04 December 2016 / Team News

Emlyn Survive a Roller Coaster Ride!

CARDIFF MET 32 NEWCASTLE EMLYN 34 It was surely with some trepidation that the Red and Whites made the 80 mile journey to face Cardiff Met. Having lost the season's opening home fixture against them it would not help that some players were making their debuts, others out of position and a couple of pivotal squad members missing, the quicksilver scrum half Mike Jones and full back Sean Leonard with his siege gun boot, both at the Dubai 7s. 
Despite this Emlyn had a dream start, within seconds of the kick off second row Dan Havard found himself in possession and sprinted 30 metres to score the first try converted by Dan Davies in the unfamiliar position of full back. With only a minute on the clock the Red and Whites were leading by 7 points.
There were also positive signs for Emlyn in the scrum. With the return from injury of tight head prop Gethin Davies, the Archers were put under pressure with the Red and Whites winning a couple against the head.
Cardiff Met tried to get their passing game going and when the hard running outside centre Luke Northmore was tackled near the Emlyn 10 metre line referee Paul Jones spotted a player off side in the centre. The Archers' outside half, Alex Seers stepped forward and secured the 3 points.
At the restart the game continued to go Emlyn's way with the Archers failing to gather and knocking on. From behind the stable scrum, powerful number 8 Brynmor Jones realised that the Archers' defenders was standing very wide. He picked up and ran 20 metres to score the Red and White's second try under the posts, converted by Dan Davies.
At the mid point of the half the Red and Whites won a lineout on Cardiff Met's 10 metre line. The ball was won cleanly and scrum half Dafydd Evans made a long pass to outside half Barry Thomas. His options limited by the fast approaching defenders he put up a perfectly weighted high ball for right wing wrth  Jones to catch and canter in to score in the corner.
The unlucky prop Gethin Davies suffered yet another injury and after he left the field the dynamic in the scrum changed with the Archers able to win some clean ball and go through the phases. One of these attacks saw outside half Alex Seers throw a high looping missed pass to hard running flanker Alex Dombrandt, full back Davies was no match for the huge forward who barged through to score the Archers' first try, converted by outside half Seers. At 10-21 Cardiff Met were back in the game.
Their first try gave the Archers added confidence and they continued to attack with ball in hand. The Emlyn forwards worked hard in defence, none more so than flanker Joel James who disrupted the Cardiff Met possession at every opportunity. This eventually resulted in a penalty for holding, kicked by full back Davies to open the points gap again.
Having had the better of the second quarter Cardiff Met continued to stick to their game plan, going through the phases and then moving the ball quickly through the hands. They were eventually rewarded when centre Luke Northmore broke through to score with the conversion from the reliable boot of Seers.
The Archers belief continued to grow as they became more dominant and they again ran at the Emlyn defence from the restart. The fast and accurate passing with quick recycling created another gap, this time for left wing Ashley Taylor who scored an unconverted try taking the score to 22-24.
The Red and Whites would have been relieved to hear the half time whistle and as  the teams changed ends so changed their relative fortunes, Cardiff Met with the wind in their sails and Emlyn desperately trying to hang on to their coat tails and get something from the game.
At the start of the second half the Archers continued where they had left off. To try and disrupt their momentum Emlyn made several changes with prop Emrys Davies replacing Jack Parry, Bleddyn Davies coming on in the second row for Dylan Davies and Tomi Jones taking over the right wing with Llŷr Jones going to full back as Dan Davies left the field.
The omens were not good as Cardiff Met continued to press forward. From a penalty they again moved the ball quickly through the hands creating a gap for scrum half James Hall to score the bonus point try and take the Archers into the lead.
As the floodlights were switched on, the gathering gloom of the Cardiff evening reflected the mood of the small band of supporters who had made the long journey up the M4. What had been a really positive first quarter was turning into a fight to get at least a point from the game.
Whilst Emlyn had not used their kicking game badly, Cardiff Met's full back was catching the most difficult of balls and each time setting their back line off on yet another scything attack.
Now was the time for Emlyn coaches Lloyd, Davies and Gale to step forward. The message went on to keep things tight, let the forwards carry the ball and not play into the hands of Cardiff Met's back line who were by now running the ball from anywhere on the pitch.
The Red and Whites showed their true mettle and the forwards responded commendably and started to carry the ball up the field keeping things tight. They were soon rewarded for the new game plan when the Archers' full back cleared giving Emlyn a line out just inside the Cardiff Met half. The catch and drive was expertly executed and as the rolling maul drew in more and more defenders the ball was released to Llŷr Jones who sprinted down the undefended touchline for an unexpected bonus point try. With no regular kicker on the field Barry Thomas confidently stepped forward and bisected the posts as if he had been kicking them over all afternoon. The Red and Whites were back in the lead 29-31.
Cardiff Met were not giving up and had already come from behind once. At the restart Emlyn offended in the maul allowing outside half Seers to kick the Archers back into the lead 32-31.
The Red and Whites stuck with the new game plan carrying the ball forward phase after phase. The desperate defence from Cardiff Met resulted in a tip tackle on prop Emrys Davies. Surprisingly referee Jones did not reach for his cards but the penalty was Emlyn's. Thomas again stepped forward and kicked the points, the Red and Whites were back in the lead 32-34!
Now was the time for Thomas' long experience of game management to come into play. Referee Jones had been asked how much time was remaining at the restart and the outside half stood behind the pack and scrum half Evans waving them forward with both hands and urging them to pick and go time and time again. Hardly winning any territory they skilfully recycled and kept the ball well away from the opposition tacklers' grasp. When Thomas saw the last minute tick past on the clock to the right of the Archers' goalposts he clapped his hands, the ball arrived and he sent it high over the touchline as referee Jones blew up for the end of the game.
Emlyn had achieved a 5 point win which 15 minutes earlier would have seemed very improbable. Now sitting comfortably mid table but with still a long way to go, dare the Red and Whites start to contemplate a third season in the Championship after this gutsy performance?

There doesn't appear to be any tagged photos.

Upload and Tag Photos

You must be signed in to add comments