Wanderers come through tough encounter
DINAS POWYS 22
“All credit to Dinas they set about putting us off our game and for most of the first half it worked. Once we got our game back on track we played some decent rugby. Another test of character for the squad which we came through with another bonus point win.” commented Manager John Lyons
On a bright afternoon the game’s first breakdown broke out into a discussion about the merits of Luge over skeleton bob which resulted in a penalty for the visitors. This clearly affected the Wanderers more as their first possession saw ex-Wanderer Darren Ryan intercept a pass on halfway and he galloped away to score under the posts for a converted try 7-0. The visitors tried to settle into their rhythm but Dinas were really in their faces from the off and the Wanderers were, despite seeing plenty of the ball, under real pressure. A high tackle gave the home side 10 minutes with 14 men and the Wanderers went through the phases with James Loxton going close. At times the game sounded like the house of commons with certain players from both sides openly shouting at each other, the crowd and the referee but eventually some rugby did break out. From a hack downfield the home side established good field position and they spent several minutes pounding the Wanderers line. A slice through the centre nearly resulted in a try and it took a huge defensive effort from the visitors to keep the score down to 7 points. Eventually the pressure told. A neat move from a 5 metre lineout saw Dinas crash over for the second try putting them 12-0 ahead. The Wanderers responded well and for the first time in the game they started to show some real structure to their play. From a penalty they established good field position and the forwards went on a concerted drive. As the maul edged close to the line Lee Highgate peeled away and he forced his way over with help from Max Wootten to put the visitors back in the game. Luke Fish converted 12-7. With confidence returning to the Wanderers they started to increase their tempo and on the stroke of half time Dinas were down to 14 again after Ryan stopped Myles Churcher taking a quick penalty. Fish missed the penalty shot and the teams went into the break at 12-7.
“We’ve been sucked into this dog fight and we need to rise above it” commented manager Ieuan Davies.
Wanderers nerves were settled early in the second half after another lineout drive. The maul was hauled down and after Josh Male had set up a position in midfield the ball went wide to Will Adams Jones who forced his way over in the corner. Fish hit the post with the wide out conversion 12-12. The game ebbed and flowed as both sides started to play some decent rugby. From a defensive break out from Fish, Cameron Gibbon made ground downfield only to be turned over and the home side countered themselves forcing the visitors into some desperate defence. The Wanderers started to ring the changes and the game really opened up. Another Wanderers attack from deep broke down and when Dinas recovered the ball they went on the attack. Once again strong Wanderers defence forced a turnover and Male put in a neat kick behind the defence. Gibbon was first to react and getting to the ball first he kicked ahead and followed up his own kick in front of the covering tacklers to touch down and put the Wanderers ahead. Fish converted 12-19. The score sent a wave of relief into the Wanderers faithful and it was not long before they extended their lead. After a scrum a move of several phases including forwards and backs saw Rob Lewis, on as a sub, pop up and force his way over under the posts. Fish converted again 12-26. Dinas continued to battle on electing for close quarter driving as a change of tactic and they forced the visitors onto the back foot again. Another Wanderers forward drive nearly resulted in a try for Churcher who went close and then another sub Rob Evans made good ground to set up field position in the opposition 22. Good recycled ball allowed some close quarter driving of their own and Churcher popped up and stretched out an arm to ground the ball on the line for the Wanderers fifth try. Fish converted again and the Visitors were safe at 12-33. With the game entering its final minutes Dinas showed that they still had the heart to keep working. Moving the ball well, their backs found space out wide and recycled ball gave them a score in the left hand corner 17-33. The game entered injury time and the discussion about the Luge erupted again as many players of both sides and the crowd offered their opinions. The final play saw Dinas cross again for their own bonus point try to make the finals score 22-33
Tries: Lee Highgate, Will Adams Jones, Rob Lewis, Cameron Gibbon, Myles Churcher
Cons: Luke Fish (4)
Massiv man of the match: TOM PENRY ELLIS Special mention: Rob Weston, Max Wootten