Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team 62 - 10 Kidwelly RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
13 January 2019 / Team News

Big Home Win

Aberystwyth 62 – v – 10 Kidwelly

Conditions were ideal for this clash between third from bottom Aber and second from bottom Kidwelly. The home side were weakened by the absence of captain Arwel Lloyd and also by a few positional changes for this ‘must win’ match, and it took them a full half hour to settle down.

Kidwelly kicked off and had the better of the opening ten minutes, retaining possession and holding good territorial advantage. They used this possession to good effect varying their options between forward drives and flowing movements from their backs. But it was Aber who put the first points on the board as Steff Rees put over a 35 metre penalty for a 3 – 0 lead.

With their constant pressure in attack and their blanket defence the visitors continued to threaten and forced Aber to retreat. But Aber added to their score when a good kick out of defence by outside half Steff Rees was very quickly followed up by centre Sion Cowdy. He caught the Kidwelly full-back close to their line. The visitors were penalised and Dan Binks took a quick, tap penalty to cross under the posts. Rees again converted and the hosts were 10 – 0 ahead.

From the kick-off Aber worked their way downfield and from a ruck near the Kidwelly line Dan Havard made a break and fed Bryn Shepherd for Aber’s second try, brilliantly converted from wide out by Rees, to increase Aber’s score to 17 – 0. On the brink of half time Owain Bonsall was yellow carded and Kidwelly put their first points on the board with a penalty to bring the score to 17 – 3 at the break.

Despite their commanding lead Aber’s play in the first half had lacked fluency and organisation. Their coaches must have delivered a very stern lecture during the break because they emerged a different side for the second half scoring 45 points. Centre Sion Cowdy scored the first of his four-try haul after a neat pass from Gruff Jones at scrum half put him over. Rees again converted taking Aber to 24 – 3 ahead. Kidwelly hit back forcing Aber to retreat to their 22m area. A beautifully weighted kick to the corner by No 10 Hewitt was very well caught and touched down by winger Squires giving the visitors their only try of the game. Gareth Rees converted to close the gap to 24 - 10.

From that point on it was all Aber. Cowdy scored his second, and Aber’s bonus point try after a good break by Ian Ellis with Bonsall and Shepherd supporting and offloading well in the process. Another fine conversion from Rees took the score to 31 – 10. This was closely followed by an unconverted  try from close range by the ever-present James Plumbridge to widen the gap to 36 - 10 .

Both sides made substitutions but it was clear that Aber’s bench was the stronger. This, together with a number of injuries to some of Kidwelly’s players, gave the home side more opportunities to strike.

Aber’s sixth try came after some quick thinking by scrum half Jones who took a quick tap penalty, made ground and fed Ian Ellis. His jinking, weaving run was well supported by Matthew Hughes who scored near the posts. Rees added the conversion to take Aber’s lead to 43 – 10. Sion Cowdy’s third and Aber’s seventh try came from Kidwelly’s restart. Dan Binks fielded the kick and the ball passed through a few pairs of hands before it reached Cowdy. He still had a lot of work to do but with speed and determination he crossed for another converted try for Aber to reach the half century mark.

Cowdy crowned a magnificent try-scoring exhibition with his fourth, and most spectacular try. He received the ball just inside his own half, looked up and weighed up his options before bursting through fully 50 metres for a try converted again by Rees to bring the score to 57 – 10. The final try in Aber’s nine-try haul was their most clinical as the ball was fed from a ruck, Steff Rees looped around his inside centre to create an extra man and Ian Ellis took full advantage of the space created to score a fine try.

This win was based on a dominant scrum, very effective carrying, support and offloading by the whole team and a very good kicking display by outside half Steff Rees. Sion Cowdy was deservedly the man-of-the-match, but close behind was Bryn Shepherd who put in a very industrious performance and is improving with every game.

Aber’s excellent performance in the second half was something to build on for next Saturday’s tough away encounter against fifth placed Dunvant. For now, this win moves Aber up one place to fourth from bottom – or ninth from the top - in Division 1 West, with three games in hand over their main rivals.  

Aber’s Youth XV achieved a crushing win at home against Milford Haven Youth by 55 points to nil in a match shortened after the visitors’ coaching team asked for the game to be ended early.


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