down the wider, paler, Quins version of William Perry.

Two… more Llanharan men joined in before they halted down the veteran prop.

One… quick pass from the ruck was all it took to put the backs on the front foot to change the face of the game. The Quins had lift off!

Finally the Quins realised Troy was taken by using brains not brawn. The concentration was evident. In a simple yet effective movement, the ball went through the hands accurately and with purpose. Ieuan Evans put Ross Thomas into the open and the Quins winger raced forty yards up the line, beating a final tackle to score in the corner.

Opportunities were made and lost in the final throes of the game. In the face of strong, determined, running, the home tackling had distinctly weakened. With that so did their turnovers.

Again the ball was spread across the back-line. Everything had to go to plan, something that had rarely happened in the previous seventy-seven minutes. Smoothly presenting the ball from carrier to carrier. With a slight change of angle and perfectly timed pass before contact, Ieuan Evans again released Ross Thomas. Thomas’ run stretched the defence to the full, before keeping the move alive with a pass back inside that was superb in its simplicity, to supporting centre Steve Williams to score a fab try.

Still the conversion had to go over. Cory Harris made no mistake to level the scores, which is how the game ended. Despite the numerous errors, a game was played in which everyone gave their all.

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