WRU ONE EAST CENTRAL
MAR 11 2017
LLANHARAN 17 TREORCHY 34 HT 0-10
Treorchy won the bonus point that greatly enhanced their One East Central championship prospects, but the scoreline barely reflected the contribution Llanharan made to the game.
In fact, it was fairly even-Stevens for much of this encounter with the Zebras making the most of the limited opportunities that came either way to win the try count 4-3.
Home coach Kevin Jones said: “We are near to where we want to be, it is often a matter of execution when we can see the prospect of a try – we certainly found ourselves advancing on the Treorchy line for much of today’s game.
“But ultimately, following last year’s relegation, our bottom line has always been to avoid a further drop – I think we can do that and then it will realistically be two to three years more of development to think about regaining our Championship place”.
If his team wanted encouragement it certainly came from its pack. The scrums were dominant, with Rhys Taylor doing a fine job on the loose head as well as contributing conspicuously around the field. In the lines out skipper Kieran Martin, performing a competent job as replacement for the injured Huw Thomas, was supreme.
But the path forward for Llanharan, who have recruited many fine potential backs this year, is to develop a cohesive and coherent unit behind the pack.
The potential was clearly visible throughout the game, and nowhere more than in the opening phases where a sharp home side was quickly into its stride.
Llanharan attacked with verve as backs like Stuart Griffiths and Lee Davies made inroads.
However, it was Treorchy who took the lead in the 11th minute, having escaped from the Dairyfield pressure courtesy of a suspiciously looking forward pass, picking up a three points with an offside penalty from Jacob Lloyd.
Ten minutes before half time they extended the lead, Peter Hutchins running diagonally after a series of pressure lines out in the left corner, and Jacob Lloyd converting.
Llanharan knew though that they were far from out of it and began the second period with a stunning try from the Treorchy restart. The Black and Blues swept up the field, Chrissy Poole delivering an exquisite off load and Stu Griffiths carrying further with a characteristically strong break before Morgan Williams went over on the right.
But within eight minutes the error prone leaders had clinched a winning score. Lloyd Williams conjured up a try from nothing, before try number three came just a short while later with Hutchins running across the defence to send Owen Williams in.
Lloyd converted the first and Llanharan were 24-5 down.
Heads did not drop though, Jamie Williams running strongly up the left before Poole made the breakthrough he had so often threatened, finding Williams on his right for the wing to finish superbly in the corner. Adam Williams converted to reduce the lead to 24-12.
Martin’s pack was still performing strongly, only for their prospects to be diminished when referee Gerwyn Taylor yellow carded Aled Llewellyn for obstruction with ten minutes normal time left.
The Zebras lost no time in making the advantage count, Cory Dunn securing their bonus point with a try which took the score to 31-12.
The Dairymen were far from daunted though and a long pass from Morgan Williams out flanked the defensive formation for the tireless Owain Howe to dive over on the right.
Adam Williams’ kick hit an upright, but his team were still pressing for a bonus point score of their own as Poole and Burton all but made the telling breakthroughs.
But their hopes were finally dashed as Treorchy decided not to give them that satisfaction by opting for a 47 metres penalty which Lloyd put over in the dying seconds.
Tries Morgan Williams 2, Owain Howe con Adam Williams
Tries Cory Dunn, Lloyd Williams, Peter Hutchings, Owen Williams cons Jordan Lloyd 4 pens Lloyd 2
15 Lee Davies (Jack Pring 52)
14 Morgan Williams
13 Stuart Griffiths
12 Chris Poole
11 Jamie Williams (Ales Hughes 62)
10 Adam Williams
9 Dan Burton
1 Rhys Taylor (Gethin Cashmore 78)
2 Sam Grant (Sam Llewellyn 72)
3 Matt Phillips
4 Richard Hart
5 Kieran Martin (Capt)
6 Owain Howe
7 Morgan Griffiths (Bill Carey 70)
8 Aled Llewellyn