Mumbles RFC | 1st Team 24 - 44 Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
13 October 2019 / Team News

Youth To The Fore

Mumbles RFC  24  -  44 Aberystwyth RFC

It was with some trepidation that Aber approached this second round match in the WRU Plate competition on Saturday. After all, their hosts were top of Division 2 having won four games out of four, whereas Aber, one from the bottom of Division 1, were still without a win this season. Added to Aber’s challenge was the absence of five regular first XV players.

However, the Aber team, with four current and recent youth team players amongst them, put in a very workmanlike and determined performance to run out eventual winners by an impressive margin. This was, without doubt, Aber’s best performance of the season.

Llyr Thomas put Aber ahead with a 40 metre penalty after only five minutes, but Mumbles hit back a few minutes later when an Aber defender over-ran a speculative grubber kick towards the corner by outside half Richards, allowing centre Rimell to touch down for the first try of the game. Full-back Richards converted and the hosts were 7 – 3 ahead.

Aber’s first try came from a ruck 40 metres out. Scrum half Charles Thomas threw out a long pass, the ball was moved left along the backs and Matthew Hughes, Steff Rees and Ian Ellis worked well together to create a try by centre Jack Rees. Thomas converted and Aber were back in the lead at 7 – 10.

The visitors’ second try was similar to the first with interpassing between outside centre Jack Rees and winger Ian Ellis, who scored. Thomas again added the conversion and Aber went 7 – 17 ahead. Mumbles closed the gap with a penalty and then added a try from centre Toft, converted by Richards, to level the scores at 17 - 17.

Aber pressed hard to within metres of the Mumbles line but the referee penalised the visitors for backchat and then marched them back ten metres. Again they took play into the hosts half and were awarded a penalty for a deliberate knock-on. Llyr Thomas obliged with another 40 metre kick to regain the lead at 17 – 20 on the stroke of half time.

The visitors added another Thomas penalty to their lead to take the score to 17 – 23. Mid-way through the second half it was Mumbles’ turn to put pressure on Aber’s line, and they used their heavier pack to advantage to drive over for No 8 Moore to touch down. Richards converted and the hosts were back in the lead at 24 – 23.

From that point on it was all Aber. With astute use of substitutes they took play to within fifteen metres of the Mumbles line and when they were awarded a penalty, quick-thinking scrum half, Charles Thomas took a tap kick before driving and wrestling his way over for an excellent solo try. Thomas added the conversion and Aber were back in the lead at 24 – 30.

Next came a fine try by Aber centre Matthew Hughes. Returning to his old stamping ground he weaved his way through the Mumbles defence to score wide out. Thomas’ conversion from the touchline against a crosswind, was excellent and took the score to 24 – 37. After more pressure, Steffan Rattray won good turnover ball and Hughes repeated his jinking and weaving running to take play close to the hosts’ line. He fed the ever-present Ian Ellis who scored his second try. Thomas added another fine conversion - his eighth kick of the game - to complete a 100% kicking performance, and close the scoring at 24 – 44.

Matthew Hughes stood out in a very hard working and skillful three quarter line that defended and attacked very well. The moving of the ball down the line was sharp and accurate and as a result, all Aber’s tries came from the backs. Up front Dorian Jones and Bryn Shepherd did well in the lineouts and Aber’s lighter pack held out well in the scrums. Shepherd also led the forwards very well.

The most encouraging aspect of this win was the performance of the four youngest members of the team. Charles Thomas at scrum half improves with every game. He plays with maturity, skill and confidence. Prop William Lewis, lock Efan Rowbotham and back row man Steffan Rattray also showed up as industrious, quality forwards who will serve the club well in future. They are all a huge credit to the hard work of youth XV coach, Wayne Thomas.

Its back to SWALEC league duties for Aber next Saturday 19th October, away against Gorseinon.


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