“Better late than never” on two accounts, firstly this report of Saturdays game, and secondly the game result which was in doubt with 10 minutes to go. With the customary player pull outs with various colourful excuses or worse still a total lack of comms the Quins were lucky to call on a trio of Green Stars players, James Davies, Conner Condon and Foard Cooksley and also the return of Bristol Academy player David Morley to man the bench and all played their part in the bonus point victory.
The game was played on a narrow, quagmire (an actual word and not just the sex crazed character from Family Guy) of a pitch and was refereed by a pedantic, unsympathetic, officious and frankly extremely poor official. In fairness the Quins had a “Nigel Owenesque” outside half that continually advised, cajoled and cursed the referee, Alex Condon, who showed some lovely touches with deft hands and a siege gun of kicks showed he’s improving on his return to the game, the down side was his constant commentating on the game and the officials performance. He was like a demented Stuart Barnes on acid and provided a constant chirping in the ear of an inadequate referee. It was ironic that the referee’s finest ten minutes was when Alex was yellow carded (lucky it wasn’t upgraded to a red when Alex questioned the integrity and parentage of the card wielding official).
The strange decisions made by the ref was a constant pain and the game struggled to flow with a plethora of penalties for minor technical offences astounding both the players and the sparse crowd assembled on the wind swept extremely cold touchline. The game with its stop start nature was not a classic but there was some nice passages of play with Alex putting centre Dylan McLauchlin over early doors. Gareth Pugh put in his usual shift with powerful runs and strong tackles, he was ably assisted by Dylan who was a frustrated emergency centre. Ben Evans was a nuisance to the Celtic defence with good kick, chase and tackling to gain the Quins good field position, Jake Price was also strong in defence and showed some nice touches in attack. One blindside effort combining with scrum half Mathew Morgan almost resulted in a classic kick chase try.
Mathew Morgan had a tidy game at scrum half in difficult conditions with some erratic delivery from lineouts and the often disregard for the offside laws at the breakdown. He left the field late in second half with a slight groin strain, this was due to his Robbie Savage style hack down, from behind, of a rampaging 20 stone second row who had chipped ahead and was subsequently beating Mathew to the ball. He took a yellow card and spent about 20 minutes in the bin, thanks to the total incompetence of the ref.
The Quins scrum was solid throughout against a heavier and older outfit, the only downside was that Josh Pugh was penalised for binding on numerous occasions, bent arm, to low, to high, not binding, on one occasion I think he was penalised for not having his socks pulled up and his shirt hanging out. This trend continued when the veteran Andrew Dacey entered the fray and was immediately penalised for having a beer belly and smelling of garlic.
In fairness the Quins struggled with a feisty home team, Tom Morley and Jordan Hunt were solid in the scrums alongside the “Penalised Pughy” and with the combined weight of the red faced Dai Lloyd and captain Karl “all inclusive” Davies, they were comfortable when not penalised. Sam Richards had a strong carrying game and along with Marcus Francis ruled the lineout battle. Marcus also threw in on occasions so had an all round good game, Josh Watson, another of the returnees to the game was a constant thorn in the home team’s side. Corey Bradley replaced Josh in the second half and was instrumental in the Quins late surge to victory scoring one of the five tries. The bench played their part in finishing the contest off in style, Mav Davies added his experience to the Quins front row and occasionally threw the ball in straight. Cooksley had some lovely touches and showed his versatility by playing three positions in 40 minutes, showed a tremendous lack of courage when confronted with being tackled near a freezing puddle, but his fondness of his own testicles ensured that he got turned over instead of being dumped into the murky freezing water. To his credit he chased back and played his part in defusing the Celtic attack.
Conner Condon, who unlike his brother, was a respectful and courteous addition to the fray and added an extra dimension to the attack with some strong balanced running and fine defence. David Morley, the Bristol Academy player, must have enjoyed his experience of playing on the quality surface and professionalism of the official that he will unlikely find during his days at Bristol. He made a couple of half breaks and showed deft, subtle hands to put runners into space, Kristian Roberts was a keen counter attacker, and put in some astonishing kicks against the strong wind, but was disappointed that he couldn’t get a word in edgeways to abuse the ref as Alex had total domination of the abuse/advice.
The bench was finally cleared when Jamie Gibbs, almost twice the man he was after his all inclusive holiday with captain Karl and team manager Jamie Morgan, was convinced to strip off his tracksuit and enter the fray, he was brought back to reality with a big hit that welcomed him home to Wales. Despite this his footballing ability was to the fore to ensure the Quins’ win.
The inability of the referee was to benefit of the Quins with the last two tries very dubious, one lineout throw was so far off straight that Foard at scrum half had more chance of winning it than any of the home team forwards, Quins played on and the try was scored, the last try was a classic counter attack from their own half but the final pass was at least 1 metre forward.
Perhaps the referee was emotionally broken or spun out with the constant blipping of the indefatigable Alex, even walking off the field and during the after match meal he was still cajoling him. In fairness overall a good effort and we need to keep momentum going with a visit to near neighbours Pyle next time out.
Try scorers and goal kickers will follow when Tony Morris carries out his promise and text me the details???
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