Fixture

Neath Athletic RFC | 1st Team 23 - 36 Aberavon Quins RFC | 1st Team
Steven Darren Colarusso
2 Try
Niall Price
1 Try
Kyle Williams
1 Try
Ryan Pugh
3 Conversion
Craig Young Cox
1 Try
Marc Sheppard
1 Try

Match Report
05 October 2015 / Team News

‘Whistle Drowns the Win’ Neath Athletic 23 - Aberavon Quins 36

The mood for this Division 2 West Central local derby was set by Neath Athletic’s decision to play with a ‘Passive’ scrum from the outset of the match. Whether this was a deliberate ploy by the men in black to counter the effect of the ‘Quins scrum, which had been so effective against them last season, is open to debate but that, allied to a one sided barrage of penalties from the match referee, placed the Quins in a difficult situation.

With Burgess back at loose head and requiring a gallop after his stint at Aberavon and Morgan and James propping up the rest of the front row, it looked in the pre-match build up, like the Athletic were in for a long afternoon at the coal face. However, the decision to go ‘passive’ allowed the Athletic to be just that – athletic and they tore around the park with gusto throughout the game. This didn’t stop the Quins from dominating most of the first half exchanges and by half time the game as a contest, one would have thought, was over. A very early try by Niall Price following a free flowing movement from forwards and backs, was added up by tries from Captain Craig Cox, speedy Steve Corlarusso and Mark Sheppard, two of which were converted by Ryan Pugh.

By half time, the bonus point had been achieved but the Athletic’s perseverance, allied to the referee’s persistent intervention with the whistle against the Quins, kept the scoreline to 24-11 at the break

If the referees interpretation of offering advantage to the side going forward and what represented offside at the breakdown, was difficult to comprehend in the first half, it was unfathomable in the second. A penalty count of 19-4 frustrated a rampaging Quins pack and allowed a very game Athletic side, free from the burden of a shift of scrummaging , to ramble relentlessly around the paddock. Supported by a whistle that must have required the timely substitution of a replacement pea, the Athletic clawed back at the Quins’ lead with 2 tries and a conversion to pull the score back to 24-23.

This sent the Quins up a gear with further tries from Colarusso and ever improving Kyle Williams, one of which was converted by Pugh to make the score 36-23 and Quins’ first away bonus point of a still undefeated season.

Injuries to Scully (replaced by Gareth Pugh), Ryan Pugh and Beynon further marred an afternoon of frustration for the Quins which was worsened by the sending off of second row Lloyd Hayden for ‘reckless play’, a description perhaps more akin to the display of the match official than the Quins’ number 5.

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