Gorseinon RFC | 1st Team 18 - 21 Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
20 October 2019 / Team News

First League Win of the Season

Gorseinon RFC 18  -  21  Aberystwyth RFC

This victory against Gorseinon was Aberystwyth’s first league win of the season and lifted the visitors two places in the Division 1 table. It has also lifted the morale of the squad in time for some difficult games to come over the next few weeks.

Gorseinon’s players had a height and weight advantage over Aber throughout their team, but, although the visitors’ defence creaked from time to time they kept the hosts’ attacks at bay especially in a torrid last quarter.

The front row was solid and the back five stayed strong giving Aber parity in the scrums and they grew in strength as the game went on; to a point where their shove disrupted the bigger Gorseinon eight. In the lineouts the visitors were less effective and, although Dan Binks, Lee Gower and Bryn Shepherd did well, the pressure from the taller host jumpers often led to untidy possession on Aber throw ins. In a determined back row Jordan Thomas, at open-side flanker, was the team’s best defender with around thirty tackles in total.

Apart from a brief shower, the afternoon was fine and the pitch had withstood the recent heavy rains very well. There was a light breeze blowing down the slight slope and Gorseinon had the advantage of both as they kicked off. They showed their intention early on as they threw the ball wide and ran hard at the Aber defence.

The hosts had the first opportunity to put points on the board when they were awarded a penalty for an Aber high tackle. Fortunately for Aber, this was the first of a number of place kicks not to be converted as the hosts’ kicker had an afternoon to forget. But they soon made amends as their captain, Sean Haycock, broke from the visitors’ 22 metre line and put in a delicate chip over the advancing Aber backs. A burst of speed and a kind bounce helped him touch down before Aber’s defence did. The try went unconverted but the hosts were 5  -  0 up after ten minutes.

A break by Aber skipper, Arwel Lloyd, led to a ruck; the ball was spun out and full-back Steff Rees came in to the line on the burst. He made a good 25 metres or so before offloading to Llyr Thomas, well up in support, to score the visitors’ opening try. Thomas converted his own try and Aber went 5 – 7 ahead. This was Aber’s purple patch as they won a lot of ball which the backs used well to mount attacks.

Another rampaging break by Lloyd saw the ball fed out to centre Matthew Hughes who made a dazzling run for the tryline. As he was about to ground the ball he was high tackled by a Gorseinon defender and the referee had no hesitation in awarding Aber a penalty try to put them 5-14 ahead.

A few minutes before half-time Aber lost one of their best forwards as Bryn Shepherd had to leave the field after sustaining a head injury. He was replaced by Dorian Jones. This unsettled Aber and on the stroke of half time they gave away a penalty 20 metres out, which Gorseinon full-back Jones converted to close the gap to 8 – 14.

The hosts upped the physicality of their game in the second half, especially up front. They put more and more pressure on Aber and it paid off when tight-head prop Sam Evans went over for a try from a driving maul. The conversion was missed but Gorseinon were now within one point of Aber at 13 – 14.

Steffan Rees came on to play outside half and his excellent kicking from hand gained Aber a lot of ground and relieved pressure in defence. Unfortunately there was not enough of this as Aber preferred to try to run out of defence. As a result, most of the play in the second half was in the Aber half of the field.

When the visitors did make ground they looked threatening and from a ruck 40 metres out Llyr Thomas broke through the Gorseinon defence to score a fine solo try. He converted his try and Aber moved 13 – 21 ahead. Dorian Jones was then showed a yellow card for a high tackle and the visitors’ fourteen men were forced to defend desperately.

Gorseinon were camped on the Aber line for long periods and scored a very dubious try. Haycock came round from an offside position to touch down a ruck ball that Aber had turned over. This conversion too was missed and the game closed with the score at 18 – 21.

Aber will be encouraged by this win, but they will need to maintain and even improve on this level of performance when they face high-flying Felinfoel next Saturday.



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