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15 October 2017 / Club News

*Blowing off the cobwebs*

After a two week break due to match cancelations the squad were looking forward to blowing the cobwebs out with a local journey to Tongwynlais RFC for a friendly fixture.

From the first whistle the realisation that there is no such thing as 'a friendly fixture' kicked in and both teams locked horns and engaged in a physical battle. 

It was evident the squad hadn’t played in weeks as the structure took time to settle in and although no points were conceded - the first 15-20 minutes were scrappy and rushed. 

However, composure creeped and with scrumhalf Matthew Davies managing the forward pods the momentum started to build which unleashed the backline. Outside half Andrew Deneen linked up with the strong centre partnership of returning Lee butcher and Tom Haddock and with ball in hand the attacking threat constantly pressured the home team. 

With the home teams, negative discipline resulting in two yellow cards the pack carried hard into contact attempting to suck in defenders in. This meant the full width of the pitch was used and Lee butcher constantly looked to spread the ball from the 12 channel through to the wingers; Dean Gregg and Rhys Purnell who linked with the ever-present fullback Jamie Guttridge and the gain line was constantly passed.

With momentum building it was time to add to the score board and with quick thinking both Matthew Davies and Joel Parry took quick penalties from just outside the 5-metre line to snip over for individual tries. Moments later and with the forwards sucking in defender’s scrumhalf Matthew Davies threw a long pass behind the forwards to outside half Andrew Deneen who managed to break the gain line and dive over the whitewash to add to the try tally. Captain Nathan Meyrick, stepping from hooker position to backrow then centre, also had a little run with ball in hand and was rewarded with 5 points for his efforts.

Looking to get his own try – centre lee butcher took a flat pass from the base of a scrum and attempted to crash through two defenders only to be held up over the line. The resulting scrum saw a well communicated move straight from the training paddock being executed with Andrew Deneen completing a simple loop around move with lee butcher in the 12 channel to open a gap and feed centre Tom Haddock who crashed over the line under the posts.

Rolling subs and injuries resulted in several structural changes in the game but the squad always dug deep and always looked confident with ball in hand – maybe too confident at times with some of the players attempting to be the new ‘Sonny Bill Williams with some unnecessary offloads. Few tries could have and should have been converted; Andrew Deneen and Lee Butcher both held up over the line, Roy Davies crossed the line twice only to have a knock on and forward pass respectfully. Points that, if it was a league game, cannot be missed.

Although the game ended with Pontllanfraith RFC 7-38 victors there were more negatives than positives and the boys know if they want to regain the league’s top spot they will need to step up a gear in training this week in readiness for the league fixture against Old Tyleryans RFC next Saturday.

 

Tries came from;

  • Matthew Davies
  • Tom Haddock x 2
  • Nathan Meyrick
  • Joel Parry
  • Andrew Deneen (3 conversions)

 

Big shout out must go to Gethin James for stepping up and having game time for Tongwynlais RFC when they were down to 14 men - good spirit!

Man of the Match – Luke Eatwell – the young backrow played very well; carried hard and was a force in defence

Dick of the day – Andrew Deneen – Although he argues for technicalities purposes (Wasn’t his man) – he missed a tackle at the end of the game resulting in the only conceding try

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