“We’d talked all week about the importance of yesterday’s game and the need to stay clear of those sides chasing us. Rumney completed the double over us last season and that meant the players needed no motivation to be fired up for this one. We knew that if we kept to our game plan our power game would be too strong and the space would eventually open up for our backs. The score-line suggested that was the case. Rumney will bounce back, they do not become a bad side overnight and in time they will come good.” Commented head coach Mike Sheehan after yesterday’s 12 try win over local rivals Rumney (some four letter words have been removed in order to make the quote publishable!)
On a grey but dry afternoon it was the visitors who started brightly. From a penalty for a high tackle they elected for a lineout deep in Wanderers territory but the home side defence was solid and Luke Fish was able to clear the stolen ball downfield. The young Rumney side were certainly having the better of the exchanges and the first score of the game came against the run of play. A speculative kick downfield from Fish was poorly dealt with by the visitors defence and the ruck was recycled by the home side. Tom James, on the way to having another massively influential game at 9, sniped down the blind-side and he found another hero on the day, Owain Thomas who was up in support. He crashed over in the corner to open the account 5-0. The Wanderers started to warm to their task and the pack began to exert pressure in the set piece. From a driving lineout the Rumney defence held firm but as the ball was moved wide Emerson Bessell spotted Owen Marshall free on the right wing. Bessell threaded the ball through the cover defence and Marshall gathered to score in the corner 10-0. The home side pack now settled to their task with both scrum and lineout dominating proceedings. Being on the front foot allowed the forwards a freedom to drive at the heart of the defence and the Rumney line began to creak. It may not have been pretty at this stage but it was very effective. Soon afterwards another scoring chance arose. The Wanderers were camped in the Rumney “red zone” and the visitors were desperately hanging on. As the home side drove for the line a maul was brought down illegally and when Aaron Fowler broke clear he was high tackled and the referee deemed this enough for a penalty try. Codey Rees converted 17-0. Rumney rallied but once again when they elected for a lineout near the Wanderers line they found the defence very miserly and the home side cleared. After their brief period of pressure normal service was resumed and the Wanderers gained their bonus point try. Tom James had gone close but from the ensuing scrums a pushover was pounced upon by number 8 Dan Crimmins to make the score 22-0. The relentless pressure on the visitors did not let up. From another kick downfield Marshall once again gathered ball and he found Capt. Ibrahim up in support. Defying programme comments about his fitness Ibrahim powered his way to the line only to be brought down just short. The ball was recycled but poor passing resulted in the ball being spilled with the line beckoning. Despite that the field position was controlled and from the resultant scrums the home side powered on. Eventually the second penalty try was inevitable and the sides went into the break at 29-0.
With the result not in doubt the Wanderers could have been excused for easing off a little but the forwards were enjoying the dominance and they were not likely to give the ball up easily. The power game of scums and lineouts continued and as tackling became harder and harder for the visitors they had to scramble and dig deep to prevent more scores. From a series of drives deep in Rumney territory Aaron Fowler added the 6th try converted by Rees and the gaps in the visitors defence started to widen. Both forwards and backs were enjoying the now open spaces and when fresh legs were introduced the pace of the attacks became relentless. Man of the match Ryan Davies added the 7th try after being set free on the wing by Rees and from the restart the ball was moved around and the Wanderers were straight back on the attack. The forwards and backs were now combing well and when Fish broke clean through the defence another try was on the cards. Fowler, always present in the open spaces was on hand to carry the move on and when the ball went wide Bessell had a simple canter in from 22 metres for the Wanderers 8th try. Rees converted 48-0. The 9th followed soon afterwards Jake Conway, on as a sub, gathered a loose lineout ball and he drove at the heart of the defence. With the ball recycled quickly Fish was on hand to break the defence and cross a try under the posts. Rees converted 55-0. The attacks were now coming at will and Josh Sheehan was on hand for the 10th try. From good interplay in their own half the forwards were set free and Sheehan took a pass from Fowler and he sped away to score. Rees added his 6th conversion 62-0. Rumney were now on their last legs but to their credit they kept trying until the end. Another poorly dealt with kick allowed Tom Driver to get on the scoresheet after he gathered a ball that had bounced away from the defender. He then had a clear run in from 30 metres to take the score to 67-0 and the final score of the day was added by Sheehan who scored his second with another canter in from 30 metres after some great interplay and passing from Thomas and Fowler. Final Score 74-0.
Massiv man of the match: Ryan Davies
Tries: Owain Thomas, Owen Marshall, penalty tries(2), Dan Crimmins, Aaron Fowler, Ryan Davies, Tom Driver, Emerson Bessell, Luke Fish, Tom Driver, Josh Sheehan (2)
Cons: Codey Rees (7)