Llangennech (8) 25 Tenby United (6) 6
Another hard game against seasoned Div 1 West campaigners Llangennech, who now sit third in the league table, and despite holding them in the first half to 8-6, an extremely young FBM sponsored Tenby United side went down 25-6, but came back west proud of a determined and battling 80 minute performance.
Kicking off in torrential rain, and with the loss or replacement Robbie Tuttle who pulled up in the warm up, Tenby repeated their start of last week against Llanelli Wanderers forcing Llangennech onto the back foot with play confined to the home sides 22 for the first period of the game, as several Tenby players tried to crash over the try line – but the home defence held firm. But unlike last week, when all the early pressure yielded no return, Tenby did come away with three points as Lloyd Thomas was successful with his first penalty attempt, sending Tenby into a well deserved 0-3 lead.
Following the example given by number eight Roy Osborn, who seemed to be involved in everything, support in both defence and attack was provided by Jack Broadhurst, Moritz Neumann, Ethan Morgan, Mike Davis, Ben Pugh and Rob Luly with Shane Rossiter putting in a superb tackle to stop a Llangennech breakaway with Lloyd Thomas assisting by a clearance kick from one 22 to the other. Maintaining the pressure a charge down by Tom Barrass forced Llangennech to infringe and Lloyd Thomas stroked the ball into the corner. The expected catch and drive followed and despite the combined efforts of Dom Booth, Rob Luly, Luke Dedman Tom Barrass, Roy Osborn and Mike Davis Llangennech defended well and prevented a score.
The attack switched to the Tenby three’s and again the home side thwarted the efforts of Shane Rossiter, Joe Owen and Moritz Neumann also holding up an unidentified forward who had crossed the whitewash as Luke Dedman and Roy Osborn added their weight to the attack. Totally focussed on turning the pressure and possession into points Tenby eventually reaped their reward with Lloyd Thomas adding to his initial kick with a second penalty pushing the scores out to 0-6. This latest score kick started the home side into attack mode, yelled on by their frustrated coach from the sidelines, and it was Tenby who were required to put a shift of defensive duties in and a combination of sound defending, the odd dropped ball and mistimed pass forced Llangennech to resort to kicking the ball and chasing tactics that were bread and butter to the likes of Jack Broadhurst, Shane Rossiter and Joe Owen who simply caught the ball and ran it straight back at the home side.
From a clean catch and give at the line out by Luke Dedman the half backs released Moritz Neumann who punched a hole in the on rushing defence with the move carried on by Roy Osborn, Jack Broadhurst and Tom Barrass but a dropped ball was hacked on by Llangennech and winning the chase for the ball as it crossed the line, centre Rhys Davies scored, despite what appeared from the touchline as a knock on as he dived on the rolling ball closing the score to 5-6.
The restart was cleanly taken by Jack Broadhurst who took sometime to decide what to do and as he eventually built up a head of steam was tackled and lost possession, which allowed Llangennech to seize the opportunity to boot the ball into touch close to the Tenby line. The resulting throw-in provided Llangennech with the chance of snatching the lead as referee Cosslett ruled that Luke Dedman had knocked the ball on and Jack Broadhurst was in front of Luke as he scooped it up and was therefore deemed to be off side – a very harsh call. With Brandon Wood slotting the awarded penalty, Llangennech snatched the lead at 8-6.
Despite the valiant efforts of Joe Owen, Jack Broadhurst, Moritz Neumann, Lloyd Thomas, Dom Booth, Roy Osborn and Mike Davis and two missed penalty attempts by Lloyd Thomas the half ended with Llangennech rather fortunately leading 8-6.
With all the hard yards gained in the first half and the bouts of defensive work put in, the second half was going to present the young Tenby side with a real challenge and a test of their character and resilience as Llangennech kicked off for the second half, with the rain still sheeting it down. As expected, from the roasting given to them by their unhappy coach, Llangennech upped the pressure and pace and despite the valiant efforts of Ethan Morgan (who put in two thumping tackles) fellow prop Rob Luly and Jack Broadhurst – aided by Ben Pugh, Dom Booth and Dan Thomas the brave defending was eventually breached with a loop move carried out at speed involving
the two home centres working fullback Matthew Jacobs free for him to cross the line. The conversion attempt ricochet off the post so 13-6 it was.
