Felinfoel RFC | 1st Team 13 - 13 Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
10 October 2022 / Team News

Strong Away Performance

Felinfoel RFC 13 – v – 13 Aberystwyth RFC

Aber’s 1st XV travelled to Felinfoel more in hope than expectation of a good result. But such has been their improvement so far this season that an upset could have been possible and they came close to turning the tables on their illustrious opponents.

Conditions for fast, open rugby, conducive to Aber’s style of play, were ideal with a firm ground, dry weather and a stiff breeze. This was Aber’s first league match away from home this season, facing opponents sitting second in the table having scored 90 points in their first three games.

The visitors kicked off into the breeze and early exchanges saw both sides test each other‘s defence with kicks and with ball in hand. Aber rucked well, secured a fair share of possession and cleared the ball well when under pressure.

In a fast moving phase of play Aber worked their way upfield and their pressure earned them a number of penalties. They chose to run these at their opponents but were let down by poor handling. This allowed Felinfoel to regain possession and clear their line. After working their way back upfield and winning good lineout ball Aber kept play close. They went through a number of phases close to the hosts’ line and when prop Will Caron Lewis got the ball, the red mist came down and he crossed for a try to open Aber’s account at 0 - 5. The conversion failed but a marker had been laid.

Taking the lead boosted the visitors’ confidence and they established their dominance in scrums, rucks and lineouts. This helped them gain ground and after good, penetrating work by the threequarters, Dylan Benjamin went over in the corner. This try too went unconverted but Aber were now 0 – 10 ahead.

Felinfoel did not take kindly to Aber’s superior performance and fought back from the restart resulting in a penalty. George made no mistake with his kick and his side were finally on the scoreboard at 3 – 10. Now their tails were up and they were fired up as they fought their way back into Aber’s half of the field. They won a penalty and chose to kick for the corner. From the resulting lineout they moved the ball along their backline for Etheridge to score in the corner. Crucially, George added a conversion to enable his side to draw level at 10 – 10 on the stroke of half time.

With the breeze at their backs Aber started on the front foot with solid scrummaging and powerful work in the loose, but too often they gave away penalties which allowed the hosts to relieve the pressure. For much of the second half play was confined to midfield where both sides traded rucks, line breaks and penalties with neither side gaining any clear advantage. Steffan Rees’ kicking from hand was as accurate as ever but not even this could open Felinfoel’s defence.

The home side took the lead after breaking into Aber’s 22m and kicked a penalty for a 13 – 10 advantage. Now it was Aber’s turn to show tenacity as they upped their game, won rucks and fed their threequarters who made good ground and put the hosts’ defence under a lot of pressure. This earned the visitors a penalty and Llyr Thomas made no mistake from 15m out to draw the sides level and close the scoring at 13 – 13. For the remainder of the game Aber did everything but add to their score. They ended the game the stronger and deserved to have won.

This was a good all-round performance in which Aber won the try count by two to one; but it felt like points lost rather than one point gained.

Next week Aber will play Nantyfyllon away in the WRU Cup.

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