Crymych RFC | 1st Team 3 - 15 Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team
Ifan Rees Phillips
Penalty 1

Match Report
10 September 2017 / Team News

Brave Away Win at Crymych

Crymych 3 –v- 15 Aberystwyth


After a disappointing defeat the previous week Aberystwyth bounced back to win their second Division 1 West match against tough Pembrokeshire rivals Crymych, in style. Injuries and non-availabilities forced the visitors to make several changes, but despite this they showed cohesion and good teamwork to win comfortably in the end. Ground conditions were reasonably good despite the heavy showers that fell before, and during the game. Handling was difficult but Aber coped with the slippery ball far better than their opponents did.

The game was very closely contested throughout with territory and possession evenly shared. Both sides showed full commitment, but Aber’s superior flair and skill levels made the difference eventually and they ran out deserved winners.

Crymych kicked off down a slight slope and forced a few scrums deep in the visitors’ half, but good clearance kicks from the base of the scrum by No 9 Ifan Thomas, his brother Llyr at outside half and Matthew Jacobs at full-back kept the home side at bay.  Aber then made progress upfield through Sion Cowdy and Jacobs. The ball was fed out to centre Tom Evans and although he was stopped he managed to offload superbly to Llyr Thomas who stormed up on the outside to score wide out.  He converted his own try to give Aber a 0 – 7 lead within 10 minutes.

The visitors’ second try was the result of a series of patient but powerful drives and rucks by the forwards and neat chip kicks by the half-backs to gain hard yards deep into opposition territory. It was from a ruck 20 metres out that Llyr Thomas threw out a long pass to Matthew Jacobs. He made progress before feeding Robbie Parry who powered over. The conversion failed but Aber were now two scores ahead at 0 – 12.

Any complacency that the visitors may have had at that point was soon dashed by some very determined attacking by the home side in response. They finished the half much the stronger and were camped in Aber’s 22 metre area for long periods. As ever, it was the visitors’ impenetrable defence that foiled Crymych’s attacks. The covering and tackling was excellent from the whole Aber XV and the home side were eventually forced to kick away possession in order to gain ground. These kicks were very ably dealt with by full-back Matthew Jacobs and by wingers Sion Cowdy and Gwern Penri.

The second half was for the purists only. Ifan Phillips kicked a penalty for Crymych and Llyr Thomas responded for the visitors to close the scoring at 3 – 15; but the game was fiercely contested right to the end. Aber could have made better use of their second half possession and the slope to peg Crymych back and keep play deep in their half, but as the visitors’ line was rarely threatened this was not critical.

The result may suggest a comfortable win but it was a hard fought and very competitive match throughout. Aber’s scrummaging was good but not as dominant as it had been in the two games between these clubs last season. In the line-out Robbie Parry, Bryn Shepherd and Lee Gower were very prominent. In the loose, the whole pack played their hearts out with Lee Evans gaining ground with his usual robust bursts. But it was flanker Lee Gower who stood out most, consistently doing the unglamorous and workmanlike tasks both in defence and in attack.

Behind the scrum, the Thomas brothers at half back performed well individually and in combination. Centres Carwyn Thomas and Tom Evans did all that was required of them in defence and with ball in hand. The back three of Cowdy, Penri and Jacobs were solid and reliable in all phases of the game and each contributed to this important win. The substitutes too showed up well, in particular Gruff Jones at scrum half, sniping, harassing and covering effectively as usual.

Aberystwyth’s next game is on Saturday 16th Sept, away at unbeaten, joint Div 1 leaders, Gowerton.

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