SWALEC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP 2013/14
Oct 12 2013 TATA STEEL 27 LLANHARAN 34 (HT 8-18)
Outside half Codey Rees returned to one of his old stamping grounds with a vengeance, his deadly boot supplying nineteen points to help our team to victory and move us into third place in the championship.
The 24-year-old spent 2011/12 at the Margam Sports Ground and on the day he reminded them of what an asset he was.
This was a hard-fought victory for his team and the Black and Blues had to dig in defensively on several occasions as we allowed Tata to grab the four tries that always kept them in the game.
In fact Llanharan fell behind in the 14th minute as former Dairyman Ross Pritchard went through a well worked gap at the front of the lineout, but we soon found their feet.
Tries from prop Simon Collins and back row man Scott Malone plus contributions from Rees helped us to an 18-8 interval lead, the home side adding a Simon Evans penalty to their score.
A second Evans penalty and another Pritchard try brought Tata right back into it at 18-15, but Llanharan forged ahead once more as we combined well to put centre Gabriel Davies over under the posts.
The conversion took the lead to 28-15, but again Tata hit back as we lost possession near the home line to allow wing Paul Bamsey to score at the other end.
However two more Rees kicks seemed to make the game safe until an unnecessarily ambitious line out call conceded possession and gave the opposition both a losing and a try bonus as full back Andrew Collins waltzed through to score and Nicky Hardwood converted.
It ensured a tense final five minutes, but the pack responded magnificently on the back foot to hang on to a victory we just about deserved.
Said head coach Matthew Lloyd: “A good performance. But as a team we still have a lot of work to do. However, the boys showed great commitment and will gain confidence from this victory against a very good Tata side. But we must improve defensively and we will have a solid week’s training to work on these things. The players are enjoying themselves and along with my fellow coaches Adam Rosser and Colin Malone I am pleased with the way the squad is gelling and the boys are playing for each other.”
Tata tries - Ross Pritchard 2, Paul Bamsey, Andrew Collins. Con and pen: Simon Evans. Con: Nicky Harwood.
Llanharan tries: Scott Malone, Tom Piper, Gabriel Davies. Cons 2 and pens 5 - Codey Rees.
15 RICHARD LOVERING
14 RHYS WALKER
13 WILL SINGER
12 GABRIEL DAVIES
11 HARRY DAVIES
10 CODEY REES (C)
9 TOM MARLEY
1 SIMON COLLINS
2 GETHIN CASHMORE (NATHAN HUISH)
3 TOM PIPER (AARON ELLIOTT)
4 DAN PARTRIDGE
5 ANDREW ROSEN
6 LEWIS YOUNG
7 SCOTT MALONE
8 HUW THOMAS
Report by Hugh Smith. Images by Richie Jenkins.