CARDIFF QUINS 20
“Considering the changes to the team a bonus point win is gladly accepted” commented Director of Rugby Martyn Fowler “It may not have been pretty but at times it was effective” he added.
On a cold night at the Memorial Ground there was a fast and furious start as both sides showed from the off that they were willing to spread the ball wide. Having confidence to attack from deep the home side struck first blood after a good break from Spencer Ward Henry, that took play deep into Quins territory. Recycling the ball the Wanderers continued the attack and when the ball went loose Jake Conway gathered up the ball and powered his way over beside the posts. Codey Rees, having a rare start at 10 landed the conversion 7-0. The Quins responded well and from the kick off they had a chance to reduce the arrears with a penalty but the shot at goal went just wide. The Wanderers were forced into an early change with centre Darragh McNamara having to leave the field adding further disruption to the already new look back line. The home side pack started to gain ascendancy on the back of their dominant scrum, but their eagerness to speed the game up cost them dearly. A penalty from a scrum was taken quickly but the ball was lost and a reverse penalty was conceded. The visitors took advantage by kicking deep into the corner and from a neat lineout move they broke away on the blindside to score a converted try 7-7. The score galvanised the Quins and there followed a period of pressure from the visitors but the home side defence, with the scrum becoming more and more dominant leading the way. The Wanderers started to wear the opposition pack down and they established good field position. A series of scrums and lineouts in the Quins 22 took their toll as the visitor’s pack started to pick up injuries and eventually after a number of close quarter drives the second try was scored by debutant Rhys Verley who drove well and used his long reach to touch down under the posts. Rees added the 2 points to send the sides into the break at 14-7.
The second half began with yet another penalty as the Wanderers scrum destroyed the Quins eight. The referee issued a yellow card for the scrum penalty but it turned out to be a double edged sword as the visitors did not have a suitable tighthead replacement (the sub having already been injured in the first half). This meant passive scrums for 10 minutes removing a major weapon in the Wanderers armoury. The Quins took full advantage of the respite in pressure and started to move the ball around to good effect. They attacked with close quarter drives and moves out wide and the home side were certainly stretched. A penalty allowed the Quins to reduce the arrears to 14-10 and some of the Wanderers discipline which had been controlled to this point unravelled under the pressure. Eventually after a few substitutions the Wanderers regained some of their composure. The scrum returned to normal allowing the home side, even with 2 new front row members on, to start to dominate again only for the prop to get injured and result in passive scrums till the end of the match. Having established good field position again the home side ramped up the pressure and captain Aaron Fowler was on hand to crash over for the third try of the game. Rees converted and it seemed the game was safe at 21-10. The game continued to ebb and flow with the Wanderers seeking the bonus point try. Attacking from deep with forwards and backs involved both sides had chances and Michael Owen, on as a sub, was on the end of a move to give the Wanderers another crucial bonus point. The conversion was missed but the game was sealed with that score 26-10. The Quins were not going to lie down though and the final 10 minutes were controlled by the visitors. Wave and wave of attack resulted in their second try and a penalty with the last kick of the game landed them a losing bonus point to make the final score Wanderers 26 Quins 20.
Wanderers Massiv man of the match: Jake Conway
Tries: Jake Conway, Rhys Verley, Aaron Fowler, Michael Owen
Cons: Codey Rees (3)
Some Pics: https://www.flickr.com/gp/12570451@N04