Maesteg Celtic RFC | 2nd Team 10 - 33 Aberavon Quins RFC | 2nd Team

Match Report
25 January 2016 / Team News

Aberavon Quins Development 33 Maesteg Celtic 2nds 10

The Quins romped back to the top of the league in the unusual setting of the Darwin Road Ground, after weeks of torrential rain the pitch was in relatively good nick, but the ever present wind that accompanies any sporting contest held at this venue was a factor and assisted the team playing from the beach end.

The Quins fielded a extremely young side with a load of teenagers donning the blood and black. Young Rhys Edmonds, 18 just the day before, was making his senior debut at scrum half and he was in fine form, with his grandfather Bryn and father Wayne looking on proudly he had a smart game, mixing his game well with a good service, box kicking and sniping at the breakdown. Rhys also played is part in the defensive effort putting in some brave tackles.

The game was evenly poised in the early exchanges with the big Celtic pack dominating possession, with the aid of a few odd decisions from the large boned official they attained big chunks of territory and their driving maul was effective.  The Quins on the other hand were running any scraps of possession they had, the style contrast was stark with Celtic contesting all breakdown areas fiercely and not altogether legally. The Quins pack where second best for the first 15 minutes but suddenly turned into Quentin Tarrantinos “hateful eight” with Jonny Thomas, Billy Rowland and Sam Richards taking the starring roles. The experiment of David Lloyd moving up to the unaccustomed role of loose head was a resounding success, despite some early struggles with foot and body position, he, with Josh Pugh and Billy Rowland, went on to dominate their opposite numbers to the extent that the last 10 minutes of the game Maesteg Celtic called for passive scrums.  

Hooker Billy Rowland was to the fore in most of the good Quins passages of play, this “Tasmanian Devil” bumped off opposing players, was quick around the field and his support play was outstanding, add to this his accurate line out throws and his two strikes against the head he certainly challenged Jonny Thomas for Man of the Match.  Captain Karl Davies helped in the tight exchanges and defended manfully against a hefty Celtic pack, his performance in the loose was a mixed bag with some strong carries and deft kicks.  He was also the experienced head that the young forwards looked to when under the cosh on their own line. His second row colleague, Jonathan Thomas put in a great performance, Paul O’ Connellesque in his lineout work, his tremendous work rate in the loose, carrying hard tackling harder and mauling like a bear on stimulants. The back row trio of the partly shaven headed Cory Bradley,  human dynamo Guy Entwhistle and indefatigable Sam Richards  were everywhere,  covering the pitch many times over. Sam smashed into tackles with bone shuddering energy, Guy was instrumental in most of the good link play between forwards and backs, his day was curtailed with a popped shoulder that hopefully recovers soon. Cory also enjoys the art of tackling, he carried effectively and turned over the opposition on numerous occasions. One scrum in the middle of the field saw Sam Richards pick from the base and sprinted, like a gazelle running from an hungry lion, on an arced line. Kristian Roberts run a great decoy line, Sam dummied a pass, straightened his line drew the full back, perfectly timing his scoring pass to winger Harley “Nathen” Evans.

Kristian Roberts at 10 was very vocal and enthusiastic, showed good feet to avoid unwanted contact on more than one occasion. One particular piece of “dancing feet” was the talking point of the day. His eventful day was topped with a try and 4 conversions. Centres Joe James who resembled Edward scissor hands in his early touches, spilling the ball passing in accurately. In fairness his game improved the longer it went on and showed great aptitude and attitude. With fellow centre Will Peake they locked out any three quarter plays from the Celtic backs, their only threat came from a centre who constantly chatted words of advice to the referee, moaning, groaning and pontificating like a premiership footballer.  If he was as enthusiastic in defending as he was in advising the ref he might have tackled Will Peake who waltzed past him on one searing break that eventually led to Sam Richards diving to score.

Sturdy and reluctant winger Jake Price also added steel to the back line, he was effective in defence, with the distance you have to run to get around him, showed great versatility when he added his bulk to the second row on the injury demise of Guy Entwhistle allowing the Duracell battery operated Jon Thomas more freedom from the back row. Three legged Rory Hinchcliffe was an emergency full back but was very assured in defence and enjoyed the right to roam that the position allows, he also unveiled his more than useful right boot and kicked the ball a country mile. Rory is full of surprises and most of the boys envy how long he is in the shower.  Harley “Nathen” Evans had a great day with two tries, once the Quins team actually remembered how strong and quick he is and passed the ball to him.

The bench was filled with “experienced” trio of Stuart Broad, Jamie Lean, Andrew Dacey and the less experienced but hugely effective Dylan “Ginge” McLauchlin, all but Dacey added something to the cause on their introduction, Dacey’s contribution was to wrestle with an extremely tight (on the shoulders) jersey for three minutes prior to ref ending the game.

A special mention to Josh “Gatland” Pugh who is learning his trade on the tight head, he shone brightly and even managed a score with a delicate dink and chase.

Despite being booted out of a cup competition for playing 6 players who are 19 and 20 years old  {and part of last seasons youth team} instead of playing a 50, 49,46,45,43 and 42 year olds the team showed great tenacity and determination in bouncing back and showing the depth of talent within the club. With the first team hammering Neath Ath at the Quins field it was a good weekend for all involved at the Harlequin Road ground.

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