Saturday 18th February 2012
Brecon 36 - Caerphilly 12
With Brecon not having played a game since the 21st January it was important to try to organise a meaningful game. Unfortunately Llanishen were unable to rearrange the league match cancelled because of frost last weekend and so the club had to look elsewhere. Fortunately Caerphilly found themselves in a similar position and agreed to travel to Brecon with both clubs benefitting from the opportunity to get in some match practice.
The game, played in heavy conditions and with a strong breeze blowing from the town end, was an entertaining affair with a total of 7 tries being scored. While both sides gave of their best and the fact that this was a friendly rather than a league game allowed a degree of freedom. Certainly in the final analysis Brecon will have derived more from the game, particularly in terms of confidence, as they ran out clear winners.
Coaches Chris Yates and Graham Daley will have set out hoping to learn something new from the afternoon. What was emphasised, however, was that their greatest strength lies in their back row. The all round display of the trio, Osian Davies, Wyn Davies and Tom Daley was excellent. All three scored outstanding tries and all three were a thorn in their opponents flesh all afternoon. As a unit they were well balanced and complimented one another. Osian Davies, on the open side, played with his heart on his sleeve, tackled everything that moved, covered every blade of grass and won great line out possession. Captain, Wyn Davies, on the blind side, was equally effective in the line out, was combative and carried the ball powerfully, while number 8 Tom Daley carried magnificently and scored a signature long range try.
All three made their mark early in the game as Brecon took early control while facing the stiff breeze. The first score came within minutes of the start. Osian Davies won a turn over and Tom Daley got over the gain line. From the next phase Wyn Davies broke and delivered quick ball. Outside half Eifion Jones made the most of the opportunity with a half break before turning the back inside to supporting prop Ryan Harris who showed good pace to score under the posts. Gari Davies had little problem in converting and his good form with the boot continued throughout the game as he converted three more tries and added a penalty.
Wyn Davies was soon in the thick of the action once again as Brecon drove off a well organised line out. Wyn broke away and ran clean through the defence to score an excellent try.
After such a great start Brecon looked as if they might run away with the game but Caerphilly responded. A long kick out of defence and a great chase meant that wing Aled Smith was caught and isolated after he had made a great effort to reach the loose ball first. He was robbed of possession and the Caerphilly full back made the most of some weak mid-field tackling to score a try which was easily converted.
Although Brecon restored their two score lead with a penalty, Cearphilly showed that they couldn’t be taken too lightly when their second row cut a great angle and exploited a huge hole in the home defence, reducing the lead to just 5 points.
Just before half time, however, Brecon emphasised their superiority when Rob Price made a lovely clean break in an unaccustomed position of centre. His score and subsequent conversion brought concluded the action for the first half.
Brecon started the second period as they had the first. Eifion Jones
kicked effectively with the breeze at his back and Brecon gained early
territorial advantage. Osian Davies won a line out on the 22. He was
initially driven on but then broke away himself and ran in for a great
In spite of this rather disappointing ending the game proved to be a useful exercise. Confidence was built, the team were able to get together and shake out some of their rustiness and it helped the coaches in their preparation for their next league encounter in a fortnights time against Fairwater who are placed fifth, just one place ahead of Brecon.
While the 1st XV gained a good win on the main pitch the 2nd XV played their part in an excellent game against near neighbours, Aberdare, on the second pitch. Although they lost the narrow encounter by 14 points to 10 they put up a spirited display which also augers well for the future. On remarkable statistic was that Gareth Bowen who has recently returned to rugby scored all of the sides ten points with a try, conversion and a penalty. It truly is good to see him back in the fold.
© Brecon RFC 2006-2012