“With a number of players side-lined after last Saturday it was great to see our strength in depth as this win was over a powerful Dowlais team. We have a real week of head scratching to come, with a number of selection headaches before we select the side for Treorchy” commented Martyn Fowler after the second half demolition of the Division one East side.
It was a dry night in Dowlais! I’ll repeat that, it was a dry night in Dowlais and the home side started the brighter. Using their pack to spearhead the attack they took the game to the Wanderers. From a penalty in midfield they established good field position and from the resulting driving lineout Dowlais registered their first converted try 7-0. The visitors took a while to get into the game with several new starts amongst the pack and it was clear from the outset that this was going to be no friendly as tempers got a little heated early on. The Wanderers slowly galvanised themselves and having established good field position James Loxton ghosted through the defence and set up Peter Lloyd who crashed over for the Wanderers first try. Loxton converted 7-7. The game remained evenly poised with no quarter given until loose ball from a lineout gave the visitors another chance. Myles Churcher, starting for the first time this season at 9 broke clear and raced away. He took play deep into the home side 22 and after the forwards had carried the ball on Cameron Gibbon was on hand out wide to score the second try. Loxton again converted 7-14. Dowlais hit back. Once again from a driving lineout their pack powered its way over to record their second try 14-14. Unfortunately, the game was marred just before the break by a mass brawl following an incident at a ruck and sensibly the referee called half time to allow tempers to subside.
The Wanderers sent on a number of subs at the break and once again after the restart the home side were the brighter. Despite that the Wanderers defence held firm and once they had broken free the game tipped in their favour. The visitors scrum started to exert massive pressure on the home side and the game became camped in the home side half. James Loxton scored the Wanderers third try as the pressure mounted and the Dowlais side were forced into passive scrummaging as they came under more and more pressure. Ben McStay rounded off a move to score the fourth try to extend the lead to 14-24 as the Wanderers held a firm grip on proceedings. With legs tiring the Wanderers looked dangerous whenever the ball was in hand and their pace out wide kept the home side defence working hard. The scoring was completed with the best try of the game when a deep kick from Dowlais was fielded by Phillip Pariyo. He countered and when the ball went wide both forwards and backs moved the ball. After recycling Morgan Louch took the scoring pass to dive over under the posts. Loxton rounded off a fine display with his third conversion. Final score 14-31.
Tries: James Loxton (2), Cameron Gibbon, Ben McStay, Morgan Louch
Cons: James Loxton (3)
Man Of the Match: James Loxton
PICS on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/gp/12570451@N04 (not the best due to light fading)