Ebbw Hit The Fifty-Point Mark
The hosts put in a dominant performance to secure a bonus point victory by scoring 8 tries.
The Steelmen came out of the blocks strongly and soon scored their first points of the game. After being awarded consecutive penalties, captain Rhys Francis opted for a scrum inside the Quins twenty-two. Number eight Alex Howes picked up the ball and went over the try lined unopposed to score his sides first try of the game. Prolific points scorer Evan Lloyd successfully kicked the conversion.
The home side quickly backed the try up with another. From a much-improved lineout the ball made its way to winger Amir Jiwa-Walji. A clean break by the winger saw Jiwa-Walji draw the defender and pass to supporting runner Rory Harries, who charged over the line to touch down. Fly half Lloyd again successfully added the two points.
With the home side on top a scrum to Carmarthen on the halfway line, saw a loose pass go into space. Ebbw Vale speedster Carrick McDonough, back playing on the wing, picked up the ball and showed a clean pair of heels to touch down under the posts. Lloyd again added the extra two points.
The Ebbw Vale scrum was dominant. With the away side putting into the scrum inside their half, the referee awarded the Steelmen a penalty. A kick to the corner by Lloyd saw the hosts have a lineout. From which, the forwards set up a maul which resulted in captain Francis dotting down over the line to score his teams bonus point try. On this occasion fly half Lloyd was unable to add the extra two points.
Half Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 26 Carmarthen Quins 0
The away side came out and started the second half strongly. After some decent defending, home coach Jason Strange replaced hooker Rhys Francis with Ieuan Morris.
Carmarthen scored their first try of the afternoon after good play from a lineout. The two points were added successfully to reduce the deficit.
With the home forwards wrestling the ascendancy back, a further penalty from a scrum inside the visitors twenty-two saw the home side elect for another scrum. A huge push by the pack resulted in scrum half Harries scoring his second try of the game and Ebbw Vale’s fifth of the afternoon. Outside half Lloyd successfully kicked the conversion.
Further changes by the Steelmen’s coach Strange, saw second row Jakub Malecki replace Dylan Baartlett and prop Owen Hatherill come on for Adam Court.
The Quins were soon reduced to fourteen men when the referee awarded replacement Garan Williams a yellow card for ill-discipline. This appeared to spur the away side on and they scored their second try of the game. However, flyhalf Wilson was unable to add the extras.
Jason Strange continued to make changes to the hosts. Prop Harry Drane came on for Luke Garrett, Ewan McIntyre came on for flanker Ben Main, who was making his first start for Ebbw and winger Amir Jiwa-Walji was replaced by Ewan Bowden.
The Steelmen scored their sixth try when number eight Alex Howes went on a trademark barn storming run from around the visitors twenty-two line to touch down out wide. Top points scorer Lloyd successfully kicked the conversion.
Ebbw Vale continued their dominance with Curtis Gregory stretching over the line to score the home side’s seventh try of the afternoon. Lloyd again kicked the conversion.
That was to be the outside half’s last action in the game as Lloyd was replaced by centre Dominic Franchi. Inside centre for the day Keiran Meek switched back to his more familiar role of fly half to accommodate the centre.
With replacements being made, the Steelmen pack kept their strong form going, when from a lineout inside the twenty-two, prop Harry Drane did well to score the hosts eight try of the afternoon and take their tally to over fifty points for the game. Meek successfully added the two points.
Credit to the away side, who never gave up and scored their third and fourth tries late in the game to take home a try scoring bonus point from the afternoon.
Full Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 54 Carmarthen Quins 24
Man of the match: Curtis Gregory
Tries: Alex Howes (2), Rory Harries (2), Rhys Francis (1), Curtis Gregory (1), Harry Drane (1), Carrick McDonough (1)
Conversions: Evan Lloyd (6) Keiran Meek (1)
After the game we spoke with double try scorer and scrumhalf Rory Harries. Rory was pleased with the performance the team put in, the amount of tries scored and to come away with the result. Whilst being happy with his own performance, Rory was quick to acknowledge it was a team collective, and praised the team for putting him in the positions they did, particularly from a dominant scrum.
The Steelmen are next in action on Saturday 23rd December when Merthyr RFC visit the Ciner Glass Community Stadium.
The match will also be Christmas Jumper Day at the Welfare.