Wanderers Youngsters learn valuable lessons
Ystrad Rhondda 28
“Accuracy in what you do is all important at this level. Lineout and break down execution let us down and Ystrad executed their plays well and were deserved winners” Commented Manager Mark Gould.
“Really pleased with the spirit this young group showed” added head coach Martyn Fowler “These youngsters will have learnt valuable lessons out there today but the commitment and willingness to keep going to the final whistle was a credit to them”
On a grey sultry afternoon after several heavy morning showers the teams were greeted with dry conditions at the Memorial Ground. The early exchanges were punctuated with penalties and plenty of aerial tennis as both teams sounded each other out. Ystrad were the more assured in attack, but the home side defence was solid and the rustiness of both sides was fairly clear. Penalties for both sides resulted in kicks deep into opposition territory but neither side could break the deadlock. Eventually the visitors took a deserved lead. An attack of several phases resulted in a stretched Wanderers defence and as the phases grew Ystrad crashed over out wide. The conversion was good and the Visitors led 0-7. Under the new modified rules scrums were non existent and with the Wanderers lineout not functioning accurately decent home side attacks were few. Both sides found accuracy at the breakdown difficult with the referee quick to penalise any player holding the ball however briefly. Finally, after 26 minutes the game had a scrum and it led to the Wanderers first try. Ball was released to the backs and after a little run around, James Grainger offloaded miraculously to Josh Male who out sprinted the defence to score in the corner. Tyler Morris converted 7-7. Ystrad hit straight back. An up and under was dropped by the Wanderers defence and after recovering the ball the visitors went through the phases again to crash over for their second try 7-14. The game ebbed and flowed with the penalty count rising against both sides, especially at the breakdown, resulting in a bit of a stop start game. The home side continued to struggle with field position on the back of a faltering lineout, but a ruck penalty allowed Morris to reduce the arrears to 10-14. Penalties continued to flow both ways but neither side could make further inroads and the sides went into the break at 10-14.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first. The Wanderers struggling to get the accuracy they desired and Ystrad started to warm to their task. Their attacks became more and more assured and the Wanderers came under more pressure A second penalty for Morris reduced the deficit to 13-14 but the Ystrad line remained intact and the home side could not break down the resolute defence. The visitors edged ahead again with another incisive attack gaining them their third converted try. There were glimpses of the future with Amir Saleh and Anthony Cox both showing up well, but the more experienced and increasingly confident Ystrad side certainly had the upper hand. Their bonus point try sealed the deal after several close quarter drives to make it 13-28. As time edged away the Wanderers showed real spirit and fitness to mount one last series of attacks and Owen Hatherill crashed over for his first try for the club with Morris converting making it 20-28 at the final whistle. A deserved win for the visitors but plenty of positives for the home side.
Tries: Josh Male, Owen Hatherill
Cons: Tyler Morris (2)
Pens: Tyler Morris (2)
Massiv man of the match: Anthony Cox
Coaches Man of the Match: Anthony Cox