01 January 2019 / Club News

First XV end the year in style with five try win over Old Pens

The Blood and Blacks ended 2018 with an emphatic win against a strong and resolute Old Penarthians that the 31-7 scoreline masked.

Llantwit playing toward the clubhouse were on the score sheet early as they tore into the Old Pens defence straight from the off with some big powerful surges which soon saw them awarded a scrum in a good position ten metres out from the try line and closer to the posts than the touch line. A good opportunity for their new look front row enforced by absence and injury of Gareth Watts, Damion Ponting and Dave Taylor to put some pressure on their opponents. And they did big time with the Llantwit eight powerfully forcing the Old Pens pack to crumble. Number eight Rob Carter taking the initiative picked up and made the first surge for the line, when stopped hooker Ponting was on hand to drive again taking up more defenders and when held off loaded to his front row partner Watts. Who took a good reverse angle run to crash over under the posts. Outside half Loz Howley adding the conversion to give the home side a great start.
And it wasn’t long before they were crossing again this time a team led try as they edged up field with some strong forward drives coupled with quick recycling which stretched their opponents defence and when they reached the 22 they quickly spread the ball to the gaps out wide and with some good mis-direction running in the backs the ball was whisked out to wing Josh Austin who dived over in the Bowls Club corner. Howley just missing the conversion from the touchline.
The rest of the half was mostly played out in the Llantwit half as Old Pens battled back into the game and constantly kept Llantwit on the back foot. The home side though were organised and desperate to keep their opponents out before the half time whistle. The break through finally coming for Old Penarthians as a lack of discipline first at the tackle area from Llantwit as they gave away a penalty and secondly from the mouth of scrum half Ryan Evans as they were marched back a further ten metres for petulant back chat to the referee. The result being they were penned back in their own 22 for a series of line outs and scrums which they again defended well until prop Ponting was yellow carded for a high tackle. Old Pens didn’t need any further encouragement as they then threw everything at the Llantwit line and were rewarded with a well taken try. Having been awarded a penalty 8m out from the line they could see Llantwit were slow in reorganising and took it quickly passing the ball through two sets of hands and charged over and behind the posts for a well deserved seven points. And with it brought the deficit to five points and they were soon battering the Llantwit line again but this time the home side did enough to keep them out helped by a great line out steal from the old fox in Lock Shaun Shea close to the line. The score standing at 12-7 until the half time whistle.
The second half started in the same vain as the first with Old Pens battering the Llantwit line but with the home side soon back to the full fifteen they stood firm. And were soon rewarded a turn over by hard working flanker Stu Edbrooke at the tackle area and the resultant penalty was hoofed into the Old Pens half. The line out seemed too far out at 25m plus for a driving maul but to everyone’s surprise on taking the ball down Llantwit set off for the try line. And with some brief stops for change in direction and reorganising as their opponents valiantly attempted to stop its progress they eventually trundled over with number eight Rob Carter touching down for a true forwards try which would be talked about post match well into the night by the big boys.
By now Llantwit could tell their opponents were beginning to tire and become stretched and with some timely replacements they started to turn the screw. 
The third try this time coming from some neat play this time in the backs as some loose ball on the Old Pens 22 was quickly spread wide by Howley with a lovely weighted pass to Josh Austin who linked with his brother Jack who straightened up the line before releasing replacement wing Luke Dawes who looked to be going in the corner except to be stopped with a strong tackle by opposition wing and local teacher Mr Patterson. But Dawes still managed to off load with a deft inside pass to supporting Jack Austin to dive over for the bonus point try. The big conversion kick sailing over by Howley.
The last period then saw the fifth and final try this time a scrum was the platform for the backs as Edbrooke now at eight linked well with scrum half Balmont who had also changed with the replacements from the wing. Balmont then held his run well to miss out a dummy runner and pass out to Howley who again timed his run perfectly to release the flyer in replacement wing Evan Holloway who raced over in the corner to bring another smile to backs coach Rob Morgan. As no doubt the final tries had come from hard work on the training paddock. Howley nailing the conversion once again from the touchline. The final score 31-7.
A fine win to see out the old year for Llantwit, the plaudits coming to the team as a whole as the forwards and backs worked in tandem in attack but more importantly in defence where the game was really won. Man of the Match Gareth Watts who put in a strong performance in his less than favoured position at prop and a huge shift in defence. 
The New Year now brings two huge games for the Blood and Blacks as they first travel east to third placed St Albans who have only suffered two losses to their season so far. Then they are back at The Rec the following week as they welcome league leaders Canton who are unbeaten. Big tests for the Llantonians but if they defend and manage the game as they have down here then they won’t be far off the mark. Both games will kick off at 2:30pm.
Finally a big thank you from the team for their support on Saturday in thoroughly miserable conditions a crowd of over 170 braced the elements and especially the mini and juniors who stood proud in the cold wind and rain to cheer their peers onto the field.

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