Wanderers bounce back with bonus point win
Cardiff Met 20
After the disappointing loss at Beddau last week the Wanderers bounced back with a bonus point win over Cardiff Met.
From his hideout in a non-extradition country avoiding difficult questions from the Vice Squad Mark Gould commented “Great result if we can keep the continuity we can only improve.”
“Having had glimpses last week and half a game the week before it was good to see a more complete performance” added backs coach Cai Milsom who earned bragging rights in Cyncoed after the result.
Head coach Martyn Fowler “Some players certainly are catching the eye but there is a lot of graft being put in by others on the field that goes unnoticed. Without that you will not win games”
On a bright afternoon the Wanderers were straight out of the blocks. Going through the phases with forwards and backs carrying well they nearly put Lloyd James over in the corner. Only to be denied by some resolute tackling by the Archers. A penalty soon afterwards allowed the home side to keep up the pressure with Tom Francis nailing a kick to the corner the Wanderers struck. Morgan Williams carried well in midfield and Rob Lewis popped up in support. Despite the attention of several defenders, he forced his way over from 75 metres (as all props do) to score besides the posts. Francis added the conversion 7-0. From the restart the students had a period of pressure but there was dogged defence from the Wanderers to deny the Met any chance. The home side then increased their lead in a slightly bizarre fashion. After recycling the ball Captain Wootton, believing he is the reincarnation of Barry John, attempted a kick downfield. Having fancy boots doesn’t make you a kicker and the defence fell about laughing but the ball sliced nicely into the path of James who gathered and fed Cameron Gibbon who cantered away to score the second try. Francis added the extra two 14-0. At this point the home side were clearly dominating proceedings but the students, who are always dangerous with ball in hand, are never out of a game for long. Putting a move together from a lineout deep in the home side territory they furnished their first score to put themselves back in it at 14-5. After 20 minutes the home side were forced into a change with Lewis leaving the field to be replaced by Owen Hatherill, the youngster slotting in as loosehead instead of his usual tighthead berth. The Wanderers went back on the attack and once again gained a foothold deep in the students 22. A move lasting several minutes and many phases in which several players had a little “white line fever” eventually saw the ball moved wide to Evan Lloyd who raced over in the corner for the home sides third try 19-5. The half entered its final quarter and the students started to find their rhythm. A neat break in midfield was only denied by great scramble defence from the Wanderers but the Met kept up the pressure and soon afterwards they added their second try and conversion 19-12. The Archers were now looking far more assured and the Wanderers started to look for half time as a chance to regroup. More pressure gave up a third try for the visitors to reduce the deficit to 19-17 with the half injury time. There was to be one more piece of action when Francis was taken off the ball and he added a penalty to send the sides into the break at 22-17.
The Wanderers faithful wondered what side would appear after the break but their fears were soon alleviated when Francis added his second penalty to extend the lead to 25-17. Expansive running rugby was put to one side as both outside half’s traded penalties to keep the home side advantage at 28-20. The coaches started to mobilise their benches introducing fresh legs into the foray and the game ebbed and flowed back and forth. Mr Newman gave both front rows a little talking to about the choice of post-match pizza toppings and but both sides could not find a definitive breakthrough against some resolute defence. Both benches were emptied and for the Wanderers new hooker Morgan Hughes showed his kicking skills on a break downfield. As the game entered its final quarter and the result still in the balance the home side found the moment to seal the game. Recycling the ball in Met territory Alfie Llewellyn found the space to burst through the defence and run away to fly in for the bonus point score. Francis added the conversion 35-20. The Archers rallied to search for a bonus point of their own and they threw everything at the home side. Defence was more and more frenetic but it held firm. Rob Weston saw yellow as the penalty count rose but the Wanderers held on for the deserved win. Final score 35-20
Tries: Rob Lewis, Evan Lloyd, Cameron Gibbon, Alfie Llewellyn
Cons: Tom France (3)
Pens: Tom Francis (3)
Management MOM: Tom Francis
Massiv MOM: Shaun O’Rourke