Neath end Wanderers winning streak!??!
“Rugby can be very cruel at times. You get a much needed win one day then get firmly planted on your behind a few days later” commented coach Andrew Roberts “There are always positives though. There are lessons you can learn and one thing despite the scoreboard we battled for 80 minutes”
“We know Neath emptied their bench early but after being behind 47-0 at half time the scoreboard operator was running out of fingers and toes keeping up with the try count. To concede only 12 points second half shows the character of the side and you never know if the game had gone on another 24 hours we might have scored!” added manager Mark Gould.
On a very cold Friday night at the Gnoll sadly the contest was over in under 10 minutes. Cruising through the Wanderers defence Neath’s pace and direction was just too good for the visitors. A score from the first play set the tone and soon afterwards a second try in the form of a penalty try from a scrum put the home side ahead 14-0. This lead to a bizarre and possibly unique incident. Owen Hatherill, having been told by referee Gwyn Morris that he needed to be careful with his binding, assumed that the awarding of a penalty try would result in a yellow card for himself so he left the field. The game restarted and as Neath went on the attack it was pointed out the Wanderers were down to 14. The Wanderers prop was then instructed to come back onto the field with a mild rebuke from Mr Morris informing him that he carried the cards and would show him one if he was to leave the field! The scoring continued with ease from the home side and as the scoreboard ticking along nicely it was 30 minutes until the Wanderers set a foot in the home side 22. That visit was short lived and Neath went back on the attack with their backs showing incisive speed with ball in hand. In total 7 tries were racked up in the first half and the sides went into the changing rooms with the score at 47-0.
The home side started to empty their bench at the start of the second half. The Wanderers reacted well and started to get a semblance of parity in the play Tom Francis went close to scoring and just to prove that he did have the cards in his pocket the referee sent a Neath player to the bin. The visitors could not capitalise on the slight advantage and as they themselves emptied their bench Neath broke away and scored their 8th try taking the score over the fifty point mark. The game ebbed and flowed for a bit with the Wanderers , with the aid of penalties at rucks, able to kick the ball deep into the home side territory. The efforts of the visitors continued but just as their attack was decisive the neath defence was solid and gave no quarter. Will Jameson and Alfie Llewellyn were prominent carriers but each tome the ball was carried deep into the home side 22 the defence closed ranks and the pressure was relieved. Substitute hooker Morgan Hughes went on a dazzling 75 metre run side stepping 8 or 9 players (his words not ours!) setting up another attack but again a turnover when in the 22 halted the attack. Neath scored again to make it 59-0 and the game entered its dying minutes. The Wanderers management looked to their last sub Mr O’Rourke but he was nowhere to be seen (later found hiding in the bar!!). There was one last effort from the visitors as Llewellyn and Jameson went close but the score was not to be forthcoming and the Wanderers had to settle for a spirited but scoreless second half. A comfortable and deserved win for a formidable Neath side 59-0.
Management Man of the match: Will Jameson
Massiv Man of the Match: Theo Shinton