Merthyr 21 Quins 33
The Quins made just three changes from last week’s match and they served up a brand of rugby fit for the playing conditions - warm and exciting.
The match lived up to its billing as first and second in the Premiership. All the early pressure came from the home outfit, and after being encamped near the Quins line, the home side were awarded several penalties for set piece offences. Such was their confidence they opted for scrums rather than a pot at goal. This led to the inevitable penalty try after 11 minutes.
The Quins bounced back from the restart and play was taken into the home 22. Aled Thomas missed a chance to pull three points back when his penalty attempt hit the upright but play was kept in the home 22 keeping the Ironmen’s defence at full stretch. This pressure led to a Quins line out five yards out and from a Haydn Pugh clean catch his pack powered over the line for Elis Lloyd to claim the score. Aled Thomas made no mistake with the conversion to level matters.
Three minutes later, the home went ahead when scrum half James darted over for Jarvis to add the points.
With the Quins line out in control, play was kept in the home half and after a move that went through several pairs of hands. Shaun Evans was put clear to cross wide out. Aled Thomas put the conversion over from the touch line to level the scores.
Javan Sebastian and Steff Thomas were now fully wound up and the Quins set piece was getting the upper hand and this together with Lee Taylor and Haydn Pugh's line control. The sides changed ends all square.
Two minutes into the second half, a lapse in concentration by the Quins gave wing Kyle Evans the chance to round the cover and score Merthyr's third try.
With the Quins defence in good form the home side were forced to kick in order to gain ground, so this gave the Quins opportunities to counter attack and from yet another line out clean catch by Lee Taylor, the power of the Quins drive led to Rhodri Clancy finding a way over for the Quins’ third try. The conversion sailed wide but the visitors were back to within two points.
More pressure from the Quins kept play in the home half, only to see the home side getting away with law transgressions and frustrate the Quins attacks. But their patient approach finally paid off when a passing bout from a line out saw Morgan Griffiths on his shoulder to power over for the bonus point try. Aled Thomas took the Quins total to 26 with the conversion.
The game then went through a kick duel and little attacking play was seen. But the patience of the Quins again came into play and more pressure up the left and slick passing gave Morgan Griffiths the space to race over for the Quins fifth try Aled Thomas added the conversion. With catch Rugby their only alternative, the Quins came into their own and their tight defence came through to take five points and deny the home side anything.
The final whistle signalled a fine deserved victory for the Quins and this was the first match this season that the Ironmen failed to register a League point. Having beaten both the Welsh Cup finalists in recent weeks, the squad can look forward to both Pontypridd and Llandovery visits over the next two weeks.
The season’s final match against Neath will surely attract a good crowd now the team is playing this kind of rugby. It would difficult to single out any individual performance as the whole squad played a part.