Five try win for Wanderers
“Our accuracy could be better but all in all pleased with the performance” commented head coach Paul Matthews “Jamin celebrated his call up to the Canadian training squad by controlling the game well and there was a solid performance from Aaron Arthur on debut”.
“Good to see Nathan Williams grab a try on his first start. The performance was testament to the hard work the whole squad and coaches have put in recently” added Manager Mark Gould.
Heard in the crowd “Is passive lineouts a new rule worth bringing in. Both sides would agree to it”
On a dry day with a heavy pitch after overnight rain Bedwas got the game underway. The Wanderers began brightly. Nathan Williams set up an early attack and Jacob Newman had a run down the wing but the ball was spilled. Keeping the pressure on the home side kept the game in the visitors 22 but when they pressurised a clearance kick the ball was touched in its flight. Landing in no mans land it was gathered by a Bedwas player and with no defence home they were able to race away to score the first try of the day. Conversion was added 0-7. Back came the Wanderers going through their phases with forwards and backs handling well. The visitors absorbed the pressure then started to warm to their task. Unfortunately, both sides were finding lineouts a really difficult part of the game. When penalties were awarded kicks deep into opposition territory resulted in the ball being handed back to the opposition. Soon the Wanderers were level. Another move of phases put the home side on the front foot and Jamin Hodgkins sent a long pass out to Newman (who clearly finds the touchline a comfort blanket). He cleared the defence and found Captain Josh Male in support and he crashed over for the home side opening score. The game ebbed and flowed with little given away both sides strived to get the “A” game into play but final execution deserted them. Bedwas had a chance of the lead but a penalty shot hit the post and then the Wanderers had their chance. A 50-22 by Paul Short set up field position and after a few drives by the pack Hodgkins dropped back into the pocket to drop a goal 10-7. A little battle of aerial tennis followed but the Wanderers were starting to dominate the territory. Another Newman break was thwarted near the Bedwas line and the visitors saw yellow for the first card of the day. The home side were then forced into a change when Chadd Davies left the field with a head injury, to be replaced by Harry Paul. As the half entered its final minutes Bedwas mounted a series of attacks but the home side defence was solid with, as usual Finn Davies very prominent, racking up the tackle count and the visitors could not find a way through. The half petered out with no further scores but the home side would have entered the shed knowing that if they can up their game a little, scores would follow. HT 10-7.
Both sides started to look to their benches as the half got underway. A Hodgkins penalty got the scoreboard moving to edge the home side ahead 13-7 and the Wanderers were certainly warming to the task in hand. The lineout woes for both sides continued restricting the expansiveness of their play but the Wanderers were able to get further ahead when a scrum set up good field position. Attacking blind the play was held up but when eventually the ball was recycled wide Aaron Arthur was on hand to race away and score on debut 18-7. With a little breathing space, the home side started to relax into their play and they gained in confidence. Finn Davies dropping his tackling duties had a rare canter in the open and a penalty allowed Hodgkins to nudge the home side deep into the Bedwas 22. A well-executed catch and drive by the Wanderers pack saw Nathan Williams crash over for the third home side try. Hodgkins converted 25-7. More bench personnel were called for from both sides The visitors play became a little more frantic as they started to chase the game. They did mount some pressure but the home side defence dug deep to prevent a score and keep any thoughts of a revival at bay. Back came the Wanderers. At a ruck a penalty to the visitors seemed to relive the pressure but as they took it quickly, they spilled the ball and Finn Davies picked up the opportunity and raced away to score a try. Hodgkins converted to make it 32-7. The game really started to break up as it entered its final quarter. Bedwas finally got their lineout to function and a catch and drive saw them cross for their second try to make it 32-12. One of the Bedwas forwards saw yellow and Davies joined him for company soon afterwards. A final score was added by wing Morgan Williams who shrugged off several would-be tacklers to break clear down the left wing to score. The conversion was missed as nobody had noticed that Jamin had been replaced by his twin brother Jeff (only ex-chairman Gerry Blake noticed) who clearly can’t kick as well. Final score a good bonus point win for the home side 37-12.
Tries: Josh Male, Aaron Arthur, Morgan Williams, Nathan Williams, Finn Davies
Con: Jamin Hodgkins (3)
Pen: Jamin Hodgkins
Drop goal: Jamin Hodgkins
Massiv MOM: Jamin “Jeff” Hodgkins
Management MOM: Aaron Arthur