Magnificent 7

By Alyn Humphries | 05/03/2017

WANDERERS 45

GLYNNEATH 3 

“Great squad effort today. All 20 players making positive contributions, especially in defence. It gives us confidence and impetus going into the final games of the season” commented Martyn Fowler “At this stage of the season the desire of the clubs needing points cannot be underestimated and I think that came through today”

On a heavy pitch Glynneath were first on the attack but they were met with a solid line of Wanderers defenders, a theme that repeated itself often during the game. The home side scrum was struggling with the power of the visitors 8 but the Wanderers lineout defence was certainly functioning. Against the run of play and from the home side’s first real possession they caught the Glynneath defence napping. The ball being moved wide to Matt Arnold and he raced through the porous defence and crashed over in the corner. Luke Fish converted from wide out 7-0. Again, the majority of the play was with the visitors as their scrum exerted more pressure but the Wanderers attacking intent showed from their second really decent piece of possession. Fish chipped ahead and Myles Churcher, who was a thorn in the Glynneath side all afternoon, gathered the chip. He found James Loxton who crashed over under the posts from 20 metres. Fish converted 14-0. From another scrum penalty Glynneath kicked deep into Wanderers territory only to have Ross Gibbon steal the lineout but the visitors kept up the pressure. Another penalty was conceded and Dylan Francis landed a penalty to reduce the arrears to 14-3.  Back came the home side. Despite the lack of quality possession, they showed intent when the chances presented themselves. From a Fish half break Churcher was once again in support and this time he fed Oli Smyth who crashed over under the posts. Fish added the two points and Glynneath were left wondering how they had slipped so far behind at 21-3. The Wanderers grew in confidence and defying the heavy conditions they were happy to move the ball wide when they had the chance. The pressure started to tell on the visitors and when Churcher put pressure on the defence again he was able to kick through for Arnold to chase. The full back kicked ahead himself and with the ball stuck in the mud in goal he outpaced the defence to score his second try. Half time 26-3.

Glynneath galvanised themselves at the start of the second half and they put the Wanderers under real pressure. A move that lasted numerous phases went back and forth in the home side 22 but the Wanderers defence held firm as tacklers laid their bodies on the line. It looked as if an attacking scrum would lead to a score but somehow the ball came back on the Wanderers side and they set Smyth free. He galloped away only to be hauled down on the Glynneath 22 by a superb cover tackle. The defensive set by the home side had turned the tide and the Wanderers could sense the victory. The cavalry were called for.  Bringing on the more mobile back row forwards Jake Conway and Michael Owen gave the home side momentum as others tired and not long after entering the fray Conway struck. From a break on halfway Cameron Gibbon joined the line and when quick ball was recycled out wide the ball was flashed back. Conway was on the end of the superb move to score the home sides fifth try. Fish converted 33-3. The visitors were getting more and more frustrated with the situation as they struggled to gain any momentum and that frustration was added to when the received a yellow card for a punch. The Wanderers were now in control and another great defensive set kept the visitors searching for their next score. From a penalty on the visitors 10 metre line Fish kicked deep and the home side went on a forward trundle. As the defence piled into the maul Conway saw an opportunity and he sneaked over on the undefended blindside, 38-3. With the game out of sight the Glynneath attacks became a little more frantic and the home side were able to dominate the game.  Both sides saw yellow as the scrum halves were binned and the game ended when a loose ball was superbly gathered by Loxton who raced way to score the Wanderers 7th try. Fish added the conversion and the final whistle blew 45-3.

 Wanderers scorers

Tries: Matt Arnold (2), James Loxton (2), Oli Smyth, Jake Conway (2)

Cons: Luke Fish (5)

Wanderers Massiv man of the match: Peter Lloyd.

 

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