“A solid display without being spectacular” commented head coach Mike Sheehan “Our forwards are providing a really good platform and our power game is getting us through the winter months”
“Despite the weather Llanishen presented a superb playing surface and although the score-line suggests otherwise they made us work really hard for the points” added Director of Rugby Martyn Fowler.
On a grey afternoon with a strong wind blowing across the pitch the Wanderers had the first scoring chance. From a position in the home side 22 they drove at the heart of the Llanishen line but when the ball was released the solid defence foiled the attack and the ball was cleared downfield. The home side warmed to their task and started to go through their phases. The game became encamped in the Wanderers half and when a penalty was awarded for offside the home side took a deserved lead 3-0. The visitors hit straight back. When the kick off was poorly collected the Wanderers had a scrum deep in Llanishen territory. After an initial drive the ball was recycled blind and open-side flanker Jake Conway crashed over in the corner. Codey Rees converted from the touchline 3-7. The score settled the league leaders and within two minutes they were further ahead. A penalty allowed Luke Fish to kick into the corner and after another big forward drive Dan Crimmins broke away. With a hint (only a small one!) of a dummy he waltzed through the defence to score 3-12. The Wanderers now had their tails up and the scrum started to create more pressure. A superb snipe and break downfield from Tom James should have led to a third try but a loudmouth (JR) in midfield incurred the wrath of the referee and Llanishen were awarded a penalty to relieve the pressure. Despite that the Wanderers were straight back on the attack. A loose defensive kick gave Rees a counter attack and Ioan Mortimer went close, only to be stopped just short. Mortimer was not to be denied for long though. The visitors were soon on the attack again with Darren Ryan setting up a ruck under the home side posts. When the ball was recycled there was an easy run in for Mortimer. Rees converted to make the score 3-19. The home side rallied well. As the half entered its final quarter they showed that they could create chances given the ball. From a good lineout drive they moved the ball wide and the right wing crossed in the corner for an unconverted try 8-19. The respite was only temporary. A break downfield by Peter Lloyd supported by Conway gave the Wanderers another great opportunity and when the ball was moved wide quickly Rees was on hand to crash through the leftovers of the defence to secure the bonus point. He converted his own try to send the sides in at half time 8-26.
The Wanderers made a change at half time with Ryan Davis replacing Josh Sheehan and as the half got under way both sides started to ring further changes. The home side started well and as the changes inevitably caused a break in both sides continuity Llanishen got more into the game. From a bout of aerial tennis the Wanderers defence seemed to collapse and the home side took full advantage as they raced away to score a second try 13-26. With plenty of the game still remaining the Wanderers were forced into tightening their game and resorting to the power plays that serve them well. From a break by Rees and Michael Lynch a ruck allowed Davis to break clear he found Ross Gibbon in support and he crashed over from 15 metres. Rees converted and once again the Wanderers were comfortable at 13-33. The light started to fail as the game entered its last quarter and it the game opened up as both sides tired. From a scrum deep in Llanishen territory Davis fed Conway who outpaced the defence to score his second try 13-38 and with the last scrum of the game the Wanderers added their 7th try when Ryan Hall on as a sub drove well to crash over. Final score 13-43
Massiv man of the match: Curtis Hicks
Tries: Dan Crimmins, Ioan Mortimer, Jake Conway (2), Codey Rees, Ryan Hall, Ross Gibbon
Cons: Codey Rees (4)