Cross Keys RFC | 1st Team 14 - 3 Maesteg Harlequins RFC | 1st Team
Geraint Evans
1 Penalty

Match Report
19 January 2020 / Team News


Saturday January 18th 2020

Cross Keys 14 – 3 Maesteg Quins

Specsavers-WRU Championship

It’s been over a quarter of a century since the Quins last journeyed to Cross Keys and despite high hopes after defeating the former Gwent giants at home earlier in the season, the away result remained the same for the Maesteg men – defeat.

A bit like the 1963 film: It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World, in which an all-star cast portrayed the madcap pursuit of a diverse and colourful group of strangers in search of a big ‘W’ and $350,000 of stolen cash. This was a crap, crap, crap, crap game; in which two teams sought a big ‘W’. The contest was madcap and error strewn throughout, with little continuity or much to cheer for either set of supporters. It was hard to choose between which was the most painful, Saturday’s bout of kidney stones or the game.

Either way Cross Keys won’t care. Win pretty or win ugly, this was a commanding victory that will greatly assist what looks like a successful resurgence for them to remain in the Championship.

Anyone who has played any sport has been in the same situation. A cataclysmic collapse of a previously invincible batting line-up. The knock-out of an-odds on boxing champion. ‘Galacticos’ football XIs who couldn’t score even if they threw hedgehogs at a dart board or domestic and European double rugby champions, getting relegated the following season with four months of the season remaining. The collective hearts are willing but try as you might, everything falls apart before your very eyes like a clown’s car.

An inspired Cross Keys put the Quins under the cosh from the start. Quins weren’t prepared to boot slow or poor quality ball up field. Instead, with flat back-lines they ran and had to compete for the same portion of possession numerous times, often further back then where they started. Attrition and directness were replaced by passing poor possession on and fancy off-loads.

Discipline was also lacking. Cross Keys first score came from three consecutive penalties. Spencer Gibson was at the bottom of the driving line-out. 

The second, a penalty try came at the end of ten minutes of solid pressure that commenced when the Quins lost a line-out deep in the Cross Keys half. Followed by three avoidable penalties.

When the Quins deployed directness, there were glimpses of brightness.

Things did improve slightly in the second half playing down the Pandy Park slope. Quins won the second forty, three-nil. Geraint Evans kicking the only points. 

A cross-kick nearly brought a try, but despite all the difficulties the Quins have been facing in recent weeks, the biggest disappointment was the inability to get within seven of the hosts and gain a bonus point.

Kieran Watkins made a good return from injury and formed a nice partnership with Emyr Williams. Evans was also sound at full-back. Mike Owen and Aled Evans too made initial inroads.

There were good carries from Steve Williams, Nathan Smith and Lewis Tutt. It was when they returned to the team bus laden with boxes of liquid refreshment from Tesco's for the journey home!

Resting on early season laurels is not an option. Neither is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The Quins know they were below par and capable of far better.

Next week Quins welcome Beddau. There is a great deal at stake.


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