Quins 39 Neath 17
In this the 23rd Premiership meeting of the Clubs, the Quins made 11 changes from the Llanelli starting line up, with none of them due to injuries, all pointing to the strength of the present playing squad and their development in the Scarlet region. This win was the 5th over the past 6 matches.
The opening minutes were spent in the All Blacks 22 and this was to be the case for most of the game. The running game was set early on and both sides tried to entertain throughout, but due to the stranglehold of the Quins pack in both line out and set piece, the visitors had restricted useof attacking ideas. The Quins defence has been their real strength of late and this was further emphasised in this match.Their early onslaught waskept out by resolute Neath tackling and it was the boot of Steffan Marshall who broke the deadlock with a 10th minute penalty from 30 yards out.
All the Quins backs were given room to manoeuver so they were able to pin the visitors in their 22 for long periods. After 17 minutes control of a line out near the Neath line gave Javan Sebastian the chance to use his strength to power over in the corner, with the conversion sailing just wide.
Due to over eagerness more than anything, prevented this pressure from turning into points and Neath were able to scramble out of danger on many occasions. Patience was the order of the day and after 27 miutes their forward control gave Shaun Jones the chance to crash over in the same corner for the Quins second try only to see Steff Marshals conversion narrowly miss from the touch line. A desperate kick out of defence by Neath saw Dale Ford gather near the touch line in his own 22 and find a remarkable touch inches from the Neath line and yet again the they were able to scramble away from danger.From a line out Rhys Jones broke away and made 50 yards before being stopped near the Quins line and from this pressure it was Rhys Jones who was put away to score a well taken try, Geraint Llewellyn converted after 32 minutes. More pressure from the Quins kept play deep in the Neath half with Elis Lloyd, Shaun Evans and Lawrence Reynolds particularly prominent. Another Quins dangerous looking passing move saw Morgan Griffiths use his power to go up to the Neath line and slip an inside pass for Nick Reynolds to cross for the Quins 3rd try Steffan Marshall did the honours with the conversion with the last kick of the half, giving the Quins an interval lead of 20 points to 7.
An early Quins break looked ominous only to see Neath yet again scramble away from danger. Back came the Quins and play was again taken deep into the Visitors 22, only to be thwarted again by the Neath desperate defence and from this counter attack their centre Richard Smith was put awayto race over for his sides second try which went unconverted. Back came the Quins and play was again taken into the Neath 22 after a power break from a line out. A Neath yellow card was enough for the Quins to take advantage of, and this gave the powerful Morgan Griffiths a snip that he seldom misses to cross for the bonus point score, The conversion once again sailed inches wide. Neath were forced to play catch up rugby but they could make little headway against a well organised Quins defence. From a catch and drive ploy in their own half the pack made 30 yards into the Neath half and slick passing from both left and right saw Elis Lloyd on the end to cross in the Tesco corner , Marshall added the points. With the game deep into injury time the Neath catch up style paid off when Geraint James crossed for an unconverted try. From the restart, the home defence let the ball bounce and this was all that Dale Ford needed to pick up and go overunder the posts, Jack Wilson converted with the last kick of the game to take the Quins to the top of the Premier Division all be it for 2 hours.
The style that has been developed by the Quins is by far the most attractive seen at the Park for many a season and deserves more support from the Town. Next Saturday the visitors to the Park will be Aberavon with another early kick off at 1.30 p.m. due to the Wales v Australia game at 5.15p.m. The back of the match award went to the consistent Gavin Thomas and the forward award went to the hard working Shaun Jones