Fixture

Taffs Well RFC | 1st Team 17 - 43 Llantwit Fardre RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
10 September 2018 / Team News

Llantwit Fardre Prove Too Strong for Taff’s Well With 43 – 17 Win

Llantwit Fardre spoiled the party as Taff’s Well played their first home in Div. 2 giving a dominant performance as the home side struggled with the pace and intensity during the first half especially. The visitors provided several players with Premiership experience and the Taff’s Well cause was not helped by a serious of errors which opened up a lead that never looked like being overhauled.

Out of the Blocks

Llantwit were straight out of the blocks and looked like they meant business from the off as they dominated possession and territory and it was no surprise when the ball was moved wide during an early attack for elusive left wing Connor Costello to cross in the corner. Llantwit were looking sharp and the Gods of fortune were smiling on them as a speculative bomb of a kick looked to be covered but the bounce eluded every Taff’s Well defender to fall straight into the arms of Costello who fed No.8 Gareth Godwin who cantered over unmarked to take the score to twelve nil thanks to outside-half James Compston’s conversion.

Déjà vu

Only a solid last-ditch tackle by full-back Ryan Smith saved another try before another speculative Llantwit kick over the again looked to be covered but a replica wicked bounce again evaded everyone in a black shirt to squirt out and find outstanding flanker Luke Benjamin who gleefully romped over the line to stretch the lead to 17-0 after fifteen minutes. The home pack had a battle on their hands against a big Llantwit eight and although they were holding their own in the scrums, they were coming second best to their counterparts just about everywhere else. Captain Lewis Edwards did his best to lead from the front and a superb tackle by hooker Bradley James was to earn a turnover only for the ball to be kicked away with an overlap beckoning - and to rub salt into the wounds, the kick went straight into touch.

Barrett Break

The backs were starved of ball and being stretched in defence but on a rare occasion, centre Ronan Barrett split the Llantwit defence to twist and turn his way upfield but was stopped with one too many defenders in his way. It took 30 minutes before Taff’s Well were able to seriously trouble the Llantwit 20m line and there was a glimmer of hope as outside-half Matthew Hurley stroked over a 38m penalty but a spot of ball watching enabled left wing Costello to add to his tally as he lost his marker to nip over in the corner and take the half-time score to 22-3. Terrible bounces aside, the visitors were good value for their points during a session in which they totally dominated

Half-time Score:  Taff’s Well 3 v 23 Llantwit Fardre


Second-Half

Coach Rhys Watkins would have had some harsh words during the interval and the team talk looked to have paid off as some smart interplay between scrum-half Gwilym Edwards and Ronan Barrett split the visiting defence but what looked like a harsh decision from the touchline saw a penalty for not releasing in the tackle. The scoreboard was to revert to type as Llantwit applied pressure through a 5m scrum which saw them add another try thanks to a push-over and things went from bad to worse as a telegraphed pass was easily and gratefully intercepted for yet another soft try which meant that the score had now leapt to 34 -3. To be fair, Taff’s Well were starting to compete but it was the mistakes that were doing all the damage and Llantwit were gorging on the buffet.

Captain Injury

The cause was to be further hit by the withdrawal of Captain Edwards after a blow to the throat but fellow flanker Conor Barrett was certainly not interested in reputations giving another wholly commitment performance aided and abetted by second-row Jon Barry who refused to give in. With the game lost, Taff’s Well were starting to get territory and possession but were finding difficulty in finishing off moves thanks to a mixture of errors and indiscipline. Several injuries were to make things even more difficult but to their credit - even with the odds against them, Taff’s Well were to get some reward for sticking it out until the end led by some simply superb tackling by hooker James who completely dispelled the myth that you have to be a big man to tackle big men.

Scoreboard Respectability

As they applied pressure to the Llantwit line, an attacking scrum was awarded with No.8 Max Watkins picking up from the base and running diagonally across filed to drag the cover with him but some indifferent tacking saw him continue all the way to the line for a consolation try which was impressively converted with a flash drop-kick by outside-half Hurley. Back came Llantwit to have their own 5m attacking scrum which seemed to be nullified when an almighty shunt from the Taff’s Well pack saw the visiting pack sent backwards at a rate of knots only for scrum-half Rhys Jones to react quickly to somehow pick up the ball and scoot over unmarked which totally summed up the Taff’s Well afternoon.

