Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team 39 - 7 Dunvant RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
21 April 2019 / Team News

Fun in the Sun

Aberystwyth 39 – v – 7 Dunvant.

On an afternoon better suited to cricket than rugby, Aberystwyth entertained league rivals Dunvant. In the corresponding match away in mid-January, the hosts had won narrowly by 12 – 9 and before this match were sitting above Aber in the league with games in hand.

For the opening 15 minutes the home team was given a very torrid time. Penned in their own half and having hardly any worthwhile possession, it looked as though Aber would struggle to compete. Dunvant’s scrum was particularly strong with the combined weight of their front row in excess of 50 stone. They won their own ball comfortably and pushed the home eight off the ball to earn a succession of penalties. The visitors were winning and retaining possession and spreading the ball well, indeed, had they used the full width of the field they could have taken better advantage of the overlaps they created to build a good lead.

The pressure was eventually relieved when a break by Carwyn Evans, a good kick by Ifan Thomas from the base of the scrum and surging breaks by Carwyn Thomas and Dan Binks gained ground. Then a penalty kick to touch for a lineout five metres from the Dunvant line gave skipper Arwel Lloyd an opportunity to open the scoring as he crashed over from a catch and drive in the corner. The difficult conversion was missed but the home side were 5 – 0 ahead.

Both sides continued to compete fiercely for territory and possession and a high tackle on an Aber player gave Llyr Thomas a chance to increase his side’s lead to 8 – 0. From a ruck at the restart, Ifan Thomas put in another fine, long kick to find touch. After more pressure from the home forwards and a series of rucks, Daniel Havard forced his way over for Aber’s second try. Thomas converted and took his team’s lead to 15 – 0 on the stroke of half-time.    

The home team supporters suspected that the visitors’ forwards would tire in the second half and that is exactly what happened. Aber became dominant in the scrums and spoiled Dunvant’s possession by constantly harassing and pressurising their tiring forwards. Aber were now looking increasingly dangerous and from a scrum 25 metres out the ball was fed along to right wing Tommy Sandford to score their third try in the corner. An excellent conversion from Llyr Thomas took Aber’s lead up to 22 – 0.

Aber’s bonus point try was scored by Dan Binks after a relieving kick from the Dunvant full-back was well fielded by Aber full-back Steff Rees. He ran a full 30 metres at the opposition before offloading for Binks to score in the corner to increase the hosts’ lead to 27 – 0

Rhodri Richards came on as substitute on the left wing and made a number of promising bursts. When Aber won scrum ball 40 metres out he came off his wing to set up an attack in mid-field. He fed Arwel Lloyd and then ran in support to take Lloyd’s offload before giving Matthew Hughes a fine pass. Hughes weaved his way through the Dunvant defence to score an unconverted try to take the score to 32 – 0.

Aber were now well on top and playing fast, fluid rugby. They went deep into Dunvant’s half and went through a series of phases before the industrious Bryn Shepherd crossed near the posts. Llyr Thomas added the conversion and Aber closed their scoring at 39 – 0.

As the hosts tired in the afternoon sun, they let Dunvant through for a consolation try by centre Sam Cowley, converted by Dan White to give a final score of 39 – 7.

This was a very satisfying win for Aber and takes them up to fifth place in Division 1 West. But they will need to improve their game up front and cut down on handling errors if they are to win their final match of the season away against Gorseinon next Saturday, 27th April. Aber have scored 19 tries in their last three games and have played some very attractive open rugby. This should be the recipe when they come up against fourth placed Gorseinon’s heavier, slower pack next week.

It is possible that Aber could end the season in fourth place in Division 1 West. But to do so, not only will they need to beat Gorseinon, other results will also have to go their way. Strong support from as many travelling fans as possible will boost Aber’s prospects next Saturday.   


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