“The conditions certainly didn’t suit our strengths and we were unable to dictate any phase of the game” commented head coach Matthew Bolton “We showed glimpses of what we could do but it was not sustained for any length of time”
“Llanharan managed the conditions well and proved far too strong at the breakdown” added manager Luke Burton.
On a wet afternoon at the Dairy field with a pitch which got heavier and heavier as the game progressed the opening exchanges were cagey with both sides preferring an aerial attack. An early penalty to Llanharan put pressure on the visitors line but the Wanderers defence was up to the task and the line was cleared. There was little to choose for the first quarter but eventually the deadlock was broken when a poor kick out of defence was punished by the home side. Quick slick handling when going blind found some space for the backs and they crashed over for the opening try, 5-0. The Wanderers were finding possession difficult to come by and with both sides finding the ground very heavy the forwards were dictating the style of play. The home side edged ahead with a penalty after a deliberate knock on 8-0 but the visitors started to find their feet and with some impressive handling and support play they finally put the home side on the back foot. A brief period in the Llanharan 22 looked like giving the Wanderers a chance but as they drove the home side back in a scrum, some backchat to the referee resulted in a penalty which allowed the home side to clear. The pressure continued and at last after 33 minutes Ianto Griffiths got the visitors on the board with a penalty. The half neared its close and the Wanderers coaches would have been happy with the 5 point deficit at the break but some sloppy defending gifted the home side a chance which they duly took and Llanharan took a 13-3 lead into the changing rooms.
As the mud got thicker and thicker in the second half the home side pack started to dominate. An early penalty extended the lead to 16-3 but the visitors struck back. A penalty on halfway gave them good field position and after a move of several phases Will Griff-John crashed over to score. Griffiths converted to put the Wanderers back in it at 16-10. The visitors were enjoying their best period of the game and had a chance to reduce the arrears even more but a penalty attempt went just wide. Then came a crucial phase of the game. A sin-bin awarded against Griff John put the under pressure Wanderers pack under more strain and Llanharan took full advantage. Kicking deep into the visitors 22 they drove around a lineout and after several close quarter encounters they crashed over increasing their lead to 21-10. Griffiths responded with a Wanderers penalty 21-13 but the lack of possession and the ever deteriorating conditions made life very difficult for the visitors. A fourth try for the home side sealed the games fate at 28-13 and despite a late rally by the Wanderers there were no further scores.
Match pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12570451@N04/