Wanderers shut out by Ystrad

Wanderers 13
Ystrad Rhondda 29 

“Against a well organised Ystrad side we struggled despite plenty of possession to break them down” commented assistant coach Darren Gibbon.

“Ystrad took their chances, played good cup rugby and deserved their win but once again there were encouraging signs. Our pack certainly provided possession and we continue to learn the lessons” added head coach Martyn Fowler.

On a grey day with no wind Ystrad struck early. The Wanderers gave up territory conceding two penalties and from a neat front peel at a five-metre lineout they crossed for the first try of the game 0-5. The score woke the home side up and they started to get into their stride. Happy to move the ball wide from first phase possession the Wanderers established good field position and put the Ystrad defence under pressure. The game settled into a pattern with the visitor’s content to kick deep with their possession and the home side countering from deep on several occasions. Fullback Tom Hughes was in constant action carrying the back to the opposition and forwards Brendon Lampitt and Joe Page were prominent in attack. A neat break by Alfie Llewellyn gave the Wanderers good field position but no matter what they threw at the Ystrad defence the visitors line held firm and rarely looked troubled. As the pressure mounted the defence creaked a little and a series of penalties allowed Paul Short to land two penalties putting the Wanderers ahead 6-5 after 25 minutes. The visitors, chasing a bonus point to keep their cup hopes alive declined shots on goal in favour of lineouts deep in the home side 22 and it was a driving lineout after two more penalties that lead to their second try. The conversion was added from out wide and the sides went into half time with Ystrad ahead 6-12.

The start of the second half followed the pattern of the first with the Wanderers looking to move the ball and go through the phases and Ystrad content to kick the ball deep and keep the home side pinned down when attacking. The Wanderers started to commit some handling errors allowing the defence to ease any pressure that was building and it was from a poor pass that the visitors struck again. Moving the ball into midfield and flashing back blind a loose pass was intercepted by the Ystrad backs and they clinically took the chance racing away to score their third try. This was again converted from out wide 6-19. The home side started to empty their bench as they began to chase the game but despite their best efforts the Wanderers could not break down a resolute Ystrad defence. As in the first half when the visitors had a chance, they took it. The bonus point try followed from what was a rare sortie into the Wanderers 22 and the home side attacks became more and more desperate. When the tempo of the game was picked up the Wanderers looked far more dangerous and as they chased the game more and more, they showed glimpses of what was possible. As the game entered its final quarter both sides lost a player to a yellow card after a dispute as to the covid rules on the field and the Wanderers finally got a break when a series of penalties, taken quickly resulted in the referee awarding the home side a penalty try as Mike Owen looked to heading for a score 13-24. Any glimmer of a dramatic comeback was quashed as the Wanderers tried to run from deep in the dying minutes and Ystrad turned the ball over in home side territory and raced away to round off the well-deserved bonus point victory. Final Score 13-29.

Wanderers Scorers:

Try:  Penalty try

Pens: Paul Short (2)

Management MOM: Joe Page
Massiv MOM: Tom Hughes

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