ROUND TWO!

Re­turn match in the Plate set to be a tasty af­fair af­ter nar­row win

Bangor Mail - - SPORT -

LLANGEFNI will be un­der no il­lu­sions that a tough test awaits when they host Ruthin in the se­cond round of the WRU Na­tional Plate at Cae Smyrna this Satur­day (2.30pm).

The Anglesey side were given a taste of their op­po­nents’ cre­den­tials in beat­ing them nar­rowly 19-15 in a WRU Di­vi­sion One North bat­tle at home last week­end.

Seven days on comes the re­match, with this time a place in round three of the Plate the cov­eted prize.

Last Satur­day’s league tus­sle was played in driv­ing rain for the most part, so huge credit to both teams for pro­vid­ing good en­ter­tain­ment and some qual­ity han­dling in the con­di­tions.

Cefni en­joyed the ma­jor­ity of pos­ses­sion and spent far more time in the away 22 than their own. They led 14-3 af­ter the first quar­ter and 14-10 at the break, but were hang- ing on for dear life at the end. Some fine long kicks into the home 22 al­lowed Ruthin to set up camp and come away with three points from the boot of Nathan Jones.

Llangefni were play­ing into the wind and there­fore launched their big ball car­ri­ers into away ter­ri­tory.

Dion Oliver breached the away de­fence over and over again and fel­low se­cond row Will Bown also en­joyed reg­u­lar gain­line suc­cess, as the rest of the pack took the ball for­ward with some su­perb pick and goes.

It was Bown who got the first try af­ter an ex­cel­lent driv­ing maul, Rhys Hughes con­vert­ing.

The backs bought into the tight game with hard yards and half breaks from Greg Hors­man, Aron Evans and Rich Foulkes the or­der of the day. How­ever, it was the break by Oliver, taken on by Bown, which led to the se­cond try scored by Tom Owen from close range, Hughes adding the ex­tras.

When Ruthun fi­nally got back into Cefni’ s 22, they were an im­me­di­ate threat.

They spurned an easy penalty in front of the posts and opted to scrum­mage. Their scrum was solid and they moved the ball quickly, man­ag­ing to wrong foot the home de­fence in the out­side chan­nel, al­low­ing Josh Wil­son to sprint over in the cor­ner for a try, su­perbly con­verted by Nathan Jones, mak­ing it 14-10 at the turn­around.

Play­ing with the wind in the se­cond half, Cefni spent the whole of the third quar­ter camped in the away 22. Ruthin’s de­fence stood strong, but the is­lan­ders had a strong case for a try when Oliver seemed to ground the ball near the left cor­ner.

The home side fi­nally got the third try they so richly de­served on 65 min­utes when vet­eran prop Ian Parry grounded af­ter an­other pe­riod of in­tense pres­sure.

From the restart, Cefni did not go for dis­tance with the kick, and ended up spend­ing most of the rest of the game de­fend­ing in their 22.

The home scrum had come off se­cond best all af­ter­noon, so cou­pled with the string of penal­ties they con­ceded, there was a cer­tain in­evitabil­ity about Ruthin’s se­cond try through Alex Pope..

Cefni fans feared the worst when the vis­i­tors had a scrum 10 me­tres out, but some­how the home pack mus­tered every last ounce of en­ergy and re­fused to go into re­v­erse.

It was too close for com­fort but Llangefni de­served the win, if only for their over­all dom­i­na­tion of ter­ri­tory and pos­ses­sion.

In­tense ac­tion from last Satur­day’s en­counter with Ruthin (blue) on the at­tack against Llangefni

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