The phrase 'catch up Rugby' rarely works out, but it certainly was the case at the Talbot Ground on Saturday. Any Magic associated with the 'Wizards' was evident in this Premier League match. A game of two halves was never more true. Playing conditions were near perfect and the good crowd expected exciting rugby. This came from the Quins in the opening half and from the home side after the interval. Amazing is the only word to describe it.
Early Quins pressure gave Darren Daniel the chance to take play up on the home line, Ellis Lloyd broke from the resulting maul and he was stopped inches short. The Quins secured the ball and moved it right for Ian Jones to power over for the games first score Chris Banfield added the points.
The home side were unable to match the Quins eight, and after ten minutes Chris Banfield took the visitors score into double figures with a penalty. The Wizards were denied any clean ball and could not establish any kind of foothold in the Quins half. The line-out control of Richard Kelly and Gavin Evans and the powerful charges of Ian Jones and Rob Evans gave very away this created many chances for the Quins to add to their advantage. Connor Lloyd made a scintillating break and gain 30 metres only to see James Dixon loose the ball when over the line, Luke Joseph was clear with the unmarked Richard Wilks out side him but was tackled in attempting to dummy his way forward, and another chance went begging.
This pressure and power play was bound to produce something and just before the interval and when clean ball was won but the Quins pack Lloyd brought his backs into play and a clever reverse pass gave Dylan Morgan the chance to burst through to cross near the posts Banfield converted. The first half ended with the Quins on the attack and the amazing statistic that saw the Aberavon side manage just under five minutes in the Quins half.
The Quins supporters were counting on a bonus point victory. The interval team talk certainly had the desired effect and the whole game changed. From the restart the Quins took play up into the Wizards 22 and when they gained possession they started to run. Their wing Steff Andrews rounded the Quins backs and he gathered his kick ahead to score in the corner Jamie Davies converted's to start the revival. Scrappy play by the Quins gave away a penalty for Davies to put over. The Quins were strangely lethargic in all phases and mid way through the half hooker Ieuan Davies was powered over for Davies to bring the scores level. The Quins wear unable to pick themselves up an two late penalties sealed their fate.
From being the more classy side in the first half to the exact opposite in the second leaves the coaching team a lot to do before they host Llanelli at the Park next Friday.
We all hope that this is just a bleep in their display and look forward to next Friday.
Reported by Alan Bowen