27 March 2018 / Club News

First XV rack up seven tries at Tonyrefail


The First XV travelled up to Tonyrefail and came away with all the spoils as they scored seven ties in a 22-44 win. A good victory for the blood and blacks, more so when considering the game was played out on a very heavily sodden pitch and the competitive resistance of the home side.
The first period though was mostly about the teams place kickers as both traded penalties with over exuberance at the breakdown the culprit. 
The deadlock broken after some strong running by flanker Gareth Watts had left the Tonyrefail defence in tatters, the ball quickly recycled by the forwards and then some quick hands in the backs allowed wing Luke Dawes to race over. Dawes making a welcome return to the Llantwit line up after a lengthy sabbatical away with the army bobsleigh team. The try converted by outside half Lawrence Howley to give the visitors a 3-10 lead.
However this was short lived as Tonyrefail came back strongly notching a further two penalties and with Llantwit under the cosh as they were reduced to fourteen with a yellow card after failing to get to grips with the referees interpretations of the tackle area and defence lines.
To their credit though Llantwit defended resolutely as Tonyrefail peppered their twenty two area with surge after surge, and the visitors even managed to force them back at an attacking line out with a great a great defensive maul. Tonyrefail did have their chances to go ahead but for the final pass to just eluded them.
Once Llantwit were back to their full compliment of players they took no time in crossing twice in quick succession with Gareth Watts typically charging over and full back Brad Morgan racing over to give the visitors a healthy 9-22 lead at the break.
The second half saw Tonyrefail claw back some points with a well taken penalty from distance but any thoughts of a revival were short lived as a scintillating move started from their own 22 when some well earned possession was converted into field position with a massive kick downfield from Howley. Some great running from flanker Jac Davies put pressure on the scrambling defence in their own 22 and when recycled was quickly spread by centre Josh Austin who threw a huge pass across the field into the arms of yet another supporting forward, hooker Rhys Hewitt who with a shimmy, the front row union would have been proud of, went inside the cover defence and raced under the posts. The try converted by Howley also notching up a bonus point.
And then just as the travelling supporters thought that would put the home side to bed Tonyrefail again came back into the game pushing Llantwit back with some strong forward runs and eventually they powered over for a well earned try.
The next period though was all about Llantwit as they put together some nice phases of play with forwards and backs combining to run at the home side at all angles which eventually saw Howley race free down the touchline for the fifth try. And before Tonyrefail could take a breath, forward the visitors came again with Austin showing some silky skills and quick feet to break the line and with several loose forwards in support a fine team try was finished off by the bulk of prop Dave Taylor crashing over.
The seventh try was more for the rugby forward purist as an attacking line out on the Tonyrefail was secured and then the eight forwards took the driving maul all the way to the try line with Rhys Hewitt touching down for a good move straight from the training paddock.
The last say though justly went to the home side as they crossed for a consolation try and good reward it was for a team that never gave up and gave as good as they got in the contact area.
Man of the Match was hooker Rhys Hewitt not for his two tries but for his throwing and hooking which was exemplary and for his work rate in covering every blade of grass in attack and defence.
Further mention going to young prop Callum Stephens who put in a big shift against a couple of monster props and centre Josh Austin who was the playmaker for several tries.
This week the Llantonians are on the road again as they head back up the Rhondda Valley to take on Wattstown, kick off is at 2:30pm. There will be a players bus leaving the Clubhouse at 12:15pm with any supporters welcome to travel with the team.

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