The midweek “Great Escape” by a wallaby in Neath hit the headlines.
Steve McQueen it was not but the Missing Marsupial’s night of flight captured on CCTV was greeted with some amusement not least by the residents of Woodlands Park Drive, Cadoxton.
But Wallabies escaping in Neath is nothing new as rugby followers in the Ancient Borough will testify.
Take, for example, 1992 when the World Champions of Australia came to The Gnoll and were given a mighty hard time by a Neath side which had not been in the best of form beforehand.
The Blacks matched the Wallabies for tries, centre Jason Little’s effort being cancelled out by Neath try-scorer prop Brian Williams who was badly trampled and required six stitches in a gashed head.
Paul Thorburn kicked a penalty but full back Tim Kelaher’s conversion and three penalties saw the visitors home – just – at 16-8.
Deftly deflecting criticism of his team, Wallaby coach Bob Dwyer was critical of Neath’s “high level of intimidation” but Neath captain Gareth Llewellyn who was actually on the field said, “We fought fire with fire. The Australians were whingeing about everything.”
A hard-fought game was probably not helped by a French referee who could not speak English. And Post-match, Dwyer seemed rather confused by Neath’s tackling techniques.
Shenanigans in the tackle-area – not us !
… But the Wallabies escaped.
NEATH – Paul Thorburn; Steve Bowling, Lloyd Isaac, Jeff Bird, James Reynolds; Matthew McCarthy, Rhodri Jones; Brian Williams, Kevin Phillips, John Davies; Glyn Llewellyn, Gareth Llewellyn (captain); Andrew Kembery, Steve Williams, Martyn Morris