Aberystwyth RFC | 1st Team 26 - 17 Llangennech RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
04 December 2022 / Team News

Great Win

Aberystwyth RFC  26 – v – 17  Llangennech RFC

Saturday’s visitors to Plascrug were not only the current leaders of National League Div 1 West, they were also champions of Div 1 West last season.  It was therefore a feather in Aber’s cap to win this tough and very physical battle against Llangennech.

The visitors kicked off and showed their intention from the start. They fought hard to win and retain possession, moving the ball down their line when they wanted to open up their game and keeping it tight at other times – always looking for an opportunity to break through the home side’s defence. But they found Aber equally determined to keep them out with strong tackling throughout the team. Early on, when the hosts won possession, they seemed reluctant to move the ball wide, choosing instead to keep it close and rely instead on bursts by their forwards. Both sides contributed equally to a high penalty count gaining and losing ground that they had fought hard to win.

The two packs were evenly matched in early set pieces despite the visitors having a heavier eight than Aber. But when it mattered, the visitors could find the reserves to gain the upper hand and after a few minutes of pressure they opened the scoring when their No 8 who picked up at the base of a 5-metre scrum to force his way over the line. The try went unconverted but, after 20 minutes play, Llangennech were 0 – 5 up.

Aber fought back with a very well worked try. Scrum half Dylan Benjamin picked up from the base of a winning ruck 40 metres out and passed to outside half Steffan Rees, he transferred the ball quickly to Jac Jones who broke through two tacklers to gain good ground before offloading to full-back Mathew Jacobs to score near the posts. Steffan Rees’ conversion gave Aber a 7 – 5 lead.

Llangennech regained the lead when their forwards broke from a scrum on the half-way line, fed their backs and with good, close interpassing, worked the ball out to their left wing to cross for their second try. The conversion was missed but they had regained the lead at 7 – 10. Aber spent the last few minutes of the first half pressing hard on the visitors’ line. Time and again their forwards tried to wrestle their way over when it might have been better to have moved the ball out to their hungry backs.

The second half of the game was only a few minutes old when Aber scored their second try and regained the lead. It showed again that this side is at its best when they move the ball quickly and off-loaders stay on their feet to continue the moves. From broken play, centre Carwyn Evans broke through and fed Paul Stubbs. He found Bryn Shepherd on his shoulder to receive the ball and give a scoring pass to Dylan Benjamin. Steffan Rees made no mistake with the conversion and took Aber to a 14 – 10 lead.

The high penalty count on both sides continued as did the uncompromising battling for possession. Llangennech won enough ball but were their own worst enemies as Aber’s pressure forced them into far too many handling errors to make any serious threats. The hard running and fierce tackling continued on both sides, but it was the visitors who came off worst as there were too many stoppages and substitutions in their ranks for them to build any momentum. Once again Aber profited from a more open approach for their third try as the ball was inter-passed down the right side for Steffan Rees to score. His conversion took Aber’s lead to 21 – 10.

The hosts continued to attack and again spent many minutes camped on the Llangennech line. Again the ball was kept close and again the visitors had no difficulty in repelling these drives. Aber’s tackle-breaking centres and powerful back three might have been better options in these situations.     

Aber’s all round team performance deserved a bonus point win and after a nervous passage of play they scored their fourth try with another bout of hard carrying, good offloading and excellent support running resulting in Dorian Jones forcing his way over the line. The conversion was missed but the try took Aber’s lead to 26 – 10.

The visitors were determined to have the last word and it was their turn to camp in their opponents’ 22 metre area. Aber’s defence held out despite wave after wave of surges by Llangennech’s forwards until, finally, the visitors crossed for a try that was converted to close the score at 26 – 17.

This excellent team performance against good, highly rated opposition moves Aber up from fifth to third place in Div 1 West. It would be unfair to name individual Aber players for praise as the whole team deserves credit, for entertaining a pitifully small crowd with some very good rugby. They will need to maintain this level of performance next Saturday when they travel to play Yr Hendy. Too often in the past, Aber have found it to be a difficult venue to win at despite usually outplaying their opponents.


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