Llangennech RFC | 1st Team 31 - 17 Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
03 September 2018 / Team News

Ring Rustiness

Llangennech 31 – v – 17 Aberystwyth

Aber started their new season in Division 1 West of the National League with a very mixed performance against a strong Llangennech XV. Conditions were ideal for fast open rugby and that is exactly what the spectators were given.

Llangennech showed their intentions from the start as they fought hard for possession and ran hard to put pressure on Aber. Unfortunately the visitors’ weak, half-hearted tackling behind the scrum allowed the home side to put 17 points on the board in almost as many minutes. Three quick tries came from missed tackles by the visitors and well-worked overlaps by the hosts. The first was scored and converted by winger Brandon Wood. The second and third tries came from winger Tom Barnes from identical situations after more missed tackles and poor covering by Aber. These two tries went unconverted. In reply, Steffan Rees put over a penalty for the visitors.

Aber’s best chance to score in the first half was an excellent break from a ruck by new scrum-half Dylan Morgan. He ran fully 30 metres and could have scored but for his hesitation near the line. Shortly before half-time both sides were reduced to 14 men after the hosts’ second row Doyle was yellow-carded as was Dylan Evans for Aber. The first half closed with the score at 17 – 3.

Aber had improved in the latter part of the first half and this continued into the second half as they won more and more possession and territory. Centre Carwyn Evans made two or three powerful breaks for the visitors but too often they were let down by poor handling with wayward passing and dropped passes spoiling scoring opportunities. As the exchanges became more heated Evans and two of the home side’s players were yellow- carded.

Aber then varied their attacking options to good effect with backs and forwards combining well. A powerful break by flanker Tom ‘Kenco’ carried on by Matthew Hughes led to a ruck ten metres from the hosts’ line. The ball was fed to Dan Binks who raced over to score under the posts. Steffan Evans converted and Aber were within touching distance of their opponents’ score at 17 - 10.

Aber pressed again from the restart but a dropped pass allowed Llangennech to kick through and counter attack. They were awarded a scrum five metres from the visitors’ line and their pack drove over for No 8 Rhodri Davies to score. Wood converted to extend their lead to 24 – 10. Aber fought back and Binks and Llyr Thomas combined well to make ground down the right hand side of the field. Arwel Lloyd burst on to a possible scoring pass but the ball was dropped and Aber lost another chance.

Although the home side seemed to be tiring more quickly than Aber, they out-thought the visitors and sprang powerful counter-attacks from defence. It was from one such attack that the hosts’ full-back Matthew Jacobs ran fully 60 metres without a finger being laid on him to score under the posts to seal their scoring at 31 – 10.

Aber’s final score showed what they could have achieved in this match if their handling had been better. They inter-passed very accurately over a period of five minutes or so; rucking and supporting  far better than they had done throughout the game. An excellent move was rounded off with a crashing captain’s try from Arwel Lloyd. Steffan Evans converted for a final score of 31 – 17.

With more accurate handling, better options and better tackling Aber could well have won this match. For most of the time they had parity up front with their forwards holding their own in the both the scrums and lineouts. The front row was solid, the second row was industrious and the back row worked well together. Arwel Lloyd, Tom ‘Kenco’ Evans, Lee Gower and particularly Dan Binks, were the pick of the pack but all eight did well.

Behind the scrum Aber needed better leadership and direction, much better tackling and more accuracy in their handling. They can and must improve on this performance. More pre-season friendlies could have given them more confidence and understanding of each other to prepare for the new season.       

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