By Ian Golden at Virginia Park

South Wales Scorpions celebrated their best crowd of the season so far with their best performance so far as they overcame Oldham 40-20 “on the road” on Caerphilly.

Roughyeds had their chances but credit must go to the South Wales defence who stood firm for most of the attacks save for the last five minutes when they had finally tired.

That back-line was tested early on when a fifth minute chance for Oldham with a move involving Neil Roden and Ben Heaton saw Michael Foggerty pushed out into touch by Jamie Murphy.

Scorpions attacked and Steve Parry forced his way over typically from short range to give them the lead on seven minutes. Jamie Murphy goaled.

Oldham had hope and levelled following a good set of six which saw John Clough crash over with Carl Forber converting.

But it wasn’t level for long. Casey Bromilow was flattened after kicking a grubber giving Scorpions a penalty. The home side didn’t waste the opportunity and Neil Dallimore stormed through with his first touch of the ball after coming on as substitute. Murphy converted.

Oldham fought back again. Forber set up Michael Foggerty to dive over following another penalty, although Forber missed the kick and Scorpions were still 12-10 up.

They almost took the lead but Lee Williams stopped Michael Foggerty in his tracks with a try-saving tackle.

But it was the home side who went in to half-time with the advantage after Jamie Murphy sprinted half the length of field on 35 minutes to score under the posts converting his own try.

They weren’t finished yet before the interval. Casey Bromilow broke through the Oldham backline for a fine individual score to make it 22-10.

The home crowd thought that Andrew Gay had gone over for the first try of the second half but he lost the ball when under pressure as he was going for the line.

And as Roughyeds were attacking, South Wales turned a try out of nothing. Oldham had been putting on the pressure but it was diffused by Dalton Grant who caught a high Forber bomb. He made the initial 30 metres and from the next play, Curtis Cunningham did what he does best and sprinted 50 metres to score just left of the posts. Casey Bromilow’s kick made the score 28-10.

Scorpions were unfortunate not to increase their lead further. A Dalton Grant try was disallowed following Christiaan Roets’ forward pass after Harri Greville’s 50 metre run.

At the other end, John Clough was close to getting his second try of the afternoon but good defence kept him from the line and the hand-over was forced, while Roughyeds were unfortunate not to regain the ball from a 40-20 with Forber’s effort going out on around the 21 metre mark.

Bromilow was denied a second try following a knock-on, which was disappointing for the Australian who only found out after sprinting 70 metres to the line.

But the Scorpions weren’t to be denied. Following a penalty, Andrew Gay weaved his way through a tiring Roughyeds backline to score under the posts. Bromilow converted.

They weren’t finished yet. Loz Wildbore dived over from close range with Bromilow converting.

With the game won, the Scorpions tired, Oldham came back with two tries but it wasn’t enough to earn them a bonus point.

First they found a gap from a scrum when Ben Wood set up Shaun Robinson. Forber missed the kick.

Then Heaton went in under the sticks for another consolation try in the dying seconds which Forber converted.

Scorpions’ coaching advisor John Devereux is pleased with the improvement that the Welsh side has made.

“We were a lot more orgainsed and lot sharper,” he said. “It was a tough first half and we turned it on in the second half and played some nice rugby.

“It was nice to see some good individual and team performances. We were far more organised in attack and sharper in defence too. We took our chances too so all in all it was a deserved win. We certainly entertained the crowd, it was a good game to watch.”

“We only played in patches,” said Oldham coach Tony Benson. “We were outplayed and out-enthused for large parts of the game and played the price. We didn’t work hard enough and because of that, nothing went our way.

“We should have broken their defence down but we didn’t and that was our problem. You can’t win a game by not having the ball and we didn’t have enough of it, especially in the first half. We didn’t give the Scorpions enough defending to do so we didn’t tire them down at all.”


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