|8th September 2018||2:30 PM||WRU National League 1 - East Central||2018-19|
Official: Aaron Cross
A hugely disappointing result masked a brave and committed performance by the Villagers was compounded by a sequence of unfortunate events which meant that they didn’t even gain a consolatory bonus point.
There was a strong wind blowing across the Common which benefited Dinas during the first half but the home team failed to capitalise upon this and trailed by 6 – 8 at the halfway point — the Villagers’ points came from the boot of fly-half Callum Bricknell. However, the Wanderers had scored a penalty of their own which was complemented by an unconverted try by right-wing Phil Paryio. Those of you who regularly follow the exploits of the Villagers will know how robust their defense is and many a time it has helped them finish victorious. But, on this occasion, the Wanderer’s brought a formidable defense of their own. Dianas pounded the visitors try line repeatedly but could not breach the impressive, aggressive defense of the Ely based side.
The Wanderers began the second half brightly and before long, following a rolling maul by their forwards, the ball was released to right-wing Will Adams Jones who crossed for their second try. The conversion attempt was successful and the Dinas faced an uphill struggle (both physically and metaphorically) as they trailed by 6 – 15.
Dinas’ scrum was proving a potent weapon for the home side. The front row of James Greenfield, Tom Baister and Andrew O’Malia were immense and provided the fulcrum that allowed the powerful scrum to push the larger Wanderers pack off their own scrum feeds. This platform allowed home number eight, Ryan Hall, to carry strongly deep into Wanderers territory. As the pressure increase so did the number of penalties conceded by the visitors. The ever-alert scrum-half Tom Davies saw an opportunity to strike and took a quick tap penalty at close range and crashed over for a try.
Strong carries from flanker Corey Imperato and skipper Baister forced the visitors to concede yet another penalty. Bricknell, converted the penalty just as he had the two in the first half and the Villagers inched two within a single point, 14-15. The momentum change within the game had been enormous, the Villagers were now both dominant and rampant. A series of powerful scrums led to the appearance of one of the plethora of Wanderer’s coaches on the pitch just as the visitor’s tight-head prop began experiencing uncontrollable cramp within his own twenty-two. Predictably, and some may say with impeccable timing, the Wanderer’s declared that they had no suitable replacement on the bench and the scrums would have to be passive thereafter.
With the home side so superior in this department, this was a massive and decisive factor in the result. Home outside-half Bricknell, himself a former Wanderer, expressed his dismay to the referee about the dubious sequence of events and, having already received a yellow card in the first half, was shown a second before being dismissed from the field of play much to the joy of the traveling support.
With the scrums now a more favourable proposition for the visitors, they replaced their remaining prop with a more mobile player which changed the complexion of the game. The Wanderers, to the obvious joy of their supporters, scored two further tries in the remaining quarter to gain the win and a bonus point for scoring four tries.
The Wanderers now top the table with a maximum ten leagues points, one of only three sides that remain unbeaten at this early stage of the season. Meanwhile, the Villagers will have to re-gather and put behind them the disappointment and, perhaps more difficult, the manner of defeat before they continue their league season with a visit to Rumney RFC at Riverside Park, Llanrumney.