Taffs Well RFC | 1st Team 33 - 26 Llanishen RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
26 November 2018 / Team News

Frustration is the Name of the Game

Taffs Well v Llanishen RFC

So, unlike like ABBA, the Llanishen faithful know that Frustration is the name of the game. Sorry but it doesn’t take a Master Mind to spot where the team’s Downfall is at the moment.

The Stratego going into the matches is clear but basic errors and rushes of blood undo all of the positives that are apparent when watching the side.

To kick off, must we (uttered stage left). Indeed we must and as has been the case recently the team started extremely well. The team had a Monopoly of the ball and it was no surprise when a penalty was awarded just in front of the posts.

The missed attempt gave the Cluedo as to the course the match would take. Only a few minutes afterwards Taff’s Well broke through the centre of the Lions line, allowing a try to be scored under the posts.

Kerplunk, a marginal, not ten metre kick, gave Taff’s Well a scrum on the centre spot. It became apparent that they had a strong set-scrum and the referee awarded a penalty, for collapsing. The penalty was kicked and after 10 minutes the team was 10-0 down.

The team stepped up a gear and Miles made a great break but, as was to happen too often, overlaps and opportunities were squandered.

Taff Well’s dominance in the scrum was to prove decisive and after a fine series of phases, involving forwards and backs, they were able to score a well constructed try. The team looked in a Sorry state, could they pull themselves back into the game?

Time take a Risk and throw caution to the wind. Another great break by Miles took Llanishen into the opposition half. Quick ruck ball allowed further advances to be made, resulting in Lee driving over to score. Lewis converted the try, giving hope to their supporters.

Suddenly the team were driving, creating space, Connect 4 passes and you are in with a chance.

Not long after Sam caught his own kick ahead to set up a wonderful attacking opportunity. Constant pressure brought its reward as Harry took a quick tap and Twistered over. The conversion brought the side within 3 points.

At the subsequent kick off George took his second catch but was then swamped by three players. An injured shoulder meant a Subbuteo, step forward Noah.

The match then became a mad Scrabble, with sides creating, and squandering opportunities to score. On thirty six minutes, however, Llanishen conceded a penalty, which was kicked (Taff Well’s kicker went on to finish the match with 100% success rate).

Still time for Llanishen to score and indeed they were pressing hard and were rewarded a penalty near the posts. Unfortunately the kick was missed, who’d be a kicker.


Half-Time           Taff Well 20 Llanishen 14


The second half began as the first half had only this time Llanishen turned the pressure into a try. A line break, and roll, got the Lions on the front foot. A ruck was set up and a pass from Sean to, Guess Who, Lee gave the captain a brace of tries. The conversion took Llanishen into the lead.

Could they hold onto it? No, from the kick off errors allowed the opposition to gain a penalty, which was slotted over. The spinning Roulette wheel had swung back to Taff Well.

Further errors gave Taff’s Well field position and a scrum from five metres seemed sure to go over but Llanishen collapsed the scrum, conceding a penalty try, and a yellow card.

It’s hard to Articulate the frustration felt but blast and Balderdash go as near, without cussing, as one can. Time to take a Risk and throw the dice, Yahtzee style, a Buccaneer spirit, indeed.

The comeback Operation began and great inter-play, plus concerted line breaks, gave space out wide. Passes were timed to Perfection, allow James to race over in the corner.

Four points down but plenty of time on the clock. Noah made a fantastic break from the Llanishen 22 and only good scramble defence kept the Lions out.

With both packs fighting for the ball like Hungry Hippos, or Battling Tops, the game was in the balance. Which way would the Jenga tower fall?

Well it went the way of the home team as a conceded penalty took them seven points clear.

Opportunity  Knocked for both teams but no further points were scored. So two points for Llanishen (4 tries and within 7 pts) and moving on to two matches against the top two sides.

Congratulations to the Taff’s Well pack and their fine scrum half, who had a superb game in defence and attack.


Full-Time            Taff’s Well 33 Llanishen 26


PS – apologies for the ‘Game’ nature of the report but running the line and taking notes is a difficult skill, one I obviously don’t possess! I just wish I could have found a way to include the game, Hey That’s my Fish. Never played it or heard of it. Has anyone played or seen it?

