“I think we’ll reflect on this as one that got away” commented Rugby Chairman Chris Dowell Bennett “Ill-discipline and poor game management cost us dearly”
“Credit to Treorchy they defended well, took their chances and deserved the win” added coach Mike Sheehan.
On a cold night in Treorchy the visitors dominated the early exchanges. With the scrum dominant they gained an early penalty only to see the shot go wide. Looking strong out wide the Wanderers backs stretched the home side defence but could not find and early score. Treorchy started to warm to their task and the first of many penalties against the visitors allowed the Zebras to open the scoring with a penalty 3-0. The Wanderers responded and using the power of the pack they soon took the lead. From a series of driving lineouts they hammered at the defence and when Jack Bennett released wing Tom Driver on the blind side he squeezed over in the corner. The conversion was missed 3-5. At this point the visitors had full control of the game. The scrum remained on top and the outside backs looked to have the beating of their defenders. The second try came soon afterwards. Once again a series of driving mauls put the defence under pressure and as the tacklers struggled to reorganise, Luke Fish released his backs. Matt Arnold took a long pass and crossed for the second try. Again the conversion was missed 3-10. At this point it seemed that the Wanderers would stroll to another win but the home side had other ideas. Putting together their first really meaningful attack they pressurised the defence into conceding a penalty which they gladly accepted 6-10. The play began to break up as the half entered its final quarter and the Wanderers started to lose their direction and discipline. Despite a couple of good counter attacks their control deserted them and the home side grew in confidence. The Wanderers were further hampered by injuries to Lloyd Chalke and Tom Driver before the break adding to the disruption. A third penalty after some backchat by the Wanderers made the score 9-10 and at half time it was all to play for.
The second half saw Treorchy take advantage from the off. Gathering the kick off they went through several phases and as the defence parted like the Red sea they crossed under the posts for their first try. The conversion made it 16-10 and their tails were up. The injury woes continued for the visitors with Owain Thomas and Haval Ibrahim both leaving the field with serious injuries as the Wanderers resources were stretched to the limit. Despite this the pack remained powerful and with the gap only six points it a winning score was always possible. Unfortunately a stream of penalties against both sides made the game a little disjointed and Treorchy thrived on the chaos that seemed to be brewing in the Wanderers play. Electing to play the game from deep the visitors made it continually hard for themselves but a score eventually came. Once again from a series of penalties the pack were allowed to dominate the play deep in the Zebras 22 and Dan Crimmins, on as a sub, crashed over to make the score 16-15. The conversion that would have put the Wanderers ahead was missed and with time running out the home side were still ahead. As the game entered its final minutes it was the control and discipline of the home side that won them the points. Treorchy saw a penalty, once again given after some backchat, hit the post and the Wanderers play became more and more desperate. The visitors did forge a scoring position but a drop goal attempt went wide and with the final act of the game another penalty against the visitors allowed the home side to seal it with their fourth penalty. Final score 19-15.
Tries: Tom Driver, Matt Arnold, Dan Crimmins
Massiv Man of the match: Lloyd Chalke