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05 February 2019 / Club News

First XV blind sided in tight game at Caerau Ely

Caerau Ely edged this tight game 27-22 in Cardiff last week and in doing so left the visitors yet again pondering why they cannot maintain consistency in their performances. Llantwit went into this fixture with two wins and having one the home game earlier in the season 43-21. But knew the capital boys would be a much different prospect on their home patch and they didn’t disappoint as they raced into a 10-0 lead with two tries in the first quarter. The first a well taken try by their speedy winger as he exposed some poor numbers defending the blind side to dive in at the corner flag. The second again exposed the blind side as a driving maul line-out saw their number eight detach and stroll over in the opposite corner.

Llantwit though battled back quickly with a great well executed try. The move started from a line out with quick ball at the back going from the top straight to Ryan Evans at nine who released number eight Dafi Davies charging through on a well angled run which left several defenders in his wake before being dragged down. Quick ruck ball was then put through the three-quarters hand as the move went right with Connor Morgan coming into the line and when stopped another quick ruck gave Evans room to bring the move back to centre ground as he released lock Shaun Shea to tie in a few more defenders. Then it was a matter of Loz Howley at ten moving the ball quickly to the gaps which had now been exposed, his lovely wide pass to lock Jamie Lewis matched as the big man off loaded with lovely skill to flanker Stuart Edbrooke who in turn released Davies to round off the move he had started with a great team try. 
However it was short lived as just as Llantwit began dominating the game they were sucker punched by a further score again through poor defending and again on the blind side as Caerau Ely used some welcoming space to put the ball through some short passes and then release their big hard running centre to canter over from forty metres out.
Thankfully for the visitors none of the three home sides tries were converted as both kickers struggled with a strong swirling wind. Howley managing a three point penalty in front of the sticks to narrow the gap to 15-8 just before half time.
Half-time brought a bitter blow to Llantwit with their talisman in player coach Stuart Edbrooke departing for the hospital emergency room after receiving a nasty facial injury in an innocuous collision just prior to the whistle.
Llantwit were quick out of the blocks in the second half as they attempted to narrow the gap further. Some early dominance giving them a line out close out which they quickly mauled over with hooker Huw Williams going over. Howley adding the two points with a big kick to make it 15-15.
But then shortly later and after all the hard work had been done they undone it all with some more terrible defending as Caerau having worked their way up field found themselves in acres of space on the Llantwit 22 and with some nice off loading exposed a huge gap in the line and their number eight charged over.
To their credit though Llantwit battled back and with another combination of a driving maul, Williams touching down and Howley converting with just a quarter of an hour to go the visitors were right back in it at 22-22.
But by now Caerau we’re back in control and penned the visitors back into their own half for long periods. Llantwit did have a couple of opportunities but were undone by some strong defending and a distinct lack of discipline of their own as they had white line fever and penalised close out for not releasing when some composure and patience was required.
And just as the game appeared to be heading for a draw Llantwit imploded for a final hurrah as first their defensive line out deep inside the Caerau half was driven back twenty metres then when the ball was released to the home backs they crashed through a weak and feeble defence to race another forty metres to score the final try.
Another disappointing result yet again then for the blood and blacks when they have come up against one of the form teams. Caerau Ely are a strong side which their third pace in the league affirms but you cannot gift teams like this points with such weak defending and hope to come away with the spoils. 
Man of the Match was hooker Huw Williams with his two tries. Further mention going to captain Geraint David and number eight Dafi Davies who put in big shifts and youth player Connor Treadgold who had a good game as a replacement on his debut at flanker.
The Llantonians now have a fortnight off to ponder their woes as the first of the Six Nations breaks takes place, the next game at home to Tonyrefail on Saturday the 16th of February. There is though some action on at the Recreation Ground as the youth team take on Rhiwbina in the league. The young blood and blacks showing some promise recently after struggling for most of the season. So come and support the next generation and then join us in the warmth of the clubhouse to watch the Italy v Wales game. Special drink offers until the first try scorer and free food at half time.
Llantwit: C Morgan, E Holloway, Joel Thomas, T Geere, S Godwin, L Howley, R Evans, G David, H Williams, D Taylor, J Lewis, S Shea, D Bawden, S Edbrooke, D Davies. Replacements C Treadgold, R Davies, J Morgan.

A.H.

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