Maesteg Harlequins RFC | 1st Team 32 - 20 Beddau RFC | 1st Team
Owen Howe
Conversion 1
Penalty 5
Dean Ronan
Try 1
Samuel Mines
Try 2

Match Report
22 September 2018 / Team News


Saturday September 22nd 2018

Maesteg Quins 32 – 20 Beddau

WRU Championship

Both clubs were winless after the first three weeks of the season. Quins, at the very bottom of the table with a single losing bonus point, felt this would be an opportunity to break their victory duck against a Beddau team one point above them. Likewise, Beddau must have earmarked this match to record their first four pointer against the Championship’s new boys.

Quins couldn’t have wished for a better start. The green and golds booted the kick-off straight into touch. The scrum on half-way was attacked, Beddau buckled and Owen Howe put the hosts ahead with a fifty yards penalty after two minutes.

Simplicity was the key for Beddau. Battering the midfield before orchestrating moves from the phase play, they played very well. Alarms were raised at the way in which they sliced opened the Quins midfield. Centre Lewis Egal was tapped tackled and was over the try-line when he lost the ball trying to place it down.

During the first half-hour, the Quins coughed up possession and regularly went astray at the line-out. Additionally, Beddau’s Ben White and Rhys Owen were real thorns in the Quins side in the set piece.

Taking full advantage of the errors, Hywel Chatham goaled two penalties. Then the coal black and blood reds pulled together to play a more co-ordinated game. As predicted, the Quins had learned from their previous two outings and although they haven’t perfected affairs as yet, it was a remarkable difference in application to their playing style.

Quins’ all-powerful scrum was the fulcrum to their success. Tired of the constant Beddau ploys to curb the home pack’s drives, the visiting pack were reduced to seven. Garnering a penalty, Owen Howe levelled with a point-blank kick.

The scrum dominance also had a positive effect on the backs. Rhodri Davies appeared more assured in his decision making and execution as his confidence seemed to return. Replacement Tadgh McGuckin also enjoyed the new-found fluidity with some well-timed passes and runs that fixed the opposition defenders and brought supporting runners into play..

It got better. Shunting the Mid-District men off their own scrum ball; the skill in the simplicity with which Mike Owen picked up, fixed the visiting scrum-half and blind-side before slipping the ball to Ben Davies could be overlooked. Davies’ short sprint stretched the visiting defence to breaking point, necessitating the visiting right-wing to come in for a tackle allowing an unmarked Sam Mines to stroll over in his first game back since his Garth ‘gap year’.

Stealing a Beddau line-out, Nathan Smith tapped down to returning skipper Steve Williams who sped upfield. Wave after wave of Quins attacks made yards, punching through the gain-line. The move was fluid with quick ruck ball being so much different to the static standing starts served up in the first two matches. Despite stopping the attackers, so sleek was the carrying and recycling Beddau found themselves threadbare in defence. Accuracy was needed as the ball was spread from right to left as the Quins attacked the Pwll-yr-Iwrch end. Aled Edwards spotted Sam Mines was unmarked. Mines swept up the long pass and scored his second try of the afternoon bang on half-time.

At 16-6 Quins had a little breathing space. Those breaths became gulps of air when in as many minutes early in the second half, Owen Howe kicked two penalties. The first for a midfield offside. The second for a mid-air tackle that took out Lee Ronan as he regathered another steeple high Owen Howe Garryowen.

Combine Howe’s hoisted kicks, with his inter-continental touch-finders, plus his seventeen points from the tee and it was a hugely influential individual performance. Don't underestimate the kicking performance either. It must have been very difficult to locate where you placed the ball in the Pampas.

Josh Mines made his usual staggering tackle tally and Matthew Tidball zeroed in on carriers with a few of his trademark big hits. Yet the stabilising factor of Steve Williams who has been on wedding duty until now.

Discipline was also very good. The penalty count well under the ten which is prescribed asthe problematic number in modern rugby. Ruck contests were rare if not non-existent, ensuring the recent Achilles heel would not aid opponents this week.

Beddau made the most of a tricky situation when the Quins were penalised for putting too much pressure on the visiting scrum on three occasions. Two re-sets preceded a penalty and Beddau ended the play with replacement hooker Tom Geere showing no mercy, as he took charge of the internal affairs at a driving maul to touch down. Chatham converted.

Owen Howe converted a penalty when the final contested scrum of the afternoon was again deemed to have been deliberately wheeled. From this point on the scrums were passive.

Quins put together another fine passage of play, with quick recycling and ‘round the corner’ support running causing disarray. Patience was the key. The miracle off-load was rejected for more incessant ruck and re-cycle. Dean Ronan popped up to receive the ball on a charge and despite the attentions of three defenders, the Quins tight-head was determined to touch down. Owen Howe converted.

Never underestimate the ‘Bulldogs’. They came back when their fine off-the-ball running created space.  The ball was sent to the extremities of the field and just as the wing was about to be pushed into touch, he threw a one-handed overhead pass back inside to wing Cody Baker, who made no mistake. Neither did Chatham with his conversion.

Getting within five yards of the Beddau line, the Quins were guilty of a ruck offence and with the loss of field position went the chance of a bonus point try.

Beddau still had a bonus point to play for themselves. It will be a tight fight between the clubs from the Championship’s big spenders down. Every point gleaned may be a club’s saving grace. Despite their clever running and incessant recycling, Beddau were held out and the Quins could revel in their thoroughly deserved first victory at Championship level.


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