Fixture

Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team 19 - 15 Crymych RFC | 1st Team
Ifan Rees Phillips
1 Conversion
1 Penalty
Laurence Headlam
1 Try
Osian Davies
1 Try

Match Report
10 September 2018 / Team News

Local Derby Win

Aberystwyth 19 – v – 15 Crymych

Aber scraped home late in the game to win this exciting contest against a young but skilful Crymych XV. As in the previous week’s game, Aber put themselves under unnecessary pressure by starting slowly and having to play catch-up rugby for much of the game thereafter. The heavy rain had eased by kick-off time and a large crowd of supporters was treated to an entertaining game of open, running rugby.

Crymych kicked off and went on the offensive immediately. After putting the home side under a lot of pressure they were awarded a penalty 5m from the home try line. Choosing a scrum, their big pack put in a mighty shove to push Aber’s eight over their line for No8 Osian Davies to score the visitors’ opening try. Ifan Phillips added the conversion to put Crymych 0 – 7 ahead after as many minutes.

The visitors’ pressure and ball retention continued but Aber’s tackling was a lot better than it had been the previous week. A counter attack with Lee Gower, Llyr Thomas and Bryn Shepherd prominent took Aber upfield and they came very close to scoring their opening try from a 5m lineout. But Crymych defended well and launched a counter attack to ease the pressure on their line.

The visitors’ next try came from Aber’s lack of concentration and lack of width across the field. After winning a scrum 40m out, No 10 Phillips, noticing the absence of any cover on Aber’s wing, put in an excellent diagonal kick which No11 Laurence Headlam caught to race over untouched to score his team’s second try. Phillips missed the conversion but his team’s tails were up as they moved into a 12 point lead. For the second week running Aber had been exposed and punished for their failure to defend across the whole width of the field.    

Mid-way through the first half the hosts stepped up a gear. Accurate interpassing and quick, effective rucking took them upfield where No10 Steff Rees found full-back Matthew Hughes on the burst near the touchline. He went over for Aber’s first try – much to the relief of his team-mates and their supporters. The difficult conversion was missed but at 5 – 12 the home side were now back in the game.

Aber maintained this momentum and the back row of Dan Binks, Lee Gower and Tom ‘Kenko’ Evans harassed and pressured the visitors, tying up a number of Crymych tacklers each time they carried the ball forward. This allowed the backs, with Carwyn Evans prominent, to have more room to attack. It also allowed room for Aber’s impressive new scrum-half, Dylan Morgan, to sneak over to score near the posts. Rees converted and at half-time Aber were level at 12 – 12.    

Both sides started the second half full of fierce determination. For Aber, good individual breaks, especially by Arwel Lloyd and Carwyn Evans, should have brought better results, but poor handling and slow support for the ball carriers spoilt these opportunities. Crymych’s tackling and general defending also thwarted many of the home side’s breaks.

It was from a counter attack that Crymych were awarded a penalty 25m from the Aber line. As it seemed that the next side to score would win the game, they opted to take a kick at goal. Phillips’ fine kick hit the upright before going over to regain the lead for the visitors at 12 – 15.

Aber sensed that they had only a few minutes to win the game and they fought hard to regain possession from their kick-off. They succeeded, and launched wave after wave of attacks with Paul Stubbs and Arwel Lloyd prominent. After the forwards failed to break through, the ball was passed out to the backs for Ian Ellis to use his speed and guile to go over for a brilliant winning try. Steff Rees put over an excellent conversion and everyone breathed a sigh of relief as the scoring closed at 19 - 15.

In this, the second game of the season, Aber again started too slowly and gave away too many points early on. Their tackling was much better but handling errors meant that too many opportunities were lost. Again, failure to cover across the whole width of the field gifted the opposition space and time to attack. As in the previous week’s match against Llangennech, when they woke up and played better rugby, they could easily match the opposition. If they fail to do this at home against Div 1 champions Felifoel next Saturday, they will pay a heavy price. Aber has the talent in their ranks to do very well this season if they can iron out these early weaknesses.

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