08 September 2017 / Club News

First XV get off to winning start in the league

The first XV survived a frantic finale which saw three of their players shown yellow cards to hold on as they beat Old Penarthians 20-13 in their opening league game at the Recreation Ground. The game started in warm sunshine with the home side playing towards the School End. The game took a while to flow as both teams bruised off the rust from the summers inactivity. A solitary Josh Austin penalty the only play to break the deadlock in the first quarter. Llantwit were though soon back on the scoreboard as a well worked line out on the visitors 22, saw the home pack use a driving maul to take them up to the try line; where a subsequent strong scrum gave number eight and Man of the Match, Rob Carter, the opportunity to dive over.

This was soon followed up by some impressive forward drives from the half way line by which had the visitors defence in tatters and when a penalty was awarded, scrum half, Rhys Balmont always on the look out for a gap, took a quick tap and raced away to score an unconverted try.
The only further scores before the break being two penalty kicks by the visitors.
The second half though didn’t follow the script of further running rugby as Old Penarthians began to claw their way back into the game and a resolute defence was frustrating the home sides plays. It seemed that as the teams battled for territory then the game would die out with no further score. That was until Llantwit decided to liven up proceeding by having not one but two forwards sin binned for indiscretions in quick succession. The visitors quickly seizing their opportunity in driving over for a converted try and leaving the sizeable home crowd a nervous last quarter with the score poised at 15-13. The home side though defended heroically as Old Penarthians peppered their defensive line time and time again. 
When Llantwit were finally back to fifteen they then allowed themselves breathing space by chalking up another try, and what a try it was, started by fullback Wise Vakacegu from taking a kick inside his own 22 he set off on a counter attacking run, weaving his way between defenders and stretching his legs as he entered the visitors half, when eventually the cover defence restricted his finale, first centre Stuart Edbrooke and then Balmont were on hand to keep the move alive, with Balmont squeezing past the final defence for his second try.
There was however still a sting in the tale as Llantwit again had to muster a rear guard defence as Old Penarthians threw everything at the home side in a final effort into salvaging a draw, assisted by the home side again receiving another yellow card for a defence infringement. But the Llantonians to their credit again mustered up just enough with their fourteen players to last until the final whistle.
Plenty of work then still to be done on the training paddock but a solid enough start for Llantwit. This week they make the long trip across Llandow to take on their old foe in Cowbridge k.o. 2:30pm who themselves got off to a good starting winning their league fixture away to Wattstown.
There will be a club bus travelling over to Cowbridge at 1pm, to secure a seat please contact Roger Elliot on 07971 223001.
Also taking place on Saturday was a welcome return of The Druids side (the second XV) who took on Llanharan on the adjacent pitch at the Rec. And what a return it was with them just narrowly being beaten by 30-32 in a thoroughly entertaining game. The tries for the Druids coming from Lee Wood, James Elliott and Dan Bawden; with the rest of the points coming from the trusty boot of outside half Dan Powell. Man of the Match was centre Mike Simms. This week they are at home again as they take on Maesteg Quins the earlier time of 12:30pm.

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