It was a game played in a good spirit and I enjoyed chatting with the Taff’s Well replacements and coach. I also enjoyed talking to their match reporter.

Taff’s Well used to have sides at all mini and Junior age groups, as both may boys can attest, but this has fallen away in recent years. It was fantastic to hear that sides up to Under 12 are now in place with plans to carry this forward. Llanishen RFC wish them well, it is surely the only way sides like ours have a future.

Good luck for the rest of the season and we looking forward to greeting you on our new pitch in March.


Updated 28/11/18 : The Match Report from Taffs Well RFC view.

Taff’s Well Have Final Say in 33-26 Win

The common denominator for today’s game was the fact that both sides would have been targeting the encounter as a must-win with Llanishen looking for mid-table security and Taff’s Well looking to end a series of games in which they had managed to clutch defeat from the jaws of victory. With something of a reputation as slow starters, the home side would be looking to make a strong statement by applying early pressure with improved discipline a key factor.

Early Let-Off & Reposte

From the off, it would be Llanishen who showed early intent as they earned a shot at goal thanks to some over-zealous attention at the offside line. Little could we know that the ensuing miss would be something of a clue as to the eventual outcome of the match as Llanishen would spurn several such opportunities throughout the afternoon. Taff’s Well, on the other hand, had no intention of being so profligate as with the first slice of meaningful possession, centre Ryan Smith adeptly beat his opposite number to get behind the defence and ship onto full-back Ronan Barrett steaming up in support to romp home for a splendid effort which outside-half Matthew Hurley duly rewarded with the extras.

Front Row Union in Sync

The front row of props Graham Harvey and Gareth Gibbs alongside hooker Matthew Desmier were starting to lay down a marker at scrum-time which was eventually going to have a bearing on the final result. No. 8 Max Watkins took advantage of a quick tap penalty to gain a few yards more and another penalty which was to bring the posts in the range of the deadly boot of Hurley who calmly stroked it over from 35m out to open up an early lead of 10-0. But if you thought this was good, then there was better to follow.

Barrett Strikes Again

As the ball was kicked deep into home territory, left-wing Mike Lindon collected but was collared as he sized up his options but he still managed to get the ball away to full-back Barrett who was in attendance. As defenders started to close him down, he sniffed a gap to tear through the middle of the field with a weaving 60m run which had desperate arms clutching at thin air. As he approached the visitors 22, he off-loaded to link-man, flanker and Captain Justin Jones who drew his man to tee-up jack-in-a-box scrum-half Gwilym Edwards who needed no second invitation to dart away on the overlap and score a belter of a try straight out of the top drawer. If Taff’s Well were looking for a good start then 17-0 up would definitely go some way towards it!

Timid Tackling Torments

If you thought this was too good to be true – then you would have been right as the visitors started to get their act together to aggressively attack the ruck areas and provide possession for their big runners to pour through some pretty mediocre defence which was to prove very costly as prop Lee Swindlehurst bundled himself over the whitewash for a seven-pointer. Spurred on by their success and with a spring in their step, a quick tapped penalty close to the Taff’s Well line saw scrum-half Harry Trelawny take advantage of some slack marking to dive over and bring the game back to a contest thanks to the conversion and a 17-14 scoreline.

Llanishen Fail to Capitalise

There was no stopping the visitors as the quick ball from the ruck area was starting to cause problems out wide with Taff’s Well being stretched through lack of numbers but Llanishen were to be the architects of their own misfortune as they squandered several chances through some pretty ordinary passing with the line in sight. The Taff’s Well scrum was starting to do some serious damage with another penalty giving Hurley the opportunity to stretch the score to 20-14. Back came Llanishen but more opportunities were squandered with a knock-on from a quick tap penalty and another missed penalty shot at goal from 25m which would see Taff’s Well take a half-time lead in a fiercely contested but clean game.

