8 try victory keeps Wanderers on track
“After the Brynmawr defeat it was good to get a performance under our belts with a massive month ahead.” Commented Lee Highgate “We know once we have a platform we can create chances”
On a grey but dry afternoon the game started at a lively tempo with both sides showing a willingness to put width on the ball. The ball was kept in play for several minutes but when the Wanderers transgressed at a ruck a penalty shot allowed Llantrisant to open the scoring 0-3. The home side started to warm to their task and with the attitude of keeping the tempo high they started to exert pressure on the visitors. With both forwards and backs willing to carry the ball the Wanderers piled on the pressure and the Black Army were forced into valiant defence of their line. Despite all their efforts the home side could not break the opposition down but the constant pressure resulted in a series of penalties against the visitors which saw them more and more frustrated with the referee. Eventually something had to give from a clearance into Wanderers territory the home side backs took a quick lineout setting them on the attack. Cameron Gibbon made good ground and after quick recycling the ball was moved wide to Andy Evans who crossed for the first try of the game. Luke Fish converted 7-3. From the kick off the Wanderers were straight back on the attack. A penalty gave them good field position and a well executed drive from the pack saw Max Wootten the last player to handle the ball as the maul crashed over the line. Fish added the extras 14-3. With their tails up the home side dominated proceedings and Llantrisant were forced to feed off scraps of possession and despite their efforts they could not bring any pressure to bear. The game was firmly camped inside the visitors 22 and with the penalty count rising it was no surprise to see the Black Army reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes after some backchat. The Wanderers elected for a scrum inside the 22 and with a defender short Llantrisant were unable to stop the injection from fullback Rob Evans and he forced his way over for the home sides third try. Fish converted 21-3. From the kick off the home side were back on the attack as Fish made a break from deep and before the sides went into the break Josh Male rounded off another move involving forwards and backs to get the bonus point secured. Fish converted 28-3 at half time.
The Wanderers were forced into a change at half time with Rob Evans being replaced by the experienced James Loxton at full back. The pressure continued on the visitors as the home side looked to seal the game. Male went close again and from a loose clearance kick Loxton set up a counterattack and several phases once again took the play deep into Llantrisant territory. From a scrum inside the 22 the game was put out of sight when a neat move saw scrum half Myles Churcher dart away to score. Fish converted again 35-3. With the result now not in doubt the Wanderers sent for a raft of substitutes one of those being new signing from KFC RFC Charlie Bastareaud. He made an instant impact slowing the game down but he was in support of Churcher as he took a quick penalty. Offloading to the faster second row Rob Weston saw Weston break downfield and Josh Sheehan took a scoring pass to crash over beside the posts. Fish added his sixth conversion 42-3. Despite the score-line Llantrisant showed great spirit and that shone through as they had their best spell of the game. Going though the phases they, for the first time, put the Wanderers under real pressure. Driving at the heart of the defence they were rewarded, deservedly so, with their first try 42-10. Then with more of a spring in their step the Black Army went back on the attack and a second try reduced the arears to 42-17. As the game entered its final stages Llantrisant were hampered by an injury after using up all their subs but the injured back row forward hobbled on valiantly. The Wanderers finally regained possession and having established good field position again Phil Pariyo cruised through a gap in midfield to score the 7th try. Fish added the extras 49-17. With the last play of the game turnover ball gave Andy Evans a chance. He kicked ahead and had the pace to gather (??) the ball as it rolled over the line for his second try. Fish stepped up but blotted his play book by missing with the last conversion of the day making the final score 54-17.
Tries: Andy Evans (2), Rob Evans, Josh Male, Josh Sheehan, Myles Churcher, Phil Pariyo, Max Wootten
Cons: Luke Fish (7)
Massiv man of the match: Josh Sheehan