Fixture

Penclawdd RFC | 1st Team 5 - 41 Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team
Matthew Hughes
2 Try
Steffan Rees
4 Conversion
1 Penalty
Owain Bonsall
1 Try
Arwel Lloyd
1 Try
Bryn Shepherd
1 Try
Sion Wyn Evans
1 Try

Match Report
05 December 2021 / Team News

Dominant Win

Penclawdd RFC 5 – v – 41 Aberystwyth RFC.

Aber travelled down to the Gower peninsula for their third game in the readjusted Admiral National League 1 West competition on Saturday and came away with an impressive victory against a club that, on the basis of past results, could be regarded as a bogey side. As it was however, the visitors came away with maximum points that saw them hold on to second spot in Div 1 on twelve points, three behind unbeaten leaders Llangennech.

On a bright, sunny afternoon Penclawdd kicked off into a strong wind and in the early stages the two teams tested each other in scrums, rucks and  mauls. Aber came out on top in these early exchanges and their pressure soon earned them a penalty. Steff Rees obliged and put them 0 – 3 ahead.

The visitors made full use of the wind to gain ground and to keep pressure on the Penclawdd defence. A kick and chase strategy took advantage of the speed of Aber’s backs and they kept the pressure on the home side’s line with some very effective rucking. But to the frustration of Aber’s supporters, their team’s momentum and all round dominance was negated by persistent infringements, careless handling and wrong options, which resulted in some good scoring chances being wasted. 

This stalemate was eventually broken when the visitors’ forwards won a lineout ten yards from their opponents’ line. A powerful rolling maul led to a try for Owain Bonsall which Steff Rees converted to take Aber to 0 – 10 at half time. It had been a frustrating first half with Aber winning a lot of ball but also spoiling chances by trying to force play too much.

It was clear from the way the visitors started the second half that they were determined to resolve these issues. After a lineout and a series of rucks near the hosts’ line Aber knocked the ball forward. Their powerful shoving in the resulting scrum was ominous and after the set piece was reset a number of times back row forward Bryn Shepherd took advantage of a huge drive to touch down. Steff Rees added the conversion and Aber increased their lead to 0 – 17. The visitors now enjoyed a period of free-flowing rugby before Aber skipper Arwel Lloyd ran hard from 15 metres out to score Aber’s third try of the afternoon. Steff Rees added the conversion to increase the score to 0 – 24.

Play then quietened down and the visitors took their eyes off the ball briefly allowing Penclawdd’s No 8 to follow up a clever chip over Aber’s defence to score an unconverted try and close the gap to 5 – 24. Aber immediately reasserted their dominance; advancing to the opposition’s 22-metre line, gaining ground and then, through strong scrummaging, scoring a pushover, bonus point try courtesy of Shaun Evans. The conversion failed but Aber were comfortably ahead by 5 – 29.  

With four tries to none in favour of Aber’s forwards it was time their backs put in an appearance. This they did very emphatically with two excellent solo tries from Matthew Hughes. For the first, he received the ball on the 50-metre line; then jinked and swerved his way through to score a beautiful try which Steff Rees converted. Not content with that piece of magic, he then capitalised on more hard work by backs and forwards alike to repeat the performance with another 50-metre run to close Aber’s scoring with an unconverted try at 5 – 41.

One very encouraging feature of this victory was the performance of the young, up-and-coming talent among Aber’s forwards. We should certainly see more of them and their skills on display in future.

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