29 January 2017 / Team News

Quins emphasise gulf between divisions


This first round WRU Cup clash lived up to expectations as the Quins turned on a very polished performance and demonstrated the huge gulf there is between the top eight in the Premiership and a mid-table Championship side. How the WRU, in all their wisdom, can consider the first round mismatches between Premiership and Championship teams, with the exception of the heavily financed Pontypool, to be fair contests especially when played at the Premiership ground defies any logic.  The least the Championship sides could expect would be a money making home draw.

The semi-professional Quins were quicker, more physical, and accurate in everything they did. Emlyn unfortunately made mistakes and were comprehensively punished by the home side who scored a total of nine tries, all of which were converted. Even the most optimistic Emlyn supporter expected nothing more than total commitment by the red and whites and the fact that they scored the last two tries for their ten points is testament to their team spirit. With some important League matches on the horizon the last thing this Emlyn side needed were injuries. The Emlyn season has been blighted by injuries and Saturday was no exception, two dislocated shoulders, one cracked elbow joint, and a broken jaw left the Emlyn bench looking more like a hospital casualty department and the coaches have a lot of work to do to assemble a side for the trip to Dunvant next Saturday.

Emlyn started positively and retained possession through a series of rucks as they went at the Quins from the first whistle. With skipper Alex Williams leading by example they were soon camped in the Quins twenty two. Unfortunately this period of pressure also led to the first of Emlyn’s injuries when second row Dan Havard had to leave the field with a dislocated shoulder, to be replaced by Bleddyn Davies. Havard has been in tremendous form this season and his loss will be a grievous blow to the red and whites.

Such was the start Emlyn had that it took until the twelfth minute before the Quins reached the Emlyn twenty two metre area and opened the scoring with a well worked team try which eventually saw centre Callum Price cross under the posts for a try converted by outside half Craig Evans. The veteran Evans had an excellent day with the boot, controlling events well behind the dominant home forwards and having a 100% record in converting six of the Quins’ nine tries. Emlyn’s woes continued when in the build up to that try their outside half Dyfan Dafydd suffered a serious injury to his elbow and was replaced by Barry Thomas.

The rest of the half was basically dominated by the Quins and Emlyn had to defend for all their worth. Centres Richard Hope and Tomi Jones worked really hard to stem successive Quins attacks but the Quins added to their score at regular intervals with tries from Price again, number eight Shaun Evans, an interception from winger Morgan Griffiths and a penalty try, all converted by Evans.

With a half time score of 35 – 0 things looked ominous for the Emlyn side with the pressure being exerted by Quins when Emlyn had the ball making life comparatively easy for the home side. Winger Morgan Griffiths added another three tries to his total and full back Gavin Thomas got his name on the score sheet with Evans converting two of them and centre Josh Batcup converting the last three tries.

Emlyn though never gave up and the forwards came more into the match as the game went on. Number eight Brynmor Jones had some powerful runs down the field and was well supported by flanker Joel James and second row Ryan Morgans. Not to be out done, full back Shaun Leonard put in some huge clearance kicks downfield and was always alert to the possibility of a counter attack with the ball in hand. When hard working flanker Gethin Davies had to leave with a dislocated shoulder he was replaced by Gareth Thomson who lasted some ten minutes before having to leave the field with a broken jaw.

The last twenty minutes of the game proved to be Emlyn’s best period of the game. A new front row of Emrys Davies, Tom Curry, and Neil Elworthy, brought fresh legs and energy to the Emlyn cause as the three of them were eager to carry the ball forward. A good run by Leonard saw him brought down in the Quins twenty two, Brynmor Jones combined well with Llyr Jones down the right wing and suddenly Emlyn were playing with a great deal more confidence and accuracy.

A quickly taken penalty be replacement scrum half Mike Jones on the half way line saw him catch the home defence flat footed and winger Llyr Jones was on his shoulder in support to take the scoring pass for a fully deserved try for the red and whites. From the restart Emlyn retained possession and went through a series of rucks as they made their way upfield and, showing great patience and control, eventually worked the ball out to the right wing where flanker Joel James was able to cross in the corner for the final try of the game.


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