Wanderers Win!

Wanderers 20

Maesteg Quins 11

“One swallow doesn’t make a summer but there is nothing like a win to bring smiles to everyone in the club. We are a long way from where we want to be but we believe in this group of players” commented manager Mark Gould.

Coach Andrew Roberts added “We asked the players to relax and forget about recent results. We’ve worked on some basics this week and we asked them to defend with passion. They did all that and got the result.

On a cold afternoon at the Memorial ground it was clear from the off that the Wanderers scrum would be under immense pressure from a powerful Quins eight. An early attack by the visitors was thwarted by a crossing offence and the home side were able to relieve the pressure. Good lineout ball put the Wanderers on the attack but resolute defence allowed the Quins to clear their 22. Unfortunately for the visitors their lineout wasn’t as sharp as their scrum and the home side regained the chance of an attack. Will Jameson went close after a strong drive but he was held up. When awarded a penalty 5 metres out The Wanderers elected for a tap. Several close quarter drives were held up but when Morgan Williams flashed back he fed Alfie Price who sliced through a stretched defence to score. Tommy Taylor added the conversion 7-0. Back came the Quins and with their scrum providing regular penalties they built a period of pressure. The Wanderers were called into a series of defensive sets and they held firm. Eventually though something had to break and after another lineout drive was foiled the visitors scrum half broke blind from a maul and forced his way over. The conversion was missed 7-5. The game ebbed and flowed with both sides playing some expansive rugby. There was a certain pattern with Quins penalties at scrum time only to be halted by good lineout work and solid defence from the Wanderers. The Home side were forced into a change in the second row with Captain Huw Thomas injured to be replaced by Rob Weston. The half entered its final quarter. A great penalty touch-finder from Taylor put the Wanderers back on the attack and once again the pack tried to power their way over. The Quins dug deep and just as they thought they’d stifled the attack a penalty gave the home side the advantage. As it was the last play of the half Taylor slotted the penalty and the sides went into the break at 10-5.

The second half saw the visitors pick the pace of the game up with a series of quick tap penalties but they were halted when players, acting like professional footballers started shouting “yellow, yellow!” at the referee when a penalty was awarded. The penalty was reversed and the Wanderers went back on the attack. A period of aerial tennis followed as neither side could gain a real advantage but after another Quins attack a penalty allowed them to close the arrears 10-8. The sides started to ring the changes and once again the play moved from end to end. The visitors kept the pressure up and for once a scrum didn’t end in a penalty. Instead, the Quins attacked in midfield and an offside offence allowed them to take the lead with their second penalty 10-11. Back came the Wanderers. A counter attack from Amir Saleh set up field position and Jameson again drove through the defence only to be held up short. A discussion about whether a crocheted rugby kit was better than a knitted one followed between the Quins fullback and Wanderers management resulting in the home side coach being sent to the stand. The game restarted with a home side penalty and Taylor added his second to put the Wanderers back in front 13-11. The game was interrupted by a few head knocks and then came the decisive moment of the game. A Steff Davies up and under was superbly gathered by Williams. He broke clear and passed the ball inside to Taylor who scooped the ball from his toenails and he raced away to score under the posts. He added the conversion and the home side saw some daylight on the scoreboard. The Quins, now chasing the game, threw everything into the attack and the Wanderers were forced into desperate defence. Back and forth the visitors tried to break down the home side defence but it was defiant. They were awarded as penalty giving them hope but the shot at goal went just wide and there wasn’t enough time left for two scores. The final Quins attack was thwarted by a turnover and a jubilant home side cleared the ball as far as they could to record the win. Final score 20-11.

Wanderers’ scorers

Tries: Alfie Price, Tommy Taylor

Cons: Tommy Taylor (2)

Pens: Tommy Taylor (2)

Management Man of the match: Jac Williams
Massiv Man of the Match: Tommy Taylor

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