17 September 2017 / Team News

Students profit from Emlyn's generosity


The euphoria of last week’s victory quickly disappeared at Cardiff on Saturday as an error ridden Emlyn performance handed victory to the students. At this time of year the students are to all intents and purposes a professional side having been back in daily training since the end of July. They must have thought that Christmas had come early for them as some Emlyn players gifted scoring opportunities to them on a regular basis. There were a few positives for Emlyn and the biggest of these had to be the return to Emlyn colours, from his round the world travels, of centre Steffan Evans. The all round play and leadership of Evans is something that Emlyn have sorely missed and he will be a great asset to the red and whites. Second row Dan Havard was once again Emlyn’s best forward with some excellent two handed takes at the line out and some impressive running in the loose and skipper Alex Williams once again led from the front. For the home side they had a couple of outstanding operatives with number seven Rubasniak dominating the contact area, and outside half George Simpson controlled the game with his fine all round play.

Emlyn could not have got off to a worse start. When the Met kicked off second row Dombrandt, despite being metres in front of the kicker, won the ball back for them and a powerful surge took play into the Emlyn twenty two. The visitors were penalised at the ruck and Met centre Tom Morgan kicked a relatively simple penalty to open the scoring.  Emlyn’s woes continued when the restart was kicked out on the full and some of the Emlyn side looked as if they were still on the team coach. Met extended their lead soon after when an Emlyn mistake gifted the ball to the Met, and the powerful Dombrandt thundered over for a try converted by Morgan.

At this stage it looked as if the students were going to steamroller Emlyn and run up a cricket score as mistake seemed to follow mistake. Skipper Alex Williams had other ideas and a tongue lashing from him seemed to galvanise the visitors.  On the quarter hour mark they finally found touch inside the Met twenty two. An accurate throw from Williams was taken two handed by Havard and Emlyn executed a perfect driving maul resulting in Williams being accredited with the score, converted by Dan Davies.

The students were making the most of Emlyn’s mistakes and when they failed to find touch from a penalty on the half way line the students ran the ball back through some weak tackling. The ball eventually was cleared to touch but from the resulting line out Met went through some phases and eventually hooker Shawn Howard crossed for a try converted by Morgan. Morgan extended Met’s lead a few minutes later with another penalty when Emlyn collapsed a driving maul. Then came possibly Emlyn’s best period of play when they won the restart and the ball ended up in the hands of winger Llyr Davies. The winger embarked on a weaving run taking him past a number of would be tacklers. When brought down short of the line Emlyn went through a number of rucks before they were penalised for not releasing the ball inches from the Met line. 

With half time approaching the Met launched another series of attacks but surprisingly dropped the ball just inside Emlyn’s twenty two. Centre Llyr Jones was onto the ball in a flash and hacked it downfield. Pulled back as he went to kick it again Emlyn kicked the resultant penalty into touch in the Met twenty two. Havard again took an excellent two handed catch and the Emlyn pack drove for the Met line and second row Dyfed Morgan scored Emlyn’s second try converted by Davies.

The second half proved to be a very scrappy affair with both sides struggling to string together any sort of continuity. Emlyn started positively and applied pressure on the Met line but once again were penalised for not releasing the ball after the tackle in Met’s twenty two. Their lack of composure in this area probably proved to be Emlyn’s downfall as they were penalised four more times in this half inside the Met’s twenty two for exactly the same offence.

Very early in the half came an extremely controversial moment when Emlyn winger Kami Nakove was completely up ended in a horrendous tip tackle landing on his neck. Emlyn players reacted angrily to the incident and when matters cooled down referee Paul Jones sent Emlyn number eight Brynmor Jones to the sin bin for retaliation, and decided no Met player should be punished because Nakove was now back on his feet.

Injuries began to play their part as Emlyn players, centre Llyr Jones and flanker Owain Powell both had to leave the field to be replaced by Mike Jones and Joel James. Morgan extended Met’s lead with another penalty. The home side by now fell foul of the referee and found themselves reduced to thirteen men for various offences. Emlyn’s tactics now had to be questioned as they opted to go for the posts from the subsequent penalties instead of what might have been the better option of going for touch and then the driving line out for a try. Two more penalties by Davies did bring Emlyn within a losing bonus point of the home side with ten minutes to go.

Back to full strength the powerful boot of Met full back Benjamin once again, as he had done on numerous occasions, drove play deep into the Emlyn half. From the resultant line out the students went through a well-rehearsed move containing a couple of quick rucks, and replacement Luke Northmore ran a lovely angle to score by the posts for Morgan to convert. The game came to a conclusion with Emlyn on the attack as they searched for that third try but it ended like a number of other Emlyn moves with a mistake by an attacker leading to a loss of possession and with it the game. 

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