Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team 32 - 15 Gorseinon RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
26 January 2020 / Team News

Great Team Performance

Aberystwyth RFC  32  v  15  Gorseinon RFC

On Saturday Aber completed an unbeaten January during which they played four games winning each one. In the process they scored 105 points and conceded 66, and propelled the club from 8th position with 20 league points at the start, to 4th position with 38 league points at the close. An excellent achievement.

In October of last year Aber had narrowly beaten Gorseinon at the Welfare Ground and this return fixture was by no means as simple as the score suggests. The visitors started powerfully and were very physical, and the hosts had their work cut out. But by the end of the game Aber had worn them down and eventually dominated them in all phases of the game.   

From the start Gorseinon varied their tactics wisely, using their big forwards to make inroads into Aber’s defence and then moving the ball wide to exploit opportunities outside. Early on they could have made more of the overlaps they created out wide, but instead they cut inside and wasted valuable chances.

So intense was the visitors’ pressure that it took a full ten minutes for Aber to break into their half of the field. When they did, Steffan Rees put them 3 – 0 ahead with a simple penalty. Gorseinon replied with a penalty of their own from Popham when Aber were penalised for not rolling away.  The score remained at 3 – 3 very nearly until the interval, but the visitors upped their game and after stealing the ball from an Aber attack, launched  an attack of their own. An attempted catch and drive led to a ruck from which the ball was swiftly moved out to unmarked left wing Thomas to score the game’s first try. Phelps’ excellent conversion gave Gorseinon a lead of 3 – 10 at the interval.

Despite the score, honours had been even throughout the first half. Aber’s defence had held out very well considering the amount of possession the visitors had gained and the ferocity of their attacks. Up front, Aber’s scrum, although lighter, looked tighter and more cohesive and was able to gradually dominate the opposition eight. In the lineouts the two sets of forwards were more evenly matched with both sides losing the occasional ball on their throw-in. Behind the scrum Aber’s passing had been fluent and neat, but Gorseinon’s backs were very adept at preventing any breakthroughs.

The hosts started the second half full of intent and were to maintain this for the full forty minutes. They realised the benefits of playing the game in the opposition half, preferably in the bottom corner. From a penalty in mid field Steffan Rees found touch five yards from the visitors’ line. After Gorseinon were penalised at the resulting lineout Aber chose a scrum. A huge shove enabled No 8, Lewis Ellis-Jones to touch down for the hosts’ first try of the game. The conversion was missed but at 8 – 10  the home side were reaping rewards for their growing dominance.

Aber’s work rate throughout the team increased. They won more ball and varied their use of possession. Ian Ellis at full-back was a constant threat to the visitors as he looked for openings to break through their defence or chip ahead to create opportunities for his wingers. After one such break involving Ellis and Matthew Hughes the ball was moved to the right where Dylan Evans rounded off the move with a fine try. This was very well converted by Steffan Rees and Aber moved ahead for the first time in the game at 15 – 10.

Gorseinon hit back when a failure to gather the ball cleanly from the kick-off led to a ruck from which Aber’s clearance kick was charged down by lock Evans. He gathered the ball and raced on to score a good opportunist try to level the scores at 15 – 15.

Against a determined defence, Aber mounted more and more attacks and it was from a phase of inter-passing down the left side of the field that Matthew Hughes broke through to score near the posts. Rees converted, moving the hosts on to 22 – 15. He added a penalty to increase this lead to 25 – 15 before Adam Carvell pounced on a lax Gorseinon pass, to intercept and score Aber’s bonus try. Steffan Rees added the simple conversion to close the scoring at 32 – 15.

This victory was a real team effort well led by skipper Arwel Lloyd. The forwards fought hard for territory and possession. Lewis Ellis-Jones, before he had to leave the field after an hour, was  immense, and was always in the thick of it. Paul Stubbs and Bryn Shepherd completed an industrious back row. The front row completed a solid shift with Owain Bonsall having one of his best games for some time. Centres Matthew Hughes and Carwyn Evans were the pick of the backs with the back three of Ellis, Evans and Carvell creative and strong in attack and defence. Aber had a strong bench and there was no weakening of effort when they came on.

After a two-week break for six-nations matches, Aber will face Felinfoel away on February 15th.




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