Carmarthen Quins RFC v Newport RFC 21st October 2023 by John Evans
Considering the battering that the UK had received from Storm Babet in the days prior to this game, with the loss of life and damage to property sustained, especially in the east of Scotland, it was remarkable that this game took place in something approaching pleasant autumnal conditions.
Following a remarkable win last weekend, with an injury time acquisition of the try-scoring bonus point at Aberavon, it was hoped that the boys would put on a less nerve-wracking display on this occasion! Matt O’Brien was absent with his day job, so it was down to Carwyn Penny, with backup from Jac Lloyd, to steer the ship.
There was a minutes silence for a loyal Quins supporter before Carwyn Penny got this Indigo Premier League game underway, Newport playing from right to left in front of the main stand. Newport benefitted from a clearing kick directly to touch with the line out put in. With the ruck set up, Che Hope popped the ball out along the line until Josh Skinner loped through some indifferent tackling to score the game’s opening try with just 1 minute and 21 seconds on the clock. Carwyn Penny kicked the conversion to make the score Quins 0 Newport 7.
A big scrum by the Quins eight earned them a penalty as the ball became stuck in the middle of the scrum. Ben Roach tried to disrupt the Quins line out, but the white-shirted home team made good ground while the Newport defence struggled to get into position adequately quickly. Quins blindside and captain, Tom Phillips, made good ground before picking out centre Josh Batcup on the right flank. He sprinted toward the try line before passing inside to supporting scrum-half Rhodri Davies who scored a try. Fullback Jac Wilson added the conversion to makes the score Quins 7 Newport 7 with 9 minutes played.
A midfield fumble by Carwyn Penny gave Quins centre Scott Williams, the Scarlets and Wales centre, the chance to sprint 50 metres to the try line. Ioan Davies caught Williams with ten metres to spare, but, in their eagerness to secure possession and calm the situation down, Newport were pinged for holding on in the tackle, gifting Quins an easy shot at goal which Jac Wilson slotted comfortably to make the score Quins 10 Newport 7 on 11 minutes.
Home prop Connor Allen gaffed on 14 minutes when he joined a ruck at the side. Newport played the advantage but, with none coming, Carwyn Penny took the penalty shot at goal to equalise the scores at ten points apiece, just as a steady rain shower appeared.
Quins were full of running as phase upon phase heaped pressure onto the Black and Amber defensive wall. Quins’ Scott Williams released wing Corum Nott, but only solid corner-flagging from Josh Skinner defused the situation.
Unfortunately, Joe Westwood’s game was over on 23 minutes as the snake-hipped centre went off injured. However, this was an opportunity for Jonny Morris, the Ninja Warrior, to move into the centre alongside Chay Foster-Smith and let Lloyd Lewis prowl the wing.
Scott Williams showed his undoubted strength and talent as he stormed around the field in the centre, and he drew the next Quins penalty as he dragged his side near to the Newport try-line, before Newport were penalised for not rolling away in the tackle, harsh as the player pointed at had clearly worked hard to get away, but not to the liking of the referee, Mr Elliot Mayer. A simple-looking kick for Jac Wilson put Quins ahead at 13-10 on 25 minutes.
Newport appeared to be struggling to find a rhythm to their game. They were being penalised far too often, especially at the breakdown, and it was symptomatic that it happened again on 27 minutes. Quins kicked up to the Newport 22 before Tom Phillips pumped ahead. He reached within touching distance of the Newport posts before Newport were caught offside. Eschewing the chance to go for more, Quins opted to give Jac Wilson another chance to extend their lead, doing so neatly to put Quins 16-10 ahead on the half hour.
Another silly penalty was conceded on 36 minutes, only being rescued by Quins making a hash of the lineout earning Newport a scrum put in. A promising move which had Jonny Morris barrelling through the middle of the field before Carwyn Penny’s kick for position was fielded and punted long by Quins. Carwyn Penny was back but could do little other that clear directly to touch. Quins attacked and seemed to be afforded the luxury of ample time to place the ball in the optimum position during the tackle. Thankfully for Newport, it came to nothing as the final pass to wing Corum Nott was forward and the Black and Ambers could begin the journey out of defence.
Newport finally earned a penalty. Barney Langton-Cryer secured the ball with Oli Andrew stepping infield as first receiver. The ball whizzed along the line to Ioan Davies who accelerated, skipping through the tackle. Che Hope sprinted in support as Davies offloaded the ball. Hope took advantage of a fortuitous fumble by a Quins defender as the ball came to him and he found Lloyd Lewis haring infield in support. With virtually his first touch of the ball, Lewis took the pass and sprinted in for a well-taken try. Carwyn Penny added the conversion to make the score Quins 16 Newport 17 as the teams jogged to the changing rooms for halftime.
