CARMARTHEN QUINS 41 NEATH 14
Neath’s tenth defeat of an already wretched season, exacerbated by off-field troubles, was not unexpected as they went down 5 tries to 2 to a well-drilled Carmarthen Quins side who did all that was necessary for a bonus point win.
The Gnoll club’s problems are coming home to roost and, with individual errors abounding and detracting from the whole-hearted efforts of others, it did not appear that all the Blacks wanted to play while on-song Quins looked keen and focussed.
The Blacks were pegged in their own half from the start and Quins’ stronger set-piece saw to it that they were rewarded as they efficiently built up a 20-nil lead by half-time, two tries by scrum half Gareth Rees, enjoying an armchair ride behind his pack, were converted by ex-Scarlets full back Aled Thomas who also kicked two penalties.
After the interval, despite some brave defence, two penalty tries (the second resulting in a yellow card for replacement lock Rhys Jones) and a hat-trick clinching effort by Rees converted by Thomas saw the score mount alarmingly.
Fortunately, the Blacks suddenly found it in them to attack strongly in the last quarter and registered tries by replacement hooker Garin Lloyd who peeled off a maul and by winger Mike Evans who made the most of a poor pass.
Evans and winger Ian Ellis looked dangerous as did replacement full back Aaron Bramwell while Keiran Williams was as effective as ever on his season’s bow. Up front, Sion Crocker, Jordan Collier and Lee Evans, helping out his old club on permit from Aberdare, were conspicuous.
Chris Morgans, an unlikely goal-kicker, converted both and injected some late direction but Quins were much the better side. Their determination and desire was not matched by the visitors and the Neath loyalists who comprised the majority in a meagre crowd are desperately worried – something must be done !
Apart from a couple of injuries, Neath have close to a full squad for the visit to CARMARTHEN QUINS on Friday evening (kick off 7.15pm).
Two familiar faces return to the Neath line-up with promising centre Keiran Williams making a welcome first appearance of the season and former back rower Lee Evans returning to assist his old club on permit from Aberdare after spells with Merthyr and Cross Keys.
The team is :-
Neath v Carmarthen Quins (Away)
15 Ed Howley; 14 Ian Ellis, 13 Regan King, 12 Keiran Williams, 11 Mike Evans; 10 Gavin Evans, 9 Scott Gibson; 1 Ben Uphill, 2 Sion Crocker, 3 Liam Tobias; 4 Ryan Bean, 5 Scott Andrews; 6 Jordan Collier (captain), 8 Leon Ward, 7 Lee Evans
Replacements : 16 Luke Garrett, 17 Garin Lloyd, 18 Ryan Thomas, 19 Rhys Jones, 20 Ieuan Jones, 21 Lloyd Evans, 22 Chris Morgans, 23 Aaron Bramwell