Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team 17 - 22 Newcastle Emlyn RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
25 September 2022 / Team News

Falling Short in the End

Aberystwyth  17– 22 Newcastle Emlyn 24/9/22  

Aber started this eagerly awaited local derby full of purpose and intent but were let down when in a  promising position by a lack of composure which enabled NCE to easily clear their line. They then began to dominate proceedings and hit Aber hard with some early scores. They worked their way up into the Aber 22 and from a good catch and drive they scored the opening try by Williams which was converted from wide out by Leonard. They were now really stretching Aber who were fortunate not to concede another try when NCE bombed a golden chance to score with some poor handling in mid-field. Undaunted NCE came back on the attack and following a lovely break by Leonard on half-way, following a quick re-cycling of possession flanker Davies was in support to score a fine try under the posts. This was again converted by Leonard to take the score to 0 – 14. Aber then retained possession for a period to exert pressure of their own and following a NCE infringement Dylan Benjamin kicked a penalty to take the score to 3 – 14. Then the perennial problem of ill-disciplined backchat reared its ugly head when the referee awarded a penalty to NCE which was moved forward 10m to the half-way line from where with a tremendous kick Leonard converted to extend the lead to 3 – 17. Aber worked their way into some promising positions in the NCE 22 through some very impressive line-kicking by Benjamin but Aber’s line-out was not at its best and subsequently squandered some hard-earned opportunities to score. NCE on the other hand took every opportunity to score and varied their play cleverly when at a line-out close to the Aber line they had a front peel to score wide out. The try went unconverted to take the score out to 3 – 22. This was a very competitive half of rugby with both teams in turn exerting pressure but the crucial difference was that NCE were far more clinical and composed in their use of possession whereas Aber were more profligate.

The second half saw NCE fall off their first half efficiency in retaining possession whereas Aber upped their game and caused NCE quite a few problems. They started by putting NCE under pressure and following the customary raft of short drives they moved the ball into mid-field where impressive centre Jac Jones burst through to score by the posts. The try was converted by Benjamin to take the score to 10 – 22. Aber now had their tails up and camped in the NCE 22 exerting a lot of pressure but through lack of vision and composure they were unable to cross the line. The second try was very similar to their first in that following short carries by the forwards the ball was moved quickly to the left where full-back Ian Ellis squeezed over in the corner to score a try which was magnificently converted from the touch-line by Dylan Benjamin. With the score at 17 – 22 it was all to play for and the pressure told on NCE as they conceded three yellow cards in quick succession but Aber through lack of vision, direction and composure failed to capitalise on this advantage and NCE were able to see the game out.

There were some very good individual performances by the Aber youngsters with Iestyn Thomas, Rhodri Evans and Guto Jones carrying the ball eagerly and strongly while centre Jac Jones was constantly probing for an opening. Ben Jones had a fine game with some strong running off his wing and especially his clean catching of kick-offs enabling Aber to get on the front foot often. A disappointment was the failure of the Aber line-out to function efficiently thus causing Aber to squander some very promising hard-earned positions of pressure and territory. There’s an old Welsh proverb which says “Nid da lle gellir gwell” which very much applies to this performance where they missed a golden opportunity to put one over on their local rivals.   

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