CEN­TRAL

Glamorgan Gazette - - Rugby Union -

WAUNARLWYDD ........ 21 BRID­GEND ATH­LETIC 34

IT WAS a plea­sure to watch a game where two sides’ pri­or­ity was to play at­tack­ing rugby in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions.

Waunarlwydd have shown they are an ex­cel­lent at­tack­ing side this sea­son scor­ing 117 points in four matches, but also pos­sess­ing a sus­pect de­fence which has con­ceded 105 points. So, it proved in this en­counter. The Ath­letic emerged from a 55 points match with 34 points in their favour, while con­ced­ing 21 and win­ning the try count by 5-3.

The Ath­letic front row of Matt Muir, Nathan Holman and Wayne Fooks ben­e­fit­ting from the added weight of lock Jamie Do­herty drove the home side back­wards at the set scrum caus­ing Waunarlwydd to con­cede a third minute penalty which out­side half Robin Davies goaled from 45 me­tres. Ath­letic flanker Ben Davies won turnover ball and re­leased wing Mike Powell along the touch­line. When he was halted scrum half Aled Thomas fed hooker Nathan Holman who with a deft pass put No 8 Sean Wil­liams clear to step in­side the full back for a well taken try. Davies con­ver­sion ex­tended the Ath­letic lead to 10-0 after 10 min­utes.

Waunarlwydd were try­ing to run from ev­ery­where on the park, but ex­cel­lent de­fence from the Ath­letic back row of Sean Wil­liams and flankers Ben Davies and Tom Mor­gan and cen­tres Tom Jenkins and Stu­art Floyd-El­lis and young wing Tom James kept them out.

On the half-hour mark, good work at a ruck by lock Jonathon Stoker saw the ball reach out­side half Davies who broke through, made 30 me­tres and a well-timed in­side pass put speedy wing Michael Powell over for a 15-0 lead. Powell was prov­ing a hand­ful for the home side and a 50-me­tre run straight down the cen­tre of the field re­sulted in a scrum to the Ath­letic 5 me­tres out, but they failed to cap­i­talise con­ced­ing a need­less penalty.

Scrum half Dan James re­placed the in­jured Aled Thomas. Ath­letic MOM No 8 Sean Wil­liams won a line out 30 me­tres out and fed James who burst clear and chipped the full back for the ball to cross the try line. Tom Mor­gan touched down, but James had been pre­vented from fol­low­ing his own kick by be­ing tripped. The ref­eree awarded a 7-point penalty try and yel­low carded the de­fender re­spon­si­ble for the trip. Two min­utes later Ath­letic full back Dan How­ells was on hand to cap­i­talise on a dropped pass by the home side and hacked ahead win­ning the race to touch down for the Ath­let­ics’ fourth and bonus point try to lead 27-0 at half-time.

Waunarlwydd came out strongly after the break and a yel­low card for a tech­ni­cal of­fence by Ath­letic lock Stoker saw the home side cap­i­talise with a close range try for prop Dan Ge­orge con­verted by scrum half Lee Evans.

Strong ball car­ry­ing by Tom Mor­gan put Waunarlwydd on the back­foot and when the ball reached out­side half Davies he jinked and dum­mied his way over for an in­di­vid­ual try from 30 me­tres out. His con­ver­sion re­stored the 27-point Ath­letic mar­gin.

The Ath­letic brought on their re­main­ing sub­sti- tutes Lee Mur­phy, Cameron Thomas, Sam Richards and Ben Cord­ing. The home side did not give up and caused a few jit­ters as two tries in 5 min­utes from scrum half Evans and No 8 Ja­cob Black­more both con­verted by Evans saw Waunarlwydd re­duce their deficit to 21-34.

How­ever, the Ath­letic con­trolled the last 10 min­utes to pre­vent any more scor­ing.

Team Man­ager Paul Hearne said: “This was a good win in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions and sets the team up for this Satur­day’s home Welsh Plate 1st Round tie at the Mor­gan­stone Brew­ery Field against Bony­maen. The coaches have also iden­ti­fied ar­eas they need the side to im­prove this week in train­ing.”

JOHN CAN­NON

Ath­letic man of the match Sean Wil­liams scores

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