Llanelli Wanderers (18) 40 Tenby United (13) 13
Coming off their first win of the season last week in the WRU Plate against Carmarthen Athletic, FBM sponsored Tenby United were always going to be up against it as they travelled to Llanelli to play the local Wanderers side with the core/backbone of the newly formed side either unavailable or injured, with Aaron James, Pat Roberts, Huw Evans, Matt Done (cried off on Friday), Jason Ronowitz and Roy Osborn all missing. But that wasn’t the end of the player availability problem, as prop Rob Luly pulled up in the warm up and took no part in the game while during the game influential skipper Luke Dedman went off injured after about 15 minutes into the game and centre Jack Parkinson was red carded in the second half. Running in five tries a rampant Llanelli Wanderers side took full advantage of the situation while Tenby spent the majority of the game on the back foot, defending heroically but lack of discipline saw penalty after penalty awarded against them.
The much changed Tenby United side sponsored by FBM kicked off playing down the slope and had a good brief opening few minutes but their momentum was brought to a halt with the first of many penalties awarded against them by referee Peter Evans of Ammanford and Llanelli’s Lloyd Thomas cleared the danger and took play deep into the Tenby half. Going onto the attack from there the home side stretched the Tenby defence forcing them to drift off side and Rhydian Morgan was successful with his first kick of the match putting the home side 3-0 up, with only a couple of minutes played.
Tenby rallied from this early reverse but were kept in check by a well organised home defence who, when they secured possession, favoured attacking the short side. Some solid defending kept them at bay but the next problem of the afternoon for Tenby became evident when from the first scrum of the afternoon the rejigged Tenby eight were destroyed by a strong Llanelli Wanderers scrum. This obvious advantage spurred the home side on and it took some sound defending to prevent them adding to their lead, as they embarked on some swift inter passing attacks involving backs and forwards.
Gaining possession Tenby tried to respond by fashioning some attacking moves of their own but the home side defended well and despite the efforts of Jack Parkinson, Jordan Asparassa and Lloyd Thomas putting wing Ashley Murdoch clear he was bundled into touch close to the corner. Skipper Luke Dedman maintained the attacking threat, supported by Mike Davis, and Harry Owen their efforts were rewarded when Lloyd Thomas of Tenby brought the scores level at 3-3 as an attacking rolling maul was brought down illegally by the home side.
The Wanderers went straight on the attack from the restart and some swift ball transfer released wing Dafydd Parkman who went over wide out for an unconverted try, regaining the lead at 8-3. The wing then blotted his copy book by knocking the ball on at the restart but with the troubles the Tenby scrum were experiencing it needed scrum half Ben Pugh to be at his sharpest to just get the ball away as the Tenby scrum back pedalled. A rampant home side were obviously keen to increase their lead and capitalise on their possession and it took some solid defending by Ashley Murdoch, Max Brindley, Jack Parkinson and Jordan Asparassa to keep them from crossing the line again, and this despite losing skipper Luke Dedman to injury with Mike Davis moving into his second row berth and Jack Broadhurst coming off the bench to pack down on the flank. Switching attack and involving their bulky eight, it was prop Hywel Jenkins who went over from a clean catch and drive at a lineouton the Tenby line and with Rhydian Morgan slotting the conversion the Wanderers went into a 15-3 lead.
Tenby responded immediately, as the home side relaxed somewhat with Lloyd Thomas finding touch close to the home sides try line and Harry Owen linked with Jack Broadhurst who crashed over for a try, converted by Thomas, closing the score to 15-10. Any momentum Tenby could build on following this score was unfortunately lost as the restart was knocked forward and played instinctively by a player in front and referee Evans correctly awarded a penalty, which Morgan slotted taking the score out to 18-10. This score however was responded to by Tenby as referee Evans had received some back chat from one of the disgruntled home forwards and Lloyd Thomas capitalised on the offering by closing the half with a penalty, that just about sneaked over the sticks via an upright, closing the scores to 18-13.
The second half started with referee Evans blasting shrilly on his whistle dishing out penalty after penalty and it was mainly Tenby who contributed in the main with their ongoing indiscipline, aided by the odd discretion by the home side, Lloyd Thomas missed with the potential three pointer for Tenby while Morgan showed how it should have been done by adding three points to the home side, and a well deserved 21-13 lead. In an attempt to change the way Tenby were going about things coach Thomas brought on Jack Tucker to replace Lewis Davies and last seasons skipper Luke Hansford replaced Harry Phillips. The replacements spurred Tenby on and Charlie Patching, Lloyd Thomas, Jack Tucker and Jack Parkinson were all involved in the next attacking move which the home side did well to defend.
With Sianco Morgan being sent to the naughty step by referee Evans, Tenby started to gain the upper hand and despite missing the penalty awarded for the infringement, Tenby went on the attack with Tom Barrass, Jack Tucker, Jordan Asparassa, Ashley Murdoch and Jack Parkinson prominent but the home side quelled the attack. Scrums were not the award for infringements Tenby wanted as the early scrum dominance grabbed by the home side gained momentum as the game proceeded and young scrum half Pugh needed to be at his very best just to get the ball away from the base of the retreating scrum. Infringements/penalties were still coming thick and fast, especially at scrum time and despite replacing hooker Tom Barrass with Dan Allen, the Tenby eight were under immense pressure and it came as no surprise when their replacement prop wearing jersey number 23 went over for try number three, Morgan added the extras taking the game out to 28-13 affair.
There then followed a disastrous few minutes for Tenby with the restart not travelling the necessary 10 meters and from a position deep in their 22 Tenby gained about 2 meters with the forwards trying to run the ball out of the danger zone when Thomas, when the ball was fed back to him, booted the ball some 20 metres clear. A scuffle that followed ended with referee Evans red carding Jack Parkinson for reacting in retaliation to a punch thrown by the home side’s second row who clearly started the scuffle, and seen by everybody present except referee Evans, who acted on what he saw (or more accurately – missed) and didn’t even talk to the home side players involved in the incident. Rattled somewhat by this gross injustice Tenby failed to get to grips with the next home attack which ended with replacement wing Richard DeFillipo going over for the bonus point earning try stretching the lead out to 33-13.
The Tenby ranks were again depleted as Jack Tucker went of injured with no bench replacements available to take his place. Tenby started to fall off tackles as the game drew to a close and it came as no surprise when tricky wing Jordan Evans ghosted past several attempted tackles to trot around under the posts for a try converted by Rhydian Morgan bringing his total to 15 points of the 40-13 lead, which was just about the final action of the game but not before there was referee Evans blasting on the whistle, close to the end, sending home wing Dafydd Parkman to the naughty step. Seconds later Tenby trouped off the park with a blank scoring sheet for the second half.
Coach Gareth Thomas was fairly frank with his post match comments accepting that they took to the field with a depleted side and were up against good, but not brilliant, opposition….. but…… they made a rod for their own backs with a disappointingly and very bad disciplined performance. Stern words will be required during training this week as well as a return to the ranks of all the players missing for this game, as they take on a strong Llangennech side tomorrow up at Heywood Lane.
Tenby :- Lewis Davies (Jack Tucker) Ashley Murdoch Max Brindley Jack Parkinson, Jordan Asparassa , Lloyd Thomas, Ben Pugh, Jack Davies, Tom Barrass (Dan Allen), Ethan Morgan, Luke Dedman (Jack Broadhurst), Charlie Patching, Mike Davis, Harry Phillips (Luke Hansford), Harry Owen
Tries Jack Broadhurst
Conversion Lloyd Thomas
Penalties Lloyd Thomas x 2