Glamorgan Wanderers 85
“Certainly a bit of an end of season atmosphere about the place but great to see us put in a really positive performance” commented coach Chris Ower.
“It’s a feeling that these players have not had before, all credit to Tredegar they kept fighting and exposed our defence but some of our attacking was as good as we’ve seen in recent seasons” added forwards coach Matt Bolton.
On a dry afternoon at the Memorial Ground the Wanderers were straight on the attack. Joe Xiberras made early inroads and when Tredegar were forced to kill the ball an easy three points were declined in favour of a lineout near the visitor’s line. From the restart the forwards drove into midfield and when the ball went wide Charlie Johnson, who made hard yards all afternoon, crashed over with 2 defenders on his back. Gareth Cull converted 7-0. Tredegar, who had a very young looking side on show, responded well. Driving a lineout of their own they forced a penalty but the kick went just wide. Back came the Wanderers and they extended the lead after 14 minutes with a Cull penalty. Showing a willingness to run from deep it was clear that the pace of Dan Lovell, Elliot Jones and Xiberras would be a lot for the visitors to handle. When the ball was spilled by Tredegar inside Wanderers territory Johnson made good ground again. Supported by the front row union of Ross Grimstone and Haval Ibrahim the ruck was set up under the opposition posts. Quick ball recycled by Sean Carroll found Alex Luff cantering along on the wing and he ran in unopposed. Cull converted 17-0. At this time it was all Wanderers, despite the visitors having the better of the scrum and when another Johnson break supported by Ibrahim set up good field position another try seemed on but a dropped pass killed the move. Once again Tredegar responded but they struggled to string any consistency in their attacks. Spilling the ball again in Wanderers territory Cull set his backs away with a long pass to Jones. Elliot glided downfield and when the cover appeared he fed “Shovel” who stepped the defence to score under the posts. Cull added another conversion 24-0. Tredegar seemed demoralised but they tried to stick to their task. Their defence tackled as bravely as they could and before long they created chances of their own. From a penalty, which they kicked deep into Wanderers territory, the visitors went on a concerted forwards trundle. After several close quarter phases Owain Crowley crashed over to score an unconverted try 24-5. That seemed to be enough for the half but with the last play the Wanderers secured their try bonus point. Lineout ball went wide again and Johnson breached the defence. With Jones in support the ball was slipped to Xiberras who ran in from 30 metres to score under the posts. Cull added his 4th conversion 31-5 half time.
The half time break galvanised Tredegar and they showed that were not going to roll over without a great effort. Driving well from a lineout thy exposed some lazy tackling in the home side defence and Matt McGovern ran in to score. Greg Jones converted 31-12. The Wanderers responded and once again it was Johnson setting up the attacking position. Driving deep into the visitor’s territory the ball was recycled out wide again. Elliot Jones came into the line and despite the attention of several defenders he managed to squeeze through and cross for his first try of the afternoon. Cull converted again 38-12. Tredegar kicked off and as happened on many occasions in the game the Wanderers were sloppy in dealing with the ball. The ruck was set up but as Cull cleared he was charged down and Greg Jenkins gathered and crossed for the visitor’s third try 38-17. Back came the home side again as they regained their composure and dominance. From a scrum deep in opposition territory it was Johnson again who drove at the Tredegar line. As he was hauled down he tried to offload and the ball went loose over the line. The visitors assumed it was a knock on but Dan Richards and Ollie Randall pounced on the loose ball to score. (debate as to who scored went on long into the night unfortunately the cameraman wasn’t paying attention and we may never know!). Cull converted again 43-17. From the kick off the Wanderers again went wide and found space to attack. Dan Crimmins put in a grubber kick and the home side turned ball over in the Tredegar 22. As the ball went out to Shovel he was tip tackled and the Tredegar wing was yellow carded (somewhat harshly to those watching). As both sides were getting organised for a penalty Cull spotted Jones out wide all alone. He cross-kicked and Elliot walked in for his second try. Cull added the two points 52-17. It was all out attack now and from the kick off the home side went further ahead. Again it was pace out wide with Jones breaking free, feeding Xiberras who scored his second of the game. Cull converted 59-17. Both sides rang the changes to get fresh legs on and Tredegar showed that they were still dangerous when Jenkins crossed for his second try and Jones converted 59-24. That was only a temporary blip in the one way traffic though. It was not long before the Wanderers were running in from deep again as Xiberras crossed for his hat –trick of tries in the game and Cull added his 8th conversion 66-24. As the game entered its final minutes the steady flow of scoring continued. From some close quarter driving Carl Kimber stretched out to score with Cull converting again 73-24 and the home side added its 11th try when replacement scrum half Rhys Griffiths was on hand to finish off another sweeping attack. Cull converted again 80-24. The afternoon’s try fest was rounded off by a solo effort from Loren Quick, who by his standards had had a quiet afternoon, as he crashed over in the corner. Unfortunately Gareth Cull failed with his last conversion but it was all smiles at the Memorial ground, final score 85-24.
Match pics at : http://www.flickr.com/photos/12570451@N04/