Efficient Quins make Wanderers rue missed opportunities

Wanderers 20

Maesteg Quins 29

“A well drilled team against a team of individuals” commented manager Mark Gould “We couldn’t match their togetherness”

“Big shifts from several players but as individuals! We showed what we can do with a superb team try from Tom Richards but we left too many chances out on the field without converting them in points. The Quins visited our 22 twice in the first half and came away with 12 points. That is the effectiveness you need at Championship level” added back coach Darren Gibbon.

On a bright afternoon the sides were greeted with quite a stiff breeze which the Wanderers had use of in the first half. The early exchanges were dominated by the home side keeping play deep in the Quins half as they tried in vain to break down a solid visitor’s defence. Moving the ball wide when chances arose the Wanderers tried to use their pace out wide but they could not find the weak link in the defensive line.  The Quins were reduced to 14 for 10 minutes after a tackle off the ball but despite the man advantage the Wanderers could not convert the pressure into points and the game remained at 0-0. Eventually the visitors broke the deadlock. A penalty for offside gave them a chance to go deep and when the penalty was marched on 10 metres a real opportunity arose. It was the Quins first visit to the 22 and their effective driving maul from the subsequent lineout saw them crash over for their first converted try 0-7. Back came the Wanderers and with the breeze making it difficult for the visitors to clear their half the pressure came back on the Quins. Despite the dominance of territory, the home side could not find their way to the line until just over 30 mins of the half. A neat move from a lineout saw captain Cameron Gibbon, who was a threat all afternoon, slice through the defence. He sent the ball wide to Amir Saleh who slipped the ball inside to Tom Richards who crossed for the score. Gruff Tough converted and it was all level at 7-7. The game remained mainly in the opposition half but once again a penalty allowed the Quins to set up a second score. Not quite the same as the first but a driving lineout and several close quarter drives saw them crash over for their second try on their second visit to the 22 score 7-12. The Wanderers responded with more pressure towards the end of the half and Tough landed a penalty just before the break and the sides went into half time with the Quins just ahead 10-12.

The second half began scrappily with some aerial tennis and it was clear that the first score would be critical. It was the visitors who provided it. A scrum set up good midfield ball and with some good handling they pierced the defence to race away and score a third try. The conversion was good 10-19. With the breeze on their backs the Quins kicking was far more effective and the game was played more and more in the Wanderers half. The home side went down to 14 for 10 minutes after Zak Fifield saw yellow but some resolute defence prevented the visitors from increasing their lead. A spell of pressure in the Quins 22 resulted in a second Tough penalty making it 13-19 but then an interception just outside the visitors 22 saw a Wanderers attack turn into desperate defence. Back scrambled the Wanderers but they stopped the attack illegally and a penalty saw the Quins restore the 9 point lead 13-22. The home side tried desperately to get back into the game but as per the first half the Quins defence was resolute . The game was sealed after a Quins attack saw a neat grubber kick chased well and touched down for the visitors 4th try of the game making it 13-29 with very little time left. The home side did have the satisfaction of the final score as the hard working Gibbon crossed for the second try but it was too little too late and the Quins ran out deserved winners 20-29.

Wanderers scorers

Tries: Tom Richards, Cameron Gibbon,

Cons: Gruff Tough (2)

Pens Gruff Tough (2)

Management MOM: Cameron Gibbon
Massiv MOM: Cameron Gibbon

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