Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team 13 - 15 Gowerton RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
23 October 2022 / Team News

Disallowed Try Cost a Victory

Aberystwyth RFC  -  13 - v  - 15 -  Gowerton RFC

In the past, results between these two clubs have usually gone with home advantage. But Gowerton are doing better this season and have won three out of four league games played and, prior to this match, sat in fourth position in Division 1 West – two places above Aber. This was therefore an eagerly awaited contest as the gap between the two clubs could have been easily eroded or widened depending on the outcome.

As it turned out, it was a game of two halves. The first saw Aber strong but not dominant. The second saw a revitalized Gowerton throw everything at the hosts to secure a narrow victory. Aber supporters will argue that their team should have been awarded a try under the posts by Ben Jones; but as the referee was unsighted he could not do so and thus Aber lost seven vital points.

The hosts’ game early on was full of adventure as the ball was moved out to the backs, along the line and when the carrier was stopped, their rucking was first class. Aber’s lineout was strong due to the good understanding between the thrower, Owain Bonsall, and Dorian Jones the jumper. In the scrums too Aber had the advantage and won good ball going forward or caused the visitors’ scrum ball to be won on the retreat. So it was entirely with the run of play that center Carwyn Evans picked up a loose ball and charged upfield. Five metres out he fed Dylan Benjamin who made further ground, but his offload failed to find its target and a good chance of seven points went begging.

The stalemate was broken when Aber’s No 10, Steffan Rees put in a beautifully weighted kick for the corner from 30 metres out. Ben Jones leapt for the ball and palmed it down for Matthew Jacobs to score the opening try. Rees added the conversion and the home side were 7 – 0 up. Both sides’ efforts were thwarted by errors in the first half and both were equally generous with penalties. Possession and territory were evenly shared between the two sides but the visitors showed more adventure in their play. Aber chose to put in high kicks occasionally rather than run at their opponents; but the half backs’ kicks were often too long for the chasers to get to or were too short to trouble Gowerton’s defence.

The hosts were playing toward their clubhouse in the second half and with a 7 – 0 lead were expected to stamp their authority on the game. But the reverse happened as a revitalized and more motivated Gowerton redoubled their efforts and changed the balance of the game. Aber showed glimpses of promise but generally they allowed Gowerton to bully their way back into the game. The visitors kept their shape and composure better, they chose their options more intelligently, they secured and retained possession with more determination and they grew in strength as the second half wore on.  Their endeavour was rewarded with a well taken, unconverted try on the left flank to bring the score to 7 - 5.

Aber’s Steffan Rees widened the gap to 10 – 5 with a penalty but after a period of relentless pressure on the home tryline, the visitors crossed for a converted try and to take the lead for the first time at 10 – 12. Another Rees penalty then put Aber back in the lead at 13 – 12. The hosts looked certain to build on this lead when the ball was fed out to the left where their attack outnumbered Gowerton’s defence by three to two. Unfortunately the inside carrier threw a miss pass which cancelled out the overlap and the defence dealt with the threat without difficulty.


The tables were turned and the hosts were now being bossed in the scrummages and were fortunate not to give away a penalty try under pressure from Gowerton’s scrum near the home tryline as they pressed for a winning score.

Aber relieved that pressure and went back on the attack but lost possession in the opposition’s half. The visitors’ inside centre put in a well measured chip over the advancing Aber backline, gathered his own kick and sprinted for the tryline 40 metres away. He was overhauled a few metres short by the guesting Matthew Hughes but the home side were penalized at the tackle to give Gowerton an easy three points under the posts to close the scoring and seal a win by 13 – 15.

The losing bonus point will be no consolation to Aber. After a promising start they lost their shape and allowed the visitors to come right back into the game. Better discipline at individual and team level would have improved their chances but it was not to be. That three Aber players were yellow carded during the game did nothing to improve the team’s stability and momentum.

Next Saturday Aber are due to play Penclawdd at home in the WRU Cup, kicking off at 2.30.   

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