Quins 41 Neath 14
Torrential rain in the hours prior to the game would have caused a cancellation at most grounds, but such is the improved drainage at the Park, the conditions underfoot were amazing, and the handling by both sides was quite brilliant. Minutes before the kick off the rain stopped and gave both sets of supporters hope of an open game, which turned out to be the case.
From the first set piece, the Quins eight signalled their intentions and pushed the Neath pack back a full ten meters and gained a 4th minute penalty. Up stepped Aled Thomas and took his points tally for the Quins past the 600 mark. A Neath passing bout took play into the Quins 22 but as always their tackling was first class and the danger was averted. Neither side wanted to keep the ball tight and as attacks were stopped, counter attacks developed to the delight of both sets of supporters.
The Quins scrums and line outs were soon on top, keeping most of the early play in the Neath half, giving scrum half Gareth Rees ample opportunity to shine and after 16 minutes he was able to snipe over for the opening try for Aled Thomas to convert. A series of Quins power drives and good tactical kicking kept the Neath side deep in their own half and after 24 minutes, Aled Thomas slotted over his second penalty.
From the possession the Quins were winning, they were always dangerous and when Aled Thomas joined the line, he made a fine break taking play up to the visitors line. From the resulting set piece, a powerful drive gave Gareth Rees the chance to pick up and weave his way over for his second try. Aled Thomas took the Quins total up to 20 with the kick.
More of the same gave Neath very little chance to create any thing and the sides changed ends with the Quins promising to run riot. An early second period Quins attack saw the Neath defence fail to gather and play was driven into the Vicarge corner, and when two scrums went the Quins way, their power play gave the referee no alternative other than to award a penalty try and seven points.
The Neath side found it difficult to cope with the Quins power drives and when play was taken up to the Neath line the Quins power play was rewarded with their second penalty try and with it the match bonus point.
From a Neath break down, inside the Quins half, several players handled with neat interpassing the ball ended up in Gareth Rees hands and he was able to make 30 meters to go over under the post for his hattrick. Aled Thomas added the conversion.
To Neaths credit they did not collapse and after a series of dangerous passing moves, Garin Lloyd was able race over in the corner. Ed Howley added the points from the touch line. The Neath support were able to encourage their favourites to new heights and Mike Evans was able to cross for their second try which Ed Howley converted. With all their substitutes on, the game ended with a victory for the Quins which moves them up to 4th spot in the Premiership.
Such is the form of the team at the moment several players were quite outstanding and it would be difficult to pick the Man of the Match.
Next Friday night the team travel to St Helens to take on Swansea – Kick Off 7:15pm
If you are missing rugby on Saturday afternoon why not join us in the Club for Wales v Australia – Kick Off 5:20pm – Happy Hour prices and Snacks available