BONUS POINT WIN FOR THE IRONMEN
MERTHYR 30 CARMARTHEN QUINS 21
Merthyr had to battle hard for this bonus point victory over a very good Carmarthen Quins side that can feel a little unlucky not to have had something out of the game. It was top of tier 1 against the bottom side but at times it was Carmarthen that looked the better side. The quins dominated the opening 10 minutes of the game as the forwards and dangerous backs threw everything at the home side looking for the opening score and this was rewarded when Quins outside half Craig Evans slotted over a penalty from 30 meters to give them a 0-3 lead. This spurred the ironmen into action and a good drive up field from number 8 Phil Rees brought the Merthyr backs into action for the first time and a chip ahead was gathered by scrum half Rhys Downes who raced over for Merthyr’s first try, outside half Matthew Jarvis converted and Merthyr had taken the lead 7-3. Merthyr then began to settle and put some good phases of play together with captain Craig Locke leading by example well supported by young Ben Murphy, and back row men Nick White and Matthew Rees. Merthyr extended the lead 10-3 when Jarvis kicked a 50-meter penalty after the Quins were penalised at the scrum. Back came the Quins with the backs showing good handling skills and this was rewarded when scrum half Connor Lloyd whipped the ball away inside the Merthyr 25 and after showing good handling skills the ball reached wingman Chris Banfield who raced over for a well worked try, Evans just missing with the kick. With game evenly balanced at 10-8 it was Merthyr that hit straight back after they turned down a kick at goal and elected for a catch and drive from the lineout which was rewarded when the pack drove the Quins back over their line and young second row Ben Murphy crashing over for the first of his two tries. The game then swung back towards the Quins as their dangerous backs once again ran at Merthyr, but good defence from Aaron Pincers and Teri Gee keeping them out, but on the stroke of half time outside half Evans kicked his second penalty to make the half time score 15-11. The Quins started the second half strongly once again as their backs moved the ball at every opportunity and again this was rewarded when Evans kicked his third penalty to close the gap to 15-14. This was a see saw of a game as Merthyr backs showed what they could do with ball in hand as they ran at the Quins and Merthyr stretched the lead 18-14 when Jarvis kicked his second penalty from 30 meters. Back came the Quins as this free-flowing game swung back their way and they took the lead when centre Dylan Morgan broke away from several tackles to race in for the try, Evans converted and the Quins led 18-21. A pick up at the base of the scrum from Merthyr number 8 Phil Rees inside the Quins 25, who was having an outstanding game for the home side caused panic in the Quins defence and after several drives close to the Quins line second row Ben Murphy crashed over for his second try to give Merthyr the lead back 23-21. Merthyr then made several replacements with the game evenly balanced and this seemed to give Merthyr the edge in the closing quarter as Merthyr took the game to the Quins with scrum half Justin James making a brilliant break deep into the Quins half and when the ball was recycled several times replacement back row man Edward Siggery drived over from close range to make the game safe for Merthyr with Jarvis converting 30-21. But to their credit back came the Quins and put Merthyr under pressure once again looking for a score but good home defence keeping them out. Replacement outside half Elliot Davies just missing with a late penalty which would have given the Quins a well-deserved losing bonus point. In a fast and free flowing game both sides should be congratulated for a great game of rugby which was a great advert for the premiership. For Merthyr captain Locke lead by example, well supported by young lock Murphy, but pick of the pack was number 8 Phil Rees who was outstanding with his ball carrying skills. Behind the scrum Downes looked sharp with his snipping runs, and outside Jarvis half kick well to pin the Quins back on several occasions. The win extends Merthyr’s lead at the top of tier 1 after 5 games to two points clear of Bedwas, with Pontypridd and Ebbw Vale the chasing sides. Merthyr take a break from league action until the 29th of April when they play Aberavon at home, before an away game at Ebbw Vale to finish off their 7 tier one games and hopefully go into the play offs for the league title.
MERTHYR: 15 M THOMAS, 14 K EVANS, 13 T GEE, 12 A PINCERS, 11 R CARTER, 10 M JARVIS, 9 R DOWNES, 1 N TREVETT, 2 R WILLIAMS, 3 G POWELL, 4 B MURPHY, 5 C LOCKE(C) 6 N WHITE, 7 M REES, 8 P REES. 16 R JAMES. 17 J HOWE, 18 C TARRANT, 19 B SIER, 20 E SIGGERY, 21 J JAMES, 22 D GUNTER, 23 D BISHOP.
SCORERS, B MURPHY 2T, E SIGGERY 1T, R DOWNES 1T, M JARVIS 2C, 2P.
REFEREE: ALED EVANS (KIDWELLY)
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