Wanderers bow out of cup
(Llangennech win on try count)
“One that got away, a game that we could have won but maybe Llangennech just edged it” commented head coach Paul Matthews.
“Cruel way to depart the cup but we must take heart from the continued improvement in this squad” Commented Manager Mark Gould after the Wanderers left the cup on try count.
On a day that saw some heavy rain showers and despite the conditions. both sides served up an exciting game of full running rugby and despite the drawn result Llangennech go through having scored more tries than the Wanderers.
Dry conditions greeted the players for the start of the game with ominous clouds in the distance. The early exchanges were punctuated by the whistle as both sides searched for an early advantage. An obstruction offence by the Llangennech backs gave the first chance and Jamin Hodgkins stepped up to get the scoreboard moving 3-0. Soon afterwards the lead was extended as Hodgkins landed his second penalty 6-0. The visitors responded well. A penalty of their own gave them a chance to reduce the arrears but they elected to kick deep into the Wanderers 22. The initial drive from the lineout was repulsed but after a couple of drives the ball was moved wide and they crossed easily in the corner. A superb conversion was added 6-7. The visitors were then forced into an early change when their fullback suffered a leg injury clearing the ball from his 22. Back came the Wanderers. A good kick chase put the pressure on and Llangennech were forced into giving away a penalty. The home side sent for the deep lineout but they lost the ball and the visitors tried to run out of defence. The attempt failed and they conceded another kickable penalty which Hodgkins converted 9-7. The heavens then opened making conditions vey tough but both sides continued to play. The visitors, with the help of a few penalties, mounted several attacks but this time the home side defence held firm. Llangennech were now certainly getting a head of steam up despite the rain and once again electing to run kickable penalties they soon added their second converted try to take the lead 9-14 as the half entered its final quarter. Surprisingly, and despite the poor conditions the first scrum of the day didn’t materialise until the 35th minute, testament to good handling in wet conditions. The Wanderers set up another lineout attack deep in Llangennech territory but once again poor accuracy from the home side seemed to foil the attack. The loose ball gave Cameron Growcott a chance to drive for the line and when the ball ended up in Sam Turner’s hands, he crashed over for the Wanderers first try. Hodgkins converted 16-14. As the half entered injury time the visitors hit back again. A series of penalties ended with a general warning to both skippers and when the Wanderers offended again Ethan Battle was picked out for yellow. The visitors took full advantage and after more drives and penalties they crashed over to send the sides into the break with Llangennech ahead 16-21.
The second half began brightly for the home side. The visitors moved the ball into midfield but lost control of the ball. Finn Davies kicked the ball ahead then showed good footballing skills to kick the ball on. Showing good pace, he got to the loose ball first and with conditions so wet underfoot he gathered and slid over for the Wanderers second try. Hodgkins converted 23-21. The home side certainly had their tails up and they should have extended the lead soon afterwards. Hodgkins broke down the wing and fed Josh Male. He was brought down short but with the line beckoning the home side managed to pass the ball forward preventing the score. From the second scrum of the day that followed the home side were penalised fort a wheel and Llangennech cleared the pressure. Both sides started to send for fresh legs with the home side still down to 14. The Wanderers had a chance to extend the lead again with a penalty but the Hodgkins shot hit the post (a crucial blow as it turned out!) and Llangennech cleared once again. With the pressure lifted Llangennech then mounted more attacks. A 50-22 gave them field position and once again forcing several penalties they forced their way over to nudge them back in front 23-26. Back came the home side again and a 50-22 of their own gave them good position. A series of attacks were thwarted but the referee was playing an advantage and the subsequent penalty allowed Hodgkins to tie it up at 26-26. Both sides emptied their benches as time started to run out. The Wanderers attacked again but once again the visitors defence was solid the pressure mounted and another penalty offence gave Hodgkins a chance to put the Wanderers through. Unfortunately, his shot went just wide and Llangennech held on to the final whistle sending them through in the cup on the more try rules. Final score 26-26.
Tries: Sam Turner, Finn Davies
Con: Jamin Hodgkins (2)
Pen: Jamin Hodgkins (4)
Massiv MOM: Finn Davies
Management MOM: Finn Davies