Wanderers bow out of Plate
For the second season in a row Brynmawr put the Wanderers out of the WRU Plate after a hard fought game in horrendous conditions.
“Many of the boys fronted up on a difficult day. I said before hand this was a difficult challenge and we came up just short” commented Lee Highgate.
“No complaints about the result, my worry is that we are making the same mistakes and not learning from them” said a disappointed coach Martyn Fowler.
On an amazingly firm pitch considering the conditions the home side seemed to have the elements in their favour first half although such was the wind and rain it was difficult to see either side being able to use the conditions effectively. The early exchanges showed that the defences would be on top and Brynmawr showed early on that their scrum would dominate proceedings. With lineout throwing a lottery for both hookers real attacking chances were few and far between. Both sides tried some concerted forward drives as the game became camped in the 15 metre channel on one side of the pitch but neither team could furnish a try scoring opportunity. As the defences dominated and the time in the half entered its final 10 minutes the home side finally gained the foothold which led to a score. After a penalty had given them good field position another penalty allowed them to set up a scrum near the Wanderers line. The outcome was inevitable as they pounded the line and finally gained the pushover try to open the scoring 5-0. The conversion from out wide was nearly impossible but Brynmawr were ahead. The pressure on the Wanderers continued for the rest of the half but the defensive line was strong and the visitors held firm to prevent any further scores sending the sides into the break at 5-0 and with the visitors still very much in the game.
With the elements now giving the Wanderers a little advantage they started the half brightly. With the defence still strong they furnished a penalty in the home side half and Luke Fish reduced the arrears with a penalty 5-3. Brynmawr responded to the threat well and after a high tackle gave them a chance they restored the 5 point lead with a penalty of their own 8-3. Back came the visitors and a rare concerted attack involving the outside backs (those that hadn’t frozen to death at this point) resulted in a second penalty shot for the Wanderers and he kept the visitors in touch at 8-6. The home side had another chance to restore the lead but the shot at goal boomeranged in the wind and went wide. The conditions deteriorated and the Wanderers replenished to outside backs with some warm ones. With the game entering its final quarter it could have gone either way but Brynmawr furnished an excellent try with some good interpassing and offloading despite the weather and it was the telling point in the game 13-6. The Wanderers then made the task even more difficult as Joe Russell was sent to the bin for 10 minutes for back chat. Brynmawr, realising that they had complete control up front managed the game in the final minutes really well and denied any chance for the visitors to get back into the game. Russell returned and a scrum penalty delivered the final score to send Brynmawr deservedly through to the next round of the Plate.
Pens: Luke fish (2)
Massiv Man of the Match: Aaron Fowler (special Mention Ryan Davis)