Felinfoel RFC | 1st Team 35 - 41 Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
25 September 2016 / Team News

Away win at Felinfoel

Felinfoel 35 – 41 Aberystwyth,

Aber snatched this bonus point victory from the jaws of defeat through a superb, last-minute match winning try by right wing Adam Carvell in a highly competitive and entertaining match.

Ground conditions were perfect, the rain stayed away and only a variable, cross-field wind gave kickers any problems. The visitors started the game with determination scoring two converted tries to one penalty in the opening fifteen minutes. The first was scored by Dan Binks who supported a good break by Mathew Hughes from broken play to score under the posts. Hughes converted and then scored an excellent solo try after Aber had put pressure on the Felinfoel pack following up their kick off. Thomas converted and Aber were 3-14 up and looking very comfortable. But pressure from the home side saw them win a lineout five metres out and a drive took them over the Aber line for their first try. The visitors then took play down to the Felinfoel half where Steff Rees scored a try under the posts after some very good work by the forwards. Thomas converted to take the score to 8-21.

The home side stormed back through their mobile forwards and well-drilled backs and it took a fine, try-saving tackle from captain Lee Evans to keep them out. However, a quickly taken penalty saw the ball moved out for the right wing to score an unconverted try. Aber  were now playing with confidence and discipline and took the game deep into opposition territory once more. The pressure finally told when, after good inter-passing between Hughes and Evans, the latter scored under the posts. Aber were now 13-28 ahead and had secured their four-try bonus point. From the kick-off Felinfoel attacked strongly and it took a good tackle from Carvell to prevent them from scoring. But pressure eventually told and their right wing was able to cross for an unconverted try to bring the half time score to 18-28.  

Aber seemed to lose concentration, discipline and cohesion at the start of the second half as passes went astray or were intercepted, tackles were missed and their whole game became disjointed. At least two scoring passes failed to find their target. Felinfoel quickly capitalised on these weaknesses. They have been in Div 1 for the past five years and finished in third place last year. They are therefore far more streetwise and canny than their opposition and exploited  Aber’s naivety to the full. It was no surprise that they scored their fourth try to take the score to 23-28. Then more over-complication and sloppy defending by Aber saw the home side draw level with another try wide out before Thomas slotted two penalties, one a superb effort from a difficult angle across a strong wind to restore the visitors’ lead.

The visitors then lost two of their best forwards, Parry and Plumbridge, with injuries. Felinfoel took full advantage of this disruption to take play up to the Aber line where they scored a converted try from broken play to give them a one point lead with only minutes remaining. From the kick off the home side launched an attack. When this broke down, Aber stole the ball and fed Carvell who set off on a splendid 40-metre run to score under the posts.

Aber’s players and coaches should be satisfied with this victory but will also be concerned about the way the team faded at intervals during the game. Too often they lacked cohesion, composure and control; play was sometimes disjointed and their lack of direction and concentration cost them at least two tries. As in their game against Gorseinon two weeks earlier, Aber scored two tries in the first fifteen minutes only to fade after that. Trying to run out of defence instead of safely kicking their way out creates unnecessary pressure. Hughes has a prodigious boot and can put Aber into the opposition half where they play their best rugby.

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