24 January 2019 / Club News

Rugby report for January

This report is composite of four games namely Tonna Home, Fall Bay Home, Cwmgrawch away and Pantyffynon home. The three home games we won and though we lost the away game we did secure a losing bonus point. 


The weather for all games was pretty nondescript  being in main overcast, with little wind or rain to talk about.  


The points we have secured have moved us up the table to sixth and we still have a couple of games in hand over those we are challenging. 



It was good to beat Tonna and unlike recent encounters we got off to flying start dominating all phases of the game and accumulated a healthy lead at half time 17-3. Both teams brought on substitutes 5 minutes into the second half and it was a case of all change. Suddenly it was Tonna who took command of the game being much more aggressive and purposeful in the forwards and using the ball well in the backs. Our discipline fell apart as did our game management and it was back to watching the rugby of last season whereby possession was kicked away fruitlessly, yellow cards weakened our abilities and shouting at each other returned. Tonna caught up and with only minutes to go went ahead. A number of players were injured and thankfully Richard Greig returned to the field to take control of our proceeding and worked the ball up the field to get in a scoring position with loads of pick and goes for Josh Willis to score to regain the lead and ultimately win the game. The man of the match without a doubt was Norm his determination to win and prevent Tonna from scoring was remarkable. I saw him on one occasion tackle three guys in a row as the ball was passed from one to another. 


Praise and thanks needs to be extended to Ferryside for turning up, for they are currently struggling to field a side and their abilities on the pitch reflected that. They were well beaten 68-0 with the second half ending some twenty minutes early. That said it was good to watch the backs running with the ball ,drawing players and passing appropriately Tries were scored by Mike Hodges (4) Norm (2) Calum, Dan,Nathan,Aaron, and Tristan (1).  Norm’s show and go try was particularly pleasing to watch as was mike kick and chase the length of the field.  


After beating Tonna and then Fall Bay our aspirations were on a high given that the next game was to be Cwmgrawch who were near the bottom of the table. However we were soon to hear that they had given Tonna a close game coming to within a few points of them when Tonna had been ahead by some 30 points or so. Also we went away with a weakened side as a two or three  of our key players were unable to play in this game through sickness or injury. That said we started well when Cwmgrawch failed to gather and the referee awarded us a scrum 22 metres out in the centre of the field we pressed well from here but after a number of power plays Cwmgrawch obtained procession and relieved the pressure with a long distance line kick. After a few phases of nondescript rugby Cwmgrawch worked themselves into a try scoring position with a line out perhaps 10 metres out, which they won and drove over for a near the corner flag try which went unconverted. 5-0 


10 minutes into the game we used a penalty given for dissent to gain ground and were good to quickly regain possession and a good up the middle run by Richard and pass saw further ground gained. Soon enough the scrum half released the ball along an expectant and well organised back line each of whom drew their opposite numbers before passing leaving Sam clear on the wing to run in for the corner an excellent team try. The Conversion taken by Calum from the touchline hit the post 5-5. The restart was really well gathered by Carwyn who choose to run straight back at them gaining some 25 metres or so. 


Cwmgrawch landed a penalty to go into half time 8-5 up. To summarise on the first half the teams fairly evenly matched albeit we had the better of it. However we were never going to be a threat when we gave away more than a dozen silly penalties. And to lose Mike Hanson to injury was a big blow. 


6 minutes into the second half in broken play round and about the half way line saw an excellent pass for Richard put our centres away who did their job well to free and allow Sam to run in his second try of the game into the right hand corner. Calum put over an excellent touchline conversion and we went into the lead for the first time 8 -12. Unfortunately in scoring his try Sam injured himself and had to be substituted.


13 minutes into the second half saw Cwmgrawch really play some good running rugby nearly scoring good try in the right hand corner (which was thwarted by an excellent last ditch tackle) to then move the ball back along the line letting the ball do the work to score in the left hand corner, which was well converted. 15-12.


Cwmgrawch had clearly decided to run everything wide and avoid mixing it. The strategy was working well for them for only 3 minutes later they ran the ball along the line and scored agin this time in the right hand corner, with yet again another excellent conversion  22- 12. 


A kick to compete restart saw a good period of power play by Ponty and a charge down by Norm saw the ball run over the deadfall line thereby prevent hime from scoring. Norm once again excelled in his commitment to tackling. 


With 4 minutes left on the clock Cwmgrawch run in another well played backs move into the left hand corner which went unconverted. 27-12.  You could see that this further try galvanised Ponty into an aggressive repost and after a few minutes of robust power play released Dan going over in the left hand corner which gained us a losing bonus point. 


So to onto last Saturday’s match home to Pantyffynon who nearly scored minutes from the kick off but for an amazing last ditch tackle by Calum in the corner. It was 10 minutes or so before Ponty weathered the storm and got into the oppositions half and 15 minutes before they went into the lead with a well taken Calum penalty. 30 minutes into the game Joe Mort made a clean break up the field gaining some 30 metres or so and enabled loads of forward pressure to be applied but were unable to score. Luckily for us Pantyffynon had a problem with the ref and couldn’t help themselves from conceding loads of penalties to us for dissent. Allowing us to go ahead 6-0.


The dissent continued gifting us the opportunity to pile on the pressure which in turn led to their N0 6 being yellow carded 7 minutes before half time and further allowing us to pile on the physical pressure through a number of scrummages and pick and goes only metres out from their try line. This in turn eventually led to Pontybeing awarded a penalty try, just before half time seeing us go 13- 3. 


From the start of the second half the Cherries applied loads of pressure through pick and goes and occasional release of the ball along the back line and we were rewarded by the Ref (Gareth Symmonds from Swansea)  with another penalty for them being continually off side. 16-3


Carwyn caught the restart and made loads of metres running down the middle of the field and from the broken play that followed we were awarded another penalty to take the score to 19 -3.  


Then Pantyffynon went into a dissent melt down gifting us loads of penalties which we used to either relief or apply pressure. As the third quarter drew to a close Pantyffynon  at last got a grip on their discipline and managed to apply some pressure of their own and suddenly became the much more dominant players and from a series of close quarter power plays close to our line eventually saw their No 11 go over for an unconverted try. 19-8.


Then the pendulum swung back to The Cherries who lots of frorward pressure to then move the ball along the line for Thomas Jefford to score a really nice try which was converted by Calum. 26-8 . Game over or so we thought. 


With 10 minutes to go The Cherries were visible shaken when Pantyffynon gained a line out 5 yards out from which they gained a penalty and took it quickly to score a converted try.  26-15


3 minutes later they were in the same line out same position and pick and goes from here saw them cross the line under the posts enabling a straight forward conversion 26-22. 


It was all Pantyffynon and it needed the experienced players to attempt to slow the pace of the game. Slowly but surely Pantyffynon were working here way up the touchline and one such touchback would have resulted in another line out in quite a good attacking position so it was  a great relief to hear the Ref’s whistle for full time rather than see this lineout taken. 


Carwyn was man of the match. 


So this report covers 4 games, 3 of which we won and also we gained a losing bonus point. Obviously we need to put these games to bed when we get into such a commanding position but it does make for some nerve racking watching right up until the end of the match for us the spectators.


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