Pembroke RFC | 1st Team 8 - 40 Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
10 October 2021 / Team News

Great Double Header Win

Pembroke RFC 8 – v – 40 Aberystwyth RFC

Crickmarren has been a happy hunting ground for Aber in recent years, and so it was again last Saturday as the visitors scored six tries to one in this double-header match of District H Group 1 Plate, and the Pembs Cup. The score suggests an easy victory, but the hosts put up a brave fight throughout the game. On occasions this was literally so as their frustrations boiled over into unnecessary intimidation. Unfortunately, it was Aber who paid the price for this as their retaliation led to two cards – one red, one yellow.

Skipper Arwel Lloyd seems to save his best performances for this venue; and so it was on Saturday as he carried powerfully downfield, breaking tackles and gaining valuable yards. At the other end of the age scale, it was encouraging to see so many players, who until recently were playing youth rugby, acquitting themselves so well in the senior XV.

Charles Thomas, Will Caron,Dylan Benjamin. Efan Rowbotham, Jac Jones, Rhodri Evans and Steffan Rattray all contributed to this entertaining performance and will surely be the cornerstone of Aber’s first team in the very near future. They are a credit to the club’s Youth squad coach, Wayne Thomas. On this occasion though it was the performance of man-of-the-match, Aber flanker Bryn Shepherd, that impressed most. His lineout work, his tireless play in the loose and his first-time tackling – even after suffering a dislocated finger – were excellent. His name was not on the score-sheet but his hard work contributed to each try.

Although the forwards all earned praise for this fine win, it was the threequarters that scored all six tries. Well marshalled by fly-half Matthew Hughes, they spread the ball wide at every opportunity enabling centre Carwyn Evans to score two tries and right wing Ian Ellis to score three. But it was the ever-improving scrum-half Charles Thomas who crossed for the first try after Pembroke had taken a 3 – 0 lead.

The hosts’ tight defence made progress difficult for Aber but a storming 30 metre run by Bryn Shepherd broke the deadlock. Ian Ellis was on hand to receive the scoring pass and made no mistake in crossing for Aber’s second try. Ellis was also responsible for the visitors’ third try of the first half. From a ruck near the half way line it was Arwel Lloyd who powered upfield and Ellis was again on hand to take the final pass. All three first-half tries were beautifully converted by Matthew Hughes. Pembroke hit back with an unconverted try late on, but Aber turned round 8 – 21 ahead.   

The visitors continued to carry, offload and support well in the second half and good backing up with determined running earned Carwyn Evans a brace of tries and Ian Ellis a third. Matthew Hughes converted two of these. Pembroke failed to add to their first half tally even though the visitors’ shaky tackling made it easier for them to  break through. Although Aber’s defence is usually good, their tackling is technically limited. This aspect of their game will be exposed more ruthlessly by the stronger opposition they will meet in Division 1 West when the SWALEC leagues resume in mid-November.

Aber’s next game in the District H Group 1 Plate is at home against Tenby United on Saturday 16th October. Currently Aber are second in the table, a point behind leaders Whitland having played two fewer games. They also have a game in hand over the five clubs below them in the table.

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