Felinfoel RFC | 1st Team 25 - 13 Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
06 January 2019 / Team News

Ref Injured Match Abandoned

Felinfoel 25 – v – 13 Aberystwyth

For the second week running Aber fielded another much changed XV on Saturday. This time they faced Division 1 leaders Felinfoel away from home in a genuine game of two halves – or a game of one full half and half a half, as the game was cut short by an injury to the referee.

In the first half Aber played good, open, tactical rugby and led at half time. But Felinfoel came back strongly in the early part of the second half to score two converted tries before Aber hit back again to threaten.

The visitors’ game was based on good kicking for position by full back Llyr Thomas and outside half Steff Rees and swift movement of the ball along the new-look back line. This was made possible by a determined performance by the pack in competing for the ball in the loose which provided a lot of possession in the first half.

In the lineout, honours were even, but, for the second week running, Aber’s scrum was under severe pressure and was split and pushed back by the Felinfoel eight. This, and their general superior teamwork, enabled the hosts to gain most of the possession and territorial advantage. Aber would have been able to compete far more strongly had it not been for their handling errors. Some of these were due to the pressure exerted by Felinfoel but most seemed to be due to a lack of concentration.

Aber were first to score when No 10 Steff Rees put over a penalty. This followed a long opening period spent in Felinfoel’s half of the field. The home side replied with a penalty by No 10 Johnny George a few minutes later after Aber had infringed at a lineout. The visitors were very much in the game at this stage and when Steff Rees put up an excellent high kick, Sion Cowdy’s fast following up forced the Felinfoel full-back to drop the ball. Cowdy collected the rebound, fed Ian Ellis who gave Dylan Evans the scoring pass – a try that was the result of some very good pressure and backing up by the visitors. Steff Rees put over the conversion and Aber were 3 – 10 ahead.

The visitors increased their lead to 3 – 13 when Steff Rees put over a penalty from fully 45 metres after the hosts had been penalised for holding on to the ball on the ground; the result of determined foraging by Bryn Shepherd. Felinfoel replied with a second penalty by George to close the gap to 6 – 13. The home side now played with more confidence and put Aber under a lot of pressure in the visitors’ 22metre area. After a series of scrums and rucks the ball was moved out to the left where No 8 Curtis Morris was waiting to cross to close the gap further to 11 – 13 at half-time.

Aber started the second half well, with good defence and intense competition for possession. But Felinfoel’s teamwork against a new-look backline was bound to tell in the end. Aber had no time to settle and the hosts were canny enough to exploit their advantage to the full. A poor clearance kick by Aber enabled the hosts to attack, forcing the visitors back for a lineout within striking distance of their line. The Felinfoel jumpers poached the visitors’ ball at the lineout and their pack drove over the line for Morris to score his second try of the game and for George to convert to put his side ahead for the first time in the game by 18 – 13.

The hosts kept up the pressure with strong scrummaging and forceful bursts by their backs. But Aber’s defence managed to hold out until Felinfoel put together a move that involved most of their backs in good, close support running and offloading before No 10 George scored and converted his team’s third try to give his side a 25 – 13 lead.

Aber then launched an attack on the right which left Ian Ellis with a clear run to the line when, inexplicably and very late, the referee, instead of playing advantage, brought play back to near the half-way line for a scrum to Aber following a Felinfoel offence. Had Ellis been allowed to complete the move and scored a converted try, Aber would (as it turned out) have earned themselves a losing bonus point. The referee was injured shortly after and was unable to continue. Thus the match ended 20 minutes early.

It would be unfair to single out any one of Aber’s team for particular mention as each of the squad gave everything.   


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