Aberystwyth RFC | Youth Team Under 18 28 - 7 Narberth RFC | Youth Team Under 18

Match Report
09 January 2023 / Team News

Youth Topple Leaders

Aberystwyth RFC Youth XV 28  -  v  -  7 Narberth RFC Youth XV

Aber Youth could not have had a more difficult fixture to start the new year. Narberth Youth are currently top of the Pembrokeshire Youth table having won all their six games and earned 28 league points. When the two sides met at Narberth at the beginning of the current season Aber were beaten by 26 points to 17. But if the home side was in any way apprehensive or over-respectful of their table topping opponents on Saturday, it certainly didn’t show. Running out convincing winners by four converted tries to one they showed that they are a match for anyone on their day.

Narberth kicked off and in the opening period possession and territory were evenly shared. Aber lost hooker Ian Evans to a shoulder injury early on and he was replaced by Osian Bebb-Worrall. The visitors had the edge in pack weight and in average height; But these advantages were cancelled out by the tenacious and athletic approach of Aber’s eight. They competed vigorously in set pieces and in the loose, so much so that play became overheated on a number of occasions as Narberth realised that they had met their match.

Behind the scrum the hosts moved the ball fluently against the experienced and determined Narberth backs. The handling on both sides was generally good considering the conditions and Aber’s defensive play was excellent despite the oppositions hard running ball carries. Having started the game by spreading the ball for their backs to run at Aber’s threequarters, Narberth switched to keeping the ball tight when they couldn’t find a way through. When that ploy also failed their frustration boiled over and a player from each side was yellow carded in the excitement.

Aber were the first to score. A penalty kick gave them a lineout in their opponents’ 22  and from there they moved the ball across field making a few yards with each phase until they set up a driving maul close to the tryline for replacement hooker Bebb-Worrall to score. Euros Lloyd’s conversion put Aber 7-0 ahead. This was soon cancelled out by Narberth on the counter-attack with a converted try of their own to close the first half with the scores even at 7- 7.

The home side started the second half determined to add to their opening try. They pinned Narberth in their own half of the field for a long period and employed driving mauls to very good effect. It was from such a maul that hooker Bebb-Worrall, fresh from an enforced rest off the field, scored his second try  which was very well converted by Lloyd to move their side ahead 14-7. This motivated both sides, Narberth keen to keep their unbeaten record and Aber equally keen to take it from them.

The defending and carrying on both sides was good but the visitors became increasingly frustrated as Aber’s first-time tackling kept them out. The hosts’ clearance kicking was also very good as full-back Gwion Hefyn and outside half Euros Lloyd helped relieve the pressure with excellent kicks.  As Aber’s confidence grew so they gained more ground and were camped in the visitors’ 22 for long periods. It seemed only a matter of time before they scored and they were to do so twice before the game ended. Each time it was impressive outside center Leo Davies who got the touchdowns and it was Lloyd who added the excellent conversions for Aber to gain a bonus point win.

Aber showed that they are a well drilled squad and their coaches can be proud of their performance. But on Saturday they added spirit and a strong will to win to the mix and became a very formidable squad. In this form it will take a good team to beat them this season. It was a real team performance and it would be unfair to single out one or two individuals from the squad for praise. The scoreline disguises the fact that this was a hard-fought win over skillful and determined opponents.  

Next week Aber Youth travel to Crymych for another challenging game.


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