Half-Time Score:  Taff’s Well 20 v Llanishen 14

Second Half

Llanishen may have been taking the honours at the ruck but the home side were nailing the set-pieces with an improved show of discipline but the Achilles heel throughout the afternoon would be the defence as time after time, the tackling would be shoulder-high enabling the Llanishen strike runners to pour through. Prop Swindlehurst would again prove to be the thorn in the side as he barged himself over for a brace of tries which when converted, took Llanishen into the lead for the first time in the game. After a prolonged spell of possession, only a last-ditch finger-tip tackle prevented yet another try before right-wing Christian Nicholas earned his spurs with a solid tackle up the other end of the pitch which earned another penalty shot for Hurley and another three points to put his side back in the lead at 24-21.

Scrum Dominance Pay Off

The score seemed to galvanise Taff’s Well as they started to take the sting out of the Llanishen attack with skipper Jones prominent. A sweeping movement would take play down to the visitor’s line and with a try looking certain, referee Lloyd Hughes whistled as the ball was held up over the line. This was the opportunity for the pack to fill their boots with a scrum 5m out – and fill their boots they did as a succession of mighty shunts forward saw Mr Hughes run to the posts to award a penalty try and a yellow card much to the relief of the home crowd.

Llanishen Not For the Folding

If you thought that Llanishen were going to roll over, then you would again be wrong as Taff’s Well continually managed to put themselves under pressure when there seemed to be little hint of danger The visitors kept their heads to work the ball along the line for right wing James Airey to score a smart try out wide to bring about a four-point game at 30-26 with the game anyone’s to win. It took a substitution to start to shore up a leaky home defence and it came in the shape of the diminutive Bradley James who although playing in the unaccustomed position of flanker – still managed to fell the big runners at source as well as bursting up the middle with ball in hand to earn a 40m penalty shot at goal for Hurley. The outside-half was to complete a perfect record for the afternoon with his kicking as he rifled over a superb effort to stretch the score to a converted try at 33-26.

Still Time for Drama

Taff’s Well were now starting to look more comfortable which resulted in a foray into the Llanishen 22 but with ten minutes to go, No.8 Watkins was yellow carded with ball in hand for voluble verbose verbiage (backchat) and Taff’s Well would have to see the game out a man down. Aside from another missed penalty attempt from the visitors, Taff’s Well impressively managed the game to the end to win an action-packed encounter which could have gone either way.

Final Score:  Taff’s Well 33 v 26 Llanishen

The Verdict

There was an audible sigh of relief from the home support as both sides did their level best to hand the game over to the other. Llanishen will be disappointed as they created enough chances to take more than two bonus points away from the game but their finishing let them down along with a little radar trouble when aiming at the posts to boot (or not to boot as it turned out). The home pack struggled at the breakdown but excelled in the set-pieces where ultimately the game was probably won as the Llanishen lineout faltered at opportune moments and the dominant Taff’s Well scrum earning a penalty try.


Taking Chances


The Taff’s Well backline did well to finish off the chances they created with full-back Ronan Barrett always looking a threat and outside-half Matthew Hurley was in imperious form kicking off the tee. Skipper Jones led from the front with the pack having their moments when it mattered although the defence will be of concern to coach Rhys Watkins who would have witnessed a tackling display which played into the hands of a Llanishen side who continuously broke the gain line allowing to them to stay in the game throughout.


MOM Performance


The penalty count was definitely an improvement with a shout-out to the referee who communicated with the players and allowed the game to flow. Llanishen may have made life difficult but you have to commend Taff’s Well for resiliently managing the game at the end with a man down and it’s probably about time that we took a game that we could or should have won – and won it. If there was one player who typified the Taff’s Well resilience, then it would have to be Gwilym Edwards who from scrum-half gave a sterling display in both attack and defence which when the fine margins are considered, was probably the difference between the two sides.

Good to see a game played in a good spirit although disappointed to find out that I’m completely out of my league as Phil the Llanishen touch-judge managed to run the line while writing a match report and who still found time to keep a running conversation with the Taff’s Well squad – respect.




Players Fixture player info not published.

There doesn't appear to be any tagged photos.

Upload and Tag Photos