First Team
Kick Off: 
19 3
Match Report: 




RHIWBINA          19


3             LLANHARAN



3 )




It was a tale of two halves this week that culminated in a score line that did little to reflect the true nature of the game in what was another great shift from all the men wearing Black and Blue. 

With both sides entering the fray boasting a 100% record, it was the home side that made th most of their chances in the second half after a first half dominated by the away side in both territory and possession. 

The first half saw the visiting Diarymen playing away from the changing rooms with some good attacking rugby and equally resound defending to force errors from the home side.  Not without their own chances in the first half, Rhiwbina attacked well through good phase play only to be undone by fierce defending that is becoming a welcome feature from Llanharan teams this year. Despite a good start from the away side, Llanharan were themselves thrwarted on numerous occasions near the opposition try line.  A missed penalty conversion from Sion Summers gave Rhiwbina an early let off upon his return to familiar surroundings but some good defending from an organised Rhiwbina outfit did enough to spoil the driving lineout – a potent weapon in last weeks encounter with Heol-y-Cyw.

A second and more kickable penalty in front of the posts allowed Summers to hit the mark and send the away side in front by just 3 points at half time but perhaps the lead should have been greater to reflect the better spells in the game. 

With both sides turned around after the interval, the match resumed in similar fashion to the first half as the teams appeared equally matched in most areas of the game.  However, as the game developed a resurgent Rhiwbina side saw them take more possession and territory through good forward play and a more structured all-round performance.  With the home pack beginning to dominate the scrum and impose themselves at the breakdown, Rhiwbina did in the second half what Llanharan failed to do in the first.  Taking advantage of good field position, Rhiwbina put pressure on the Llanharan scrum allowing their No 8 to score a try under the posts and give the Squirrels the lead. 

With the game in the balance, a penalty kick that would have given Llanharan a try scoring field position was kicked dead on the full and allowed Rhiwbina to clear their lines.  From the next passage of play, Rhiwbina got themselves back near the Llanharan try line.  In what appeared a harsh decision to the visitors against the Llanharan skipper, Huw Thomas, the referee issued a yellow card for an infringement at the breakdown - although a very vocal home support certainly did their part to help influence the referees decision as he awarded in their favour.  With the Dairymen down to 14 men, without their leader and taken back ten for back chat out of frustration, the pack faced a number of difficult scrummages on their own 5 metre line.  In the end, the pressure told too great as the scrum stayed firm but saw the Rhiwbina No 8 pick up to score his second try of the game. 

After the restart, the visitors continued to struggle to build upon good work and found themselves under the pressure in their own 22.  In what was intended to be a valiant attempt to run the ball from deep, the Dairymen began chasing the game and found themselves under pressure when in hindsight they should have cleared.  After turning the ball over, Rhiwbina built again through structured phase play until the scrum half saw a gap in the visitor’s defence, put away team mate Alex Kerr to score under the posts.  The try was easily converted to give Rhiwbina a 19 – 3 victory scoreline.

Llanharan’s spirit prevailed until the end, with the away side fashioning a great attack from around the half way line at the death.  After a fine break from winger Morgan Williams and great support play from Jack Thomson, the referee ruled that the ball hadn’t been grounded after the flanker was tackled over the line by a scrambling defence. For all the effort and possession, the score line didn’t truly do justice to the Diarymen who can count themselves unlikely for not leading by ten points at half time.  The Squirrels forward pack edged the close encounters of the second half despite some ferocious defending by the visitors in order to claim the spoils but the Llanharan side can certainly look forward with optimism, knowing that there was not a great difference between the two sides.

Next Saturday, Llanharan will return to the Dairyfield aiming to get back to winning in the league against a Glamorgan Wanderers outfit that claimed a difficult 29-19 away victory over Heol-y-Cyw.  Before that, the Dairymen find themselves on the road again this Tuesday against Cardiff based St Peters in an East District Cup game that will give an opportunity for coaches to try out some different combinations.

A special mention also goes to the ever versatile Lloyd Thomas who made his 300th appearance for Llanharan.  Lloyd has been an ever present in the Llanharan senior playing squad and continues to show his loyalty and committment.  A true Black and Blue Diaryman! 



Saturday, September 16, 2017