GILFACH GOCH 16
“With each game our pack grows in confidence. We are establishing a decent platform and we have the backs to exploit it” commented a happy Director of rugby Martyn Fowler after the bonus point win over Gilfach Goch “Some players are making the headlines but the hidden work of the likes of Owain Thomas, Aaron Fowler and Aaron Canter should not be overlooked.
On a hazy afternoon in Gilfach the home side rattled the visitors by flying out of the blocks. From the kick off they were on the attack and when awarded a penalty the home side opened the scoring with a penalty 3-0. That lead was soon doubled. From the restart another break up-field resulted in a second successful penalty 6-0. The Wanderers looked a little shell shocked at the start but they settled into their task and with their first attack they were awarded a penalty of their own and Codey Rees stepped up 6-3. The visitors began to warm to their task but the handling let themselves down as a spirited challenge from the home side remained. A penalty shot from Gilfach went just wide and soon afterwards the visitors took the lead. Having established some dominance in the set piece they used their driving lineout to create a chance and Dan Crimmins was on hand to crash over for an unconverted try 6-8. The lead was extended when Tom Driver attacked down the left wing only to be held up over the line. From the subsequent scrum the forwards went on a series of trundles and quick thinking hooker Aaron Fowler took everyone by surprise by leaping over the ruck on the line to score. Rees converted 6-15. Confidence oozed into the league leaders and on the back of another powerful driving lineout Crimmins scored his second try of the day. Rees converted 6-22. Gilfach were now up against it and their defence became more and more desperate. From another attack into the home side 22 the home side saw yellow for the first time and the Wanderers took full advantage. Yet again the powerful set piece furnished the chance and Crimmins recorded his hat-trick try and the bonus point before half time. Rees converted 6-29. With the home side willing the half time whistle to sound they were hanging on. The Wanderers continued to dominate possession and territory and after Crimmins and Aaron Canter had set up good field position fly half Luke Fish put in a pinpoint cross kick straight into the arms of an unmarked Owen Marshall who crossed to send the sides in at 6-34.
The Wanderers made some changes at the break in order to give valuable game time to squad members and from the kick off the lead was extended. From the first ruck Tom James made a break downfield. Ryan Davies was in support and he set Josh Sheehan off on a gallop to the line. Rees converted 6-41. The game then entered a period of confusion. Gilfach had a good period of pressure and the Wanderers were reduced to 13 men as two yellow cards were awarded in quick succession. Despite the two man advantage the home side could not break the Wanderers defence. They were then reduced to 14 for 10 mins as they received a yellow of their own and it was the visitors who took advantage. From another drive up-field by Crimmins quick recycled ball allowed sub Lenny Woodard a simple run in for the Wanderers 7th try. Rees converted 6-48. As players came and went for substitutions and cards the game became disjointed. Marshall set Tom Driver away only for the winger to be ankle tapped just short of the line and the winger had no luck as soon afterwards he knocked on as he gathered a Marshall kick as the ball went over the line. Marshall then rounded off the visitors scoring for the afternoon as he glided through a gap in the midfield and stretched out a tentacle to score in the corner. Rees added his 5th conversion 6-53. With the game in its final minutes Crimmins left the field injured leaving the Wanderers down to 14 for the duration and Gilfach took full advantage. Showing great battling spirit they ran from deep and with some good support and handling the crossed for their first try 11-53. They then repeated the feat from the kick off as they scored their second long range try to cheer the home supporters a little. Final score 16-53.
Wanderers “Massiv” man of the match Dan Crimmins
Tries: Dan Crimmins (3) Owen Marshall (2) Aaron Fowler, Lenny Woodard, Josh Sheehan
Cons: Codey Rees (5)
Pen: Codey Rees