26 September 2016 / Team News

Bonus point joy!

Llandeilo 53 Penybanc 10

This was our best day for six and a half years. Afterwards, nobody could remember when we last scored 50 points, so I looked it up and the most recent occasion I could find was a 55-21 away win at Penclawdd in April 2010.

It was all built on an accomplished second half performance in which the boys ran in 43 unanswered points. Once we got our noses in front it turned into one of those days when almost everything came off and six tries after the break reflected our superiority.

For 50 minutes or so though, this was a proper contest. Penybanc scored first from a close range forward effort and Steff replied with a penalty before Sion crossed under the posts for the first of his three tries. Steff’s conversion extended our lead but only briefly – how often have we got our noses in front only to concede the momentum almost straight away? It happened again here as Banc ran first phase from their own half and our former player Brad Nicholls finished off out wide.

So the scores were level at 10-10 at the break, which was just about fair enough.

Things changed early in the second half when Deano’s excellent turnover gave Sion the chance to make a classic outside half break (not bad for a number 8) for his second try. After that, it was never in doubt and some of the rugby the boys played was as good as it’s been for a number of years. Maybe a few visiting heads dropped a little as it went on but for much of the game Penybanc were competitive and provided a real challenge so we mustn’t detract from what was a fine performance; it’s been a long time coming, let’s enjoy it.

For the record, Sion completed a hat-trick, Bobby’s excellent performance in the second row was rewarded with a couple of tries and the scoring was rounded off by a try each for the centre partnership of Ben (running like his old man) and Gus, who seemed as surprised as anyone to find himself over the line with the ball in his hand. Steff missed just one from nine kicks at goal to contribute 18 points and polish off a very pleasing afternoon.

We have a difficult few weeks ahead, with Betws next up, followed by two trips to the Amman either side of a visit from Burry Port. But at least we have found a bit of form after a disappointing first day and Geraint and Rutter have something to work with.

As a footnote, Saturday’s starting XV makes interesting reading. Over half the players are still eligible for the Youth team - Cai, Mark (playing out of position), Ben, debutant Hendrik, Steff, Zak, Iwan and Arwel – and a few more such as Sion and Dan aren’t much older. Even if you add a couple of old heads – Gus, Moz – and the others like Bobby, Bowlhead and Deano who fall somewhere in between, I would bet there weren’t many teams playing on Saturday with a lower average age than ours.

At the other end of the scale, former club captain Arwel Davies answered the call following a shortage of back replacements to make a cameo appearance towards the end and mark 23 seasons as a first team player.

Team: Cai Davies; Mark Harries, Ben Davies, Gareth Augustus, Hendrik de Smet; Sion Davies, Steff Roberts; Dean Faulkner, Zak Phillips, Iwan Madoc-Jones, Bobby Jones, Arwel Davies, Dan Davies, Matthew Davies (Captain), Chris Mosley.

The replacements, who all took part, were; Dan Thomas, Dan Roberts, George Plowman, James Turrell and Arwel Davies.

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