Taff’s Have the Last Word

It was tough stuff to watch but it was the home side that would have the final say as they managed to get some flow to proceedings as they attacked the Llantwit line to suck in all the cover and send the ball wide for No.8 Watkins to take the ball on the wing and saunter over unmarked to end the game 43-17.

Final Score:  Taff’s Well 17 v 43 Llantwit Fardre


The Verdict

This was a tough one as a good Llantwit Fardre side turned up at Taff’s Well having beaten Llanharan the previous week. Bolstered by several players with Premier Division experience, they were stronger in most departments and a yard quicker in deed and thought. After the opening twenty minutes against Barry last week, the talk was all about getting a good start but Taff’s Well were starved of both possession and territory. The visiting pack were on the front foot for most of the game with the backs enjoying a glut of ball to work with which meant that the home defence would be tested throughout. Scrum-half Rhys Jones enjoyed a good afternoon with flanker Luke Benjamin the standout in a powerful pack.

For Taff’s Well, Jon Barry and Lewis Edwards battled against the odds with Conor Barrett the pick of the back-row. For a leading example, you needed to look no further than hooker Bradley James who gave an exemplary display of committed tackling as he continuously downed men twice his side earning him the accolade of the Taff’s Well man-of-the-match. The set-piece didn’t lose any respect but there simply wasn’t the numbers in the right areas of the game starting with the breakdowns as the Llantwit eight were far more aggressive when contesting the ball. Taff’s Well defended with spirit even though the scoreboard would suggest otherwise and I guess you have to earn your luck sometimes with the bounce of the ball. Llantwit looked like a side who are comfortable playing at this level and on this performance will be setting their sights very high for the rest of the season.

The Taff’s Well learning curve continues and lessons will have to be learned quickly if the side has any ambition of having a protracted stay in Div. 2. If there was anything to be taken out of the game, it would have to be the fact that the home side stuck it out to the end and were rewarded with two tries which says a lot for the attitude which prevails in this side; in a game where if it could go wrong - it did so in spades. A mention for referee Lewis Harrison who controlled the game well.

Match Day Gallery:  Press Here

1 Lloyd James - Dragon Air Conditioning 
2 Bradley James - William Ricketts Partnership
3 Ben Atkin - 
Emerald Tattoo Company
4 John Barry - Dragon Air Conditioning
5 Daryl Mota - 
Rockstar Barbers
6 Lewis Edwards (c) - Gareth Evans 
7 Conner Barratt - Dragon Air Conditioning 
8 Max Watkins - 
Heath Windows and Doors
9 Gwilym Edwards - O Griffiths 
10 Mathew Hurley - 
Newey & Eyre
11 Josh Terrar
12 Brandon Thrasher - 
Bridgend Fabrics 
13 Ronan Barratt - Brynmor & Delme Edwards 
14 Mike Lindon - 
Refuel Nutrition
15 Ryan Smith

16 Deri Vaughan - Richie Bennett
17 Mathew Desmier - CGP Transport
18 Rhys Green - 
The Talbot Arms
19 Tom Francis
20 Craig Field - 
Chris Dennis Complete Car Maintenance


Penygraig 2nd XV 7 v 13 Taff's Well 2nd XV

Another good win for the second XV as they beat Penygraig 13-5 away from home. Thanks to a bullocking try by Ricky Edwards, a Cory Phillips penalty and a classy touchdown from Tom Cattle, the rags are shaping up nicely under the guidance of Barry Morgan. Nathan O’Brien nailed man-of-the-match which was even more impressive given that this was his first start as scrum-half in a senior game. Lewis Edwards added his mettle with some serious busts while Tom Cattle led from the front in defence.


Dave Beese  mail  davecbwales@gmail.com

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