Waunarlwydd 38 – Aberystwyth 24
After a transformative performance in their victory over Crymych the previous week, Aber reverted to their old habits in this defeat against Waunarlwydd on Saturday. Against Crymych they played fast, unselfish rugby making the ball do the work and scored tries as a result, but all too often on Saturday they seemed to believe that crash-ball tactics up front would win them the game against a superior pack. When the backs had the ball and used it wisely they were a big threat and they scored all Aber’s tries. But again, selfishness and failure to play ‘heads up’ rugby saw opportunities go begging.
The visitors opened the scoring almost from the kick-off. Lee Evans won a ruck ball, Ifan Thomas put in a high kick, the home side failed to field the ball and Steffan Rees gathered the fumble to go over near the posts. Steffan Rees added the conversion and Aber were 0 – 7 up. Wauarlwydd were quick to reply with two penalties from their No 9, Evans to bring the score to 6 – 7.
The home side’s game was expertly managed throughout by their Numbers 8, 9 and 10. They controlled their side’s play very efficiently and denied Aber opportunities to make ground. This, together with their superior scrummaging gave them the advantage in the first half. But Aber were a threat whenever the ball was fed out to their three-quarters and they should have scored from a counter attack; but the ball carrier chose to ignore a two-man overlap to try to go on his own and was brought down.
The two sides shared possession and territory fairly evenly and it was anyone’s game for the first quarter. Aber added a Rees penalty after a ruck infringement to move to 6 – 10 ahead. The home side replied with a series of attacks immediately after this which resulted in centre Fox breaking through some weak Aber tackling to cross for a try. The conversion failed but the pressure continued and centre Davies soon broke through some more half-hearted tackling to go over. Evans added the conversion. Waunarlwydd were 18 – 10 ahead and in control.
The home side’s domination was further emphasised after some expert tactical kicking by their No 10 Hammet took play back down to within Aber’s 22 metre area. The home side won a scrum after the visitors knocked on and centre Davies had broken through for a try before the packs had disengaged. Evans added an easy conversion and Waunarlwydd were 25 – 10 ahead at half time.
The early part of the second half was more evenly contested but Aber persisted in playing into the home side’s hands keeping the game close to the forwards. Good kicking from hand by No 10 Steffan Rees gave Aber good attacking positions and when he found touch 5 metres out from a penalty the visitors went into a fifteen minute purple patch scoring two tries. The first came from Cowdy on the wing which Rees converted to bring the score to 28 – 17. Cowdy followed this up with an excellent break up-field and passed to the ever-present Paul Stubbs. He was tackled and the ball was fed to Hughes from the resulting ruck. The full-back made ground before releasing Llyr Thomas who still had a lot to do before going over for an excellently worked try. Rees converted and Aber were back in business at 28 – 24.
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