28 August 2017 / Club News

Haverfordwest Beaten in Pembs Cup

Haverfordwest 7 –v- Aberystwyth 50

Aberystwyth RFC launched their 2017-18 Pembrokeshire Cup campaign with a resounding away win against Haverfordwest on Saturday. The visitors play two divisions above their hosts in the National League West so the result was not entirely unexpected.

Aber kicked off playing up a slight slope and early pressure saw them being awarded a penalty. They kicked for touch and from the resulting lineout they moved the ball left for Llyr Thomas to score an unconverted try in the corner. The hosts hit back hard after Aber failed to claim the ball from the kick off and, helped by some poor tackling, they took play right to the visitors’ line. Aber relieved the pressure through some ferocious scummaging but fumbling and mishandling let them down. Gradually they worked their way upfield and from a scrum 22 metres out, captain Lee Evans picked up and crossed near the posts. The try was converted by No 10 Steff Rees and the visitors were 0-12 up within fifteen minutes of the kick-off.

Poor defending of the kick-off again allowed the home side to take play to Aber’s line. They broke through some high, ineffective tackling and were unlucky not to score. They moved the ball at every opportunity and were a constant threat.

The next twenty minutes saw some very competitive rugby where possession and territory were evenly shared. Full-back Matthew Hughes broke the deadlock with a good try after he had burst into the line. Rees again converted and Aber were 0-19 ahead at half-time.

The half-time team talk spurred the visitors into producing class rugby in the first twenty minutes of the second half. Their tackling, offloading and general support play was much more effective and they kept the scoreboard ticking over. The first try of the second half came from Lee Evans following a fine break by centre Steff Rees. His namesake converted and Aber moved 0-26 ahead. The next try came from scrum half Gruff Jones after excellent inter-passing and support play from Dan Binks and Lee Evans. The conversion took Aber to 0-33.

Although Aber now brought on their substitutes the team maintained a good general standard of play as winger John Smith went over in the corner for an unconverted try. This was followed by a converted try under the posts by Cai Fitter following a clever kick ahead by Steff Rees and a final, unconverted try wide out by Matthew Huhghes to close Aber’s scoring at 50 points.. The visitors were then reduced to 14 men after a yellow carding and Haverfordwest took full advantage with their excellent full-back Gareth John prominent. From a scrum 10 metres from the Aber line it was he who came into the line to score wide out. Liam Mainwaring converted with a fine kick to close the score at 7-50.

The margin does not do justice to the huge effort and endeavour by the Haverfordwest team. They tackled and harassed busily from the start and will do well this season if they maintain this form.

This was good preparation for Aber’s second season in National League Division 1 West and after a rusty start they improved as the game wore on. Fielding the ball from opposition kick offs was poor early on and they can expect Division 1 sides to punish such weaknesses more harshly. Up front, Lee Evans stood out for Aber and the whole of his pack put in a very workmanlike performance. It promises to be a formidable unit this coming season. Behind the scrum the fluidity improved as confidence grew and the support of ball carriers was impressive. Steff Rees at No 10 distributed and kicked well, the centres regularly found gaps and the back three were always a threat.

Aber will need to carry this spirit and fluency over to their opening National League fixture this Saturday afternoon against old rivals Penclawdd RFC at Plascrug, kick off 2.30.

There doesn't appear to be any tagged photos.

Upload and Tag Photos

You must be signed in to add comments