Taffs Well RFC | 1st Team 38 - 12 Cardiff Quins RFC | 1st Team
Gwilym Edwards
Try 1
Justin Jones
Try 1
Lloyd James
Try 1
Ronan Barrett
Try 3
Brandon Thrasher
Conversion 4

Match Report
30 September 2018 / Team News

Taff’s Well Through in Thrilling 38 – 12 Cup Win

After the much-needed league win against Abercynon, all eyes turned towards the Welsh Cup as Taff’s Well rang the changes to field a more unfamiliar line-up following the recent successful performances of the 2nd XV. Today’s opponents were Cardiff Quins (Cardiff High School Old Boys to you of a certain age) who provided a local derby from years gone by as well as sitting level with Taff’s Well in the league. With the sun shining, hooker Matthew Desmier leading out the team on his 150th appearance and the pitch in perfect condition, today’s visitors turned up with an invitation to play rugby and the home side duly obliged.

Early Scare

The Quins were soon into their stride with a sweeping attacking which saw them create a- three-to-one overlap but left wing Tom Cattle read the danger and intercepted to allow outside-half Brandon Thrasher to unleash a huge clearance kick to kill the danger which was the first of many such kicks during the game. With starts for props John Davies and Deri Vaughan, the scrum was to share its intent by shoving the Quins eight backwards to earn a penalty. From the resultant line-out, the backs teed-up centre Mike Lindon to crash through and set up a platform from which No.8 Max Watkins was able to put in a deft pass to full-back Ronan Barrett cutting back on the angle to scorch through for a lovely opening try which was duly converted by Thrasher.

More of the Same

Lindon was soon back at it with another burst up the middle which saw him cross the line only to be brought back for an early infringement. The respite was only temporary as No.8 Watkins punched through the defence before off-loading for full-back Barrett to profit from some good handling to tear in for his second try of the afternoon to open up a lead of 12-0. If you thought this was going to be one-sided, you’d be mistaken as the Quins were to hit back with a nice break from influential outside-half Spencer Lumley who broke to put over centre Luke Bowler.

Quins Level

Barrett was causing all sorts of problems for the visitors with his pace but to be fair to them, they were trying to play rugby from everywhere with their backs looking sharp. Their endeavour was to pay off as the backline got behind the Taff’s Well defence to interplay with some sharp passing which saw speedy winger Dafydd Frankly hare down the middle to score an impressive try to bring the score levels thanks to the Lumley conversion. Back came the home side as wingerTom Cattle was hauled down inches short of the line which brought an attacking penalty but as the ball was put wide, some fumbling fingers were to bring the move to a halt. This was a thoroughly entertaining first half in which both back-lines looked dangerous and home flanker Rhys Green starting to catch the eye. All square and all to play for at the break and the promise of more entertaining rugby to come.

Half Time Score:  Taff’s Well 12 v 12 Cardiff Quins

Second Half

Taff’s Well were the first to show as another sweeping move saw winger Nicholas careering down the right wing to make good yardage and set up a ruck with the Quins on the back foot but the final pass was too strong as the ball sailed into touch. The Quins managed to reorganise and mount a sustained period of pressure which was repelled through a mixture of good defence and poor finishing with Thrasher getting the home side out of jail with some monster kicks. This was now all Quins as the Taff’s Well defence was punctured by strong running centre Lewis Allwood who was brought down inside the Taff’s Well 20m line but when the ball was turned over, Nicholas was put away again to kick deep and chase only to be taken out illegally. With some quick thinking, Barrett quick-tapped the penalty and set off against the retreating defence who were unable to stop him off-loading for prop Lloyd James to crash over for a fine try completely against the run of play.

Plenty of Spit But no Polish

As much as the visitors huffed and puffed, it was their finishing that was letting them down but there was no faulting their ambition. Taff’s Well, to the contrary were making their chances count. The home scrum was putting their counterparts under pressure with second-rows Daryl Mota and Tom Francis providing the grunt and the back-row of No.8 Watkins, ubiquitous flanker Rhys Green and Captain Lewis Edwards getting the edge on their opposite numbers despite the best efforts of Quins Captain and No.8 Gwion Jones. Taff’s Well were especially taking advantage of turnovers as another saw winger Cattle make a darting run down the left touchline to chip and chase to take the fielder into touch.

Penalty Count

Up to this point, the home pack had been guilty of giving away a host of penalties but the tide had started to turn and it was the Quins who were now starting to feel the wrath of the referee. With the game opening even more, full-back Barrett chose his angle to run from deep and scythe through the Quins defence to set up centre Justin Jones with a lovely inside pass to stroll in under the posts for Thrasher to convert and stretch the lead to 24-12.

Finishing in Style

As the backs were stealing the glory, replacement prop Ben Atkin decided to get on the act by storming through the breached defence and heading for the Quins line but as the meters were being eaten up and despite looking left and right for support, there was no-one in sight and the tackle was made to save the day. Scrum-half Craig Field had been presenting the ball to his backline on a platter but it was his replacement Gwilym Edwards who would get his name on the scoreboard as from an attacking 15m scrum, he was fed by No.8 Watkins to break the covering tackle to scamper through for an opportunist try and seal the game as Thrasher converted to make the score 31-12.

Saving the Best for Last

With another round in the cup guaranteed, Taff’s Well chose to end in style as wingman Cattle scuttled down the left to set up other replacement prop Lloyd James to burst through and set outside-half Thrasher on his way to the line with a lovely break. As he looked certain to score, a desperate tackle cut him down only for him to pop up the ball for Barrett in support to crash over for his hat-trick try and put some sweet tasting icing on the cake.

Final Score:  Taff’s Well 38 v 12 Cardiff Quins

The Verdict

Today’s game was an opportunity for Coach Rhys Watkins to test out some new combinations whilst rewarding performances in the 2nd XV and he will be delighted that so many of them worked out on a day made for rugby. Cardiff Quins fortunes in the league may not be the best at the moment but they will certainly make many friends with their own brand of rugby as they spurned kickable chances and ran the ball from anywhere they could. The score may have flattered Taff’s Well somewhat but there was nothing lucky about the quality of the tries scored.

Quins Qualities

The visitors were ably led by Captain Gwion Jones who toiled all afternoon but it was the Quins backs who caught the eye as they took every opportunity to move the ball from. Outside-half Spencer Lumley pulled all the strings whilst centre Lewis Allwood was a thorn in the side of Taff’s Well all afternoon. They will be disappointed that they couldn’t finish much of the fine work they created as they spurned several scoring opportunities.

New Taff’s Well Combinations & Taking Chances

If the pack had been taking the plaudits (conceding penalties aside), it was the turn of the backs to show what they could do as they turned on the style to ruthlessly finish off their own work. Mike Lindon looked strong in the centre alongside fine performances from wingers Cattle and Nicholas whilst Ronan Barrett does what Ronan Barrett does best when he’s given ball at speed. Good to see Tom Francis get a start and he didn’t waste his opportunity to be a nuisance around the field with 2nd team Captain Josh Walsh also getting some game time. Pick of the performances had to be flanker Rhys Green with a ‘thinking man’s’ performance as he read the angles in both defence and attack and provided his own impersonation of a brick wall.

Match Day Gallery:  Press Here

Next week…

All roads lead to Llanharan next week as the lads chase three wins on the bounce so make sure we turn up in force.

Dave Beese  mail


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