Fixture

Maesteg Harlequins RFC | 1st Team 28 - 27 Felinfoel RFC | 1st Team
Jay Ronan
Try 1
Owen Howe
Conversion 2
Penalty 3
Lewis Glyndwr Tutt
Try 1
Ryan George
Try 1

Match Report
29 May 2018 / Team News

Maesteg Quins 28 - 27 Felinfoel

Tuesday May 22nd 2018

Maesteg Quins 28 - 27 Felinfoel

WRU National Championship Play-off 1st Leg

Another first for the Maesteg Quins was a two matches play-off. The prize? A place in Welsh club rugby's second tier of league competition - the Championship, containing long-standing clubs of renown such as the Gwent powerhouses of Pontypool and Newbridge. Old friends in Trebanos and Newcastle Emlyn. The nouveux riche in Tata Steel and the opportunity to make new friends as the fixture list encapsulates matches at venues across the east and west of Wales, not just one selective corner.

Division One West Champions Felinfoel came to South Parade obviously to win, but felt anything at ten points or under is capable of being overturned at their King George Playing Fields home.

Quins started well. Withn the first ten minutes, Lee Ronan Wriggled through. Geraint Evans and Matthew Tidball continued the move's fluidity. Moving the ball out wide an inside pass allowed Lewis Tutt to round under the posts. Owen Howe converted.

Jay Ronan and Tutt combined to put Geraint Evans into space up the wing, but Evans was driven into touch.

On the attack again, the Quins were pressing under the visitor's posts. A close-quarter ruck dart and pop pass was foiled by an interception. The Quins were now defending in a mirror image of their previous attacking position, A knock-on ended this particular attack.

Once more on the offensive, this time poor preservation and presentation of the ball handed possession back to Felinfoel who kept the ball masterfully, combining hefty forward play with deft running to great effect until full-back Dawe was sent over at the corner.

Although pressurising the visitors, Quins' line-out play wasn't at its best with a number of wayward efforts easing any defensive stress being placed upon the Llanelli suburbanites. Felinfoel did not need a second invitation and using their forwards in a series of tight runs, they sent hooker Max Havard over.

Two long distance scum penalties were converted by Owen Howe and another for a high tackle was again punished by the Quins full-back and the 16-10 scoreline remained the same until half-time.

Quins kicking didn't put pressure on their opponents. Instead of putting the ball out of play to make Felinfoel build moves further away from the try-line or back them into a corner, Felinfoel took possession with plenty of space to run into. It seemed 'Foel were splitting the Quins open at will. Only excellent turnover play by a number of candidates kept the increasingly confident visitors at bay.

Mike Owen picked up to give the Quins go forward at a scrum that was going backwards. Gaining a penalty, the kick to touch was followed up by a disrupted line-out. Sheer determination kept momentum going and Jay Ronan forced his way over.

Nathan Smith intercepted in the home twenty-five and showed great pace. Felinfoel's pace packed backs chased down the Quins lock, but Smith had the presence of mind to look for support. He found this in Ryan George and he sent out a long pass left for the right-wing to barge over. Howe's conversion gave the Quins an eighteen points lead.

Some will say over exuberance played a huge part of in Felinfoel's comeback. Yes the Quins' game management was not the greatest, but this is the way they have played all season and finished in the highest league position in the club's history. More to the point, it is a disservice to the magnificent play of the black and whites. Felinfoel tore the Quins open with alarming regularity. Additionally, outside-half Roberts was dictating affairs with ball in hand and his tactical kicking, on the back of a strong pack performance.

Roberts also found his kicking range having missed some regulation attempts earlier in the match. Golden try scoring opportunities were lost for the visitors when passes were dropped with the try-line at their mercy.

However, a driving maul sucked in the Quins defence and tight-head Havard enjoyed barging over. Roberts converted. He also kicked a penalty to take Felinfoel to twenty points.

Soon after the tide had also turned as far as luck was concerned. A pass went to ground and the Quins couldn't mop up the ball. Foel snapped it up and Llanelli's Leon Randell zipped over. Roberts converted and with a couple of minutes remaining and the score was 28-27.

It was a remarkable comeback. When the final whistle sounded a huge cheer erupted among the visiting squad and faithful 'barmy army.' Quins appeared deflated. If it were not for some spectacular rearguard defending and turnovers, it may have been a different result for the coal black and blood reds.

So it is on to Friday night. The Quins go into the match needing a win to make a historic, great season; even more historic and spectacular.

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