Tightening up their three quarter defence, led by Moritz Neumann and Ben Pugh, Tenby managed to contain the Llangennech threes as they tried to increase the score and the bench was brought into action with Huw Evans and Dan Allen replacing Ethan Morgan and Dom Booth. Tenby were also fortunate as the home side went into drop ball /mis-time pass mode as they became a tad over ambitious with the moves being tried – the loud vocal shouts from the coach told them in no uncertain terms what they ought to be doing!!
With the efforts of the first half having an effect on the mobility of the Tenby side, not helped by the rain and what was now a very pitch, they still attempted to narrow the lead with Rob Luly, Roy Osborn, Huw Evans, Moritz Neumann and Ben Pugh prominent with progress halted by referee Cosslett who gave the impression to the spectators that he was on a lecture tour as he stopped play continually to let both sides know what they were doing wrong – as opposed to simply getting the yellow card out of his pocket which usually brings the point across.
Camped close to their line for sometime the Tenby defence was at last breached when from a clean catch and take, which was followed by several pick’n’goes by the bulky Llangennech forwards, the ball was fed to the threes by the halfbacks ending with fullback Mathew Jacobs crossing for his second try and with Brandon Wood kicking the conversion, the lead was extended to 20-6 which in no way reflected how close the match really was.
In an attempt to introduce some new ideas into the attack, Ben Pugh replaced Dan Thomas at scrum half, Joe Owens moved across to centre and Evan Watson came on at wing along with Charlie Patching replacing the hard working Tom Barrass, but with time running out Tenby were up against it as Llangennech made it clear that their immediate target was a bonus point earning fourth try. With prop Rob Luly also getting injured fellow prop Ethan Morgan returned to the field and bolstering up their scrum, Llangennech brought back on a prop they had taken off earlier (with no injury involved), which referee Cosslett seemed to ignore. The desired bonus point earning try was obtained from a scrum close to the Tenby line with bulky number eight James Cartwright breaking off the base and crossing the line taking the score out to 25-6, which ended the game.
Very much a case of déjà vu for this young and developing Tenby United side with so many repeats from last week evident, the classic one being not turning prolonged periods of pressure into points…. but this promising side with 5 current Youth players Dom Booth, Joe Owen, Ben Pugh, Jack Gooding and Evan Watson and 3 players – Shane Rossiter, Tom Barrass and Jack Broadhurst – only in their first year of senior rugby – all are on a steep learning curve…. and it all bodes well for the future.
With two home games in February lined up, starting with Aberystwyth tomorrow, it will be interesting to see if the lessons from this challenging game are taken on board.
Llangennech:- Tries Rhys Davies, Matthew Jacob x 2 and James Cartwright.
Conversion and penalty Brandon Wood
Tenby United:- Penalties Lloyd Thomas x 2
Tenby:- Shane Rossiter, Joe Owen, Moritz Neumann, Ben Pugh, Jack Gooding, Lloyd Thomas, Dan Thomas (Evan Watson), Ethan Morgan (Huw Evans,), Dom Booth (Dan Allen), Rob Luly, Luke Dedman Tom Barrass (Charlie Patching), Jack Broadhurst, Roy Osborn, Mike Davis
Llangennech: Matthew Jacobs, Brandon Wood, Rhys Davies, Dale Watts, Tom Neale, Carwyn Richards, Gareth Davies, Drew Jones, Iestyn Jones, Steff Jones, Luke Pearson, Dan Moyle, Tom Jenkins, Sam Melmoth, James Cartwright
Reps: Alex Jones, Rhys Hague, Rhodri Davies, Richard Thomas, Geraint Denman