Half Time Carmarthen Quins RFC 16 Newport RFC 17
Josh Skinner and Nathan Evans failed to appear for the second half, their places being taken by Rhys Jenkins and Garin Harris respectively. The Quins 10, Harri Williams, restarted the game, with Lloyd Lewis immediately under pressure from wing Kalum Evans. Lewis worked the ball away, however, and a solid drive by the Newport pack gained some territory. Things improved when Carwyn Penny’s clearing kick was spectacularly spilled by fullback Jac Wilson. This was followed by an immediate scrum as the Quins front row folded. Carwyn Penny’s laser-guided kick seemed to be pin-point accuracy as the Assistant Referee, on the spot, gave Newport a line-out just 5-metres from the Quins line. Mr Mayer, however, half a field away, confusingly ruled that the ball had rolled dead and awarded Quins a scrum back. The Newport front row beasted the scrum, but Quins got the ball away and kicked. Even more confusingly, Lloyd Lewis was deemed to have knocked on, despite not dropping the ball and the ball not touching the ground. Then, predictably, Quins were awarded a penalty at the scrum. Thankfully, Elliot Ferriman was on hand to nick the lineout and Newport could begin the trek upfield again.
Newport were beginning to show signs of improvement, with some brisk handling and an enthusiasm in contact. Garin Harris offered himself up several times to bash forward, as well as an encouraging surge by captain Ben Roach, but a pass to Ioan Davies was unsympathetic and the move stalled.
It wasn’t all Newport, however, as they were found offside again on 53 minutes. Jac Wilson again lined up a kick at the posts and put the Quins ahead 19-17.
Dafydd Buckland replaced Che Hope on 54 minutes and made an impact almost immediately as he drew a high tackle as he sniped forward, ball in hand. Carwyn Penny put Newport’s noses in front again, making it Quins 19 Newport 20 on 57 minutes.
The sun began casting long shadows as Harry Fry and Tyler Olding came on for Henry Palmer and Tom Workman on 59 minutes and soon gave the scrum fresh energy as a powerful drive gained Newport a penalty. Penny booted the ball up to the Quins 22 and Ben Roach took the ball at the middle of the lineout. A surging drive edged Newport nearer, creeping toward the Quins line. As the maul collapsed, Mr, Mayer had little hesitation brandishing a yellow card at Quins replacement hooker Sion Jones. From the resulting lineout, a strong drive blasted towards the line and Tyler Olding, following the official line from the Hooker’s handbook, latched onto the tail of the maul and was the man in possession as the maul lumped over the line. Carwyn Penny added the two-pointer to make it Quins 19 Newport 27 on 63 minutes.
Despite being a player short, Quins upped their efforts. Newport worked hard in defence, but Quins were attacking directly and the extravagantly named Teddy Leatherbarrow, the home openside, wriggled through a gap at the side of a ruck and sprinted in to score a try. Jac Wilson improved the score to make it Quins 26 Newport 27.
Elliot Ferriman and Carwyn Penny were replaced by Nick Thomas and Jac Lloyd for the final push.
Jac Lloyd set about ordering the Newport attack into position and camped on the Quins line. Barney Langton-Cryer was still putting a shift in, Rhys Jenkins carried on the hard work before Dafydd Buckland spotted a half gap, brushing the post pads as he lunged forward. The ball bobbled loose, but Mr. Mayer awarded Newport an attacking scrum 5. The scrum held firmly, Ben Roach broke left and popped the ball out. Ioan Davies was virtually hauled towards the line before the Deck Master, Kyle Tayler, was available to pick up and cross for the bonus point-earning try. Jac Lloyd added the conversion to take the game away from Quins. The scoreboard now was Quins 26 Newport 34.
Quins helped Newport secure the win when Jonny Morris was seat-belt tackled, Jac Lloyd kicking the penalty to touch. Newport kept the ball well until Dafydd Buckland belted the ball into touch to secure a valuable five-point away Indigo Premier League win.
Newport now have a run of two home Indigo Group Premier League games. Starting next Saturday, October 28th, when the Ironmen of Merthyr RFC visit us at the Newport Stadium. Kick-off is at 2.30pm. Following that, the Black and Ambers are home to Pontypridd RFC, but this time it’s on Thursday November 1st, kicking off at 7.15pm. It’s time to come and support the boys!
Come on, Newport!
Onwards and upwards Newport.
Your City. Your Colours. Your Club
Final Score – Carmarthen Quins RFC 26 Newport RFC 34
Newport RFC Player of the Match – Barney Langton-Cryer