On the morning of the match, Houdini, who was entertaining throughout, was like a child at Christmas, and having forgotten to switch his watch to UK time, awoke every player one hour before planned. Luckily, as no one was suffering from the excesses of the previous night (!), Houdini was soon forgiven (!!).
Inefficient time keeping also led to the team arriving at Cardiff Train Station far too early. This however was eased by the team’s swift journey on the Llantwit Express which more than made up for lost time. Following a brief walk from Llantwit Train Station – RCL arrived at the ground. A large expectant partisan crowd were gathering, as RCL got ready to take on a handpicked selection of Llantwit Old Boys – something of an unknown quantity. Though there would definitely be 15 of them.
RCL started the game well and could have taken the lead after an early penalty was conceded by the opposition in their own 22. However Squeaky Weasel’s attempt at goal was unsuccessful – this wouldn’t prove to be the last time he would fail to score in Wales.
There was very little to separate the two sides for the opening 20 minutes with both sides defending admirably with some great no. 8 work from Chutes and Ladders against a formidable Llantwit scrum. However, after around 25 minutes, despite some courageous tackling from RCL, Llantwit managed to break the deadlock thanks to some strong running from their no. 8 who rather confusingly was wearing no. 12.
Dragunooch promptly responded for RCL finishing off a period of sustained pressure from the tourists, but Llantwit then had something of a purple patch finding some space down the left flank and looked like they may start to cut loose. However, Angry Ape wasn’t having any of that, and after some chest banging and flinging of faeces, Flying Squirrel made a great pass to put Angry Ape over the whitewash. Was this the start of an RCL comeback?
Well it certainly inspired RCL’s no. 69, who was simply everywhere. The number of tackles made, rucks hit, balls stolen was incredible. Just how Squeaky Weasel got MOM ahead of him is a mystery. That said, the no. 69 did also concede a few penalties and miss a few tackles – but then again nobody is perfect. Incidentally, absentee Nick The Fin has put an early request to reserve the tour name “nobody” for next year – however a unanimous negative response is expected.
The rest of the game was played at a frantic pace with some great handling displayed by both teams. Elwyn on a number of occasions expertly relieving Llantwit pressure with some important touch finders, whilst there was also some excellent tight work on display by Mrs. Nelson, Silver Surfer, Firestarter and Dusty Spider. Something of a second half Swiss revival in the scrum was witnessed with great character shown by Lock n’ Load and his right hand man the Mercenary to turn the tide on Llantwit’s earlier domination.
Llantwit’s “spontaneity” proved the difference in the end, and RCL went down a highly commendable 12 -37. With the match over, the festivities began with gusto… [see “RCL Men’s Wales Tour – Entertainment Report”]