12 October 2019 / Team News

Emlyn through to next round


Emlyn progressed through to the next round of the WRU Plate with an authoritative performance against Towy Valley neighbours Nantgaredig. The visitors arrived at Dôl WIber on the back of an excellent season last year, and a good start to this season with three victories out of their four games. Unfortunately for them they came up against a home side who were enjoying an unbeaten start to the season and looking forward to a good run in the WRU Plate.

As hard as Nantgaredig tried, and none tried harder than their classy full back Dafydd Lewis who was a constant threat on the counter attack, they were unable to find a way through the red and whites defence, superbly organised by outside centre Teifion Davies. In the end Emlyn scored a total of nine tries which came at regular intervals and it was only some torrential rain in the second half that kept the score down as the ball became a bar of soap.

The Emlyn pitch was in perfect condition for the game, despite the heavy rain of the previous twenty four hours, and a great deal of credit must go to the Emlyn ground staff and committee for their substantial investment in drainage over the previous two summers. Even at the end of the match, which saw the second half played in an absolute downpour, the pitch looked in perfect condition. There is no doubt that the Emlyn coaches and players appreciate the excellent surface they play on as the firm surface suits their brand of attacking rugby.

Emlyn were on the board after only seven minutes when some excellent inter play between forwards and backs took play into the Nant twenty two and the ball eventually ended up in the hands of winger Llyr Jones who crossed in the corner for the opening score, converted from the touchline by Shaun Leonard.

A brief period of Nant pressure in the Emlyn twenty two led to the next try for the home side. Scrum half Mike Jones spotted a gap in the visitors defence, sprinted through it up to half way, threw out a long pass to flanker Elliot Rees stationed out on the wing. The powerful flanker was brought down inside the twenty two and some patient recycling saw prop Emrys Davies dummy his way over for a try, converted by Leonard. It did not take the powerful prop long before he was on the score sheet again when some excellent build up by forwards and backs saw the ball in Davies’ hands once more and he dummied his way over for his second try in ten minutes.

Emlyn’s dominance was total with second rows Chris Ludgate and Haydn Baldwin dominating the line outs and providing the power for the front row of Davies, Dexter Thomas and hooker Alex Williams to continually drive the Nant eight backwards at the set piece. Emlyn’s fourth try came courtesy of a lovely angled run from his own ten metre line by the outstanding Teifion Davies, which completely bamboozled the visitors’ defensive line. He then unselfishly fed the supporting Mike Jones allowing the scrum half to cross under the posts for Leonard to add the extra points.

With half time approaching Emlyn extended their lead when Mike Jones latched on to a bouncing ball from a line out in his own half, sprinted through a gap and fed the supporting Emrys Davies. The mobile prop loves nothing better than to be given the ball in space and sprinted up to the twenty two. When the tackler came across he passed to the supporting Chris Ludgate who unselfishly fed winger Llyr Davies who crossed under the posts for a try converted by Leonard.

The start of the second half saw the visitors’ have their best period of the game as far as possession went. Unfortunately the Emlyn defence proved impossible to breach as time and again potential gaps were closed down by the organised home defence and Nant struggled to get out of their own half.

As the heavens opened Emlyn extended their lead when Teifion Davies once more opened up the Nant defence and, with the line at his mercy, passed to outside half Steffan Evans who crossed for a try converted by Leonard. Emlyn then emptied their bench and it was pleasing for the Dôl Wiber faithful to see flanker Callum Evans coming onto the field for his first appearance of the season.

Despite the quite horrendous conditions, both sides continued to try and run the ball from any part of the field. Unfortunately for the visitors it was the home side who exercised greater control and were more accurate in their handling and support play. Further tries followed through replacement outside half Sion Edwards, who was in the right place at the right time to round off a flowing Emlyn movement with an unconverted try. The outside half added a second almost from the kick off when Nant knocked the restart forward, Emlyn number eight Brynmor Jones picked up from the base of the scrum, burst downfield, fed Mike Jones and the scrum half found Edwards on his shoulder in support to score his second try. Emlyn’s ninth and final try of the game came courtesy of flying winger Llyr Jones who rounded off another flowing movement with a try in the corner.

Emlyn return to League action next week when they host Gowerton in a Division One West battle. Next to the red and whites Gowerton have the best defensive record in the League to date and should prove to be stern test for the home side

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