24 January 2018 / Club News

First XV edged out by Treherbert 0-6

After a deluge of rain on Saturday morning this league game quickly descended into a melee of 30 mud-caked shirts, to the point where by half time it was mere impossible to tell which team was which. This game definitely not one for the rugby romantic with the only scores coming from the boot of the Treherbert kickers. 
With Treherbert playing towards the School End with the advantage of having a strong wind in their favour and having a huge pack it was clear from the start that Llantwit would be defending hard in the first half and looking to turn around fortune in the second half. And that is pretty much how things went as both teams battled between the Llantwit 22 and half way line for long periods. Llantwit’s defence was sucking up an onslaught from the visitors with Donovan Stoppel especially making some great chop tackles on the big Treherbert loose forwards.
Llantwit did though have opportunities as they tried in vain to spread the ball out wide with scrum half Rhys Balmont, and centres Stuart Edbrook and Wise Vakacegu all making several line breaks only for the crucial off load and pass to fail to go to hand. Or they would be cruelly brought back for a forward pass but what appeared to be to the one eyed Llantonian supporter a good pass.
Treherbert on the other hand stuck to a game plan of route one ten man rugby and had an outside half who played the conditions perfectly with low distance kicks to the corner flags. Their rewards coming eventually with two penalty kicks awarded the first sailing wide but when given another opportunity just before half time in front of the posts no mistake was made and Treherbert went into the break with a three point lead.
The feeling amongst the loyal Llantwit support being that Llantwit would now with the conditions in their favour take advantage and get some points on the board. Especially as they had been solid in defence were winning the tackle area and were now in total control of the scrums despite the disadvantage in weight of the visitors pack.
But for the second week running it was not meant to be as the home side as much as they tried couldn’t put themselves into a scoring position. They did have opportunities especially for what seemed an eternity they were camped on the Treherbert twenty two but were guilty of making wrong decisions at crucial times and being over enthusiastic in the tackle area subsequently being penalised instead of reaping the rewards of the possession and territory earned. But it must be said a couple of wise heads in the away side were getting away with all sorts of stuff at the breakdown and clearly taking advantage of the now mud covered jerseys as you could literally just blend in with the opposition.
Then with just fifteen minutes left on the clock Llantwit suffered a further blow as when they thought they had just done enough to keep Treherbert out from a rare but lengthy period deep in their outside half managed a drop kick which crossed inches over the cross bar to extend their lead.
It was all or nothing now as Llantwit threw everything at the visitors in a hunt for a converted try which was still achievable such was their dominance. But as is often the case when your trying hard over exuberance creeps in and was once again to blame as Llantwit were shown a yellow card for a ruck offence. But to their credit Llantwit still fought on and were given a life line after Treherbert were also reduced to fourteen after a professional foul had brought a good run of possession to an end. And a great bullocking run soon came from number eight and Man of the Match Gareth Watts who seemed to have set the groundwork for one final effort only for the final move to once agin break down; and this time you could see from the body language from the Llantonians that that was it for this game and soon came the final whistle.
Another bad day at the office for Llantwit and a bitter pill to swallow, not just because they had now surrendered their unbeaten at home record but more importantly they failed to beat a team that they dominated for much of the game especially up front. The difference between the team being the Treherbert outside half whose tactful kicking took the spoils. 
This week Llantwit are back on the road as they travel up to the foothills of the Brecon Beacons to take on Hirwaun who they have beaten comfortably twice already this season in the cup and league; but they need to be wary of them as they seemed to have got their act together of late and put in some good performances in some narrow losses since the new year.
Also on the road this week will be the second team as the Druids as they hope to again take on Tondu in a cup and league double header with last weekends game postponed. Both games kick off at 2:30pm.


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