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SWALEC WRU National League Division 3 South East Saturday 8th October 2011

Brecon 7 - Llanishen 26

Brecon faced a difficult task when they entertained visitors Llanishen. The Cardiff Club had started the season well, losing only one of their five previous matches. Yet there was some hope in the home camp as the team played well in their single point defeat to Gwernyfed the previous week and earned a good win, in poor conditions, in their mid-week Mid District Cup encounter against Wattstown. That form was evident during the first period of the game but as the match wore on so Brecon fell away and eventually Llanishen recorded a comfortable win.

Playing into the wind in the first half Brecon competed well. The one thing they learned very quickly, however, was that they could not afford to allow outside half R Thomas any opportunity to kick for goal. Within the first few minutes he converted a penalty from just inside his own half with the ball clearing the cross bar with a lot to spare. His next kick went sailing between the posts from near the touchline and it wasn’t long before he added a third from 45 metres.

Having been stung by the accuracy of Thomas’ kicking Brecon hauled themselves back into the game. They created good openings but failed to hold on to passes when they had worked some space out wide. These failings and the fact that they missed two penalties resulted in half time approaching while facing a deficit of 9 points.

Considering the wind advantage, in favour of Llanishen, the home side had done admirably and coach Chris Yates would have been happy to motivate his troops at half time had the score remained the same up to the half time whistle. Critically with the final move of the half they suffered a double reverse.

In the dying minutes Brecon found themselves defending stubbornly near their own line. In spite of the pressure they were acquitting themselves very well until the referee decided that hooker Alan Taylor had entered a ruck from the side. To most observers and to Alan himself it appeared that he had entered legally but the referee had the final say and sent him to the sin bin. From the penalty Llanishen opted for a scrum against a depleted Brecon pack and after a series of drives No 8 B Spicer forced his way over for a try which Thomas converted.

Brecon started the second half with the elements now in their favour but facing a sixteen point deficit. The way they started, however, suggested that they may be able to claw their way back into the game. Tom Daley and Eifion Jones made a number of good breaks which came to nothing. Even when penalties were secured they could not convert the opportunity into points and as the half wore on so Brecon became more anxious and less accurate.

When Llanishen were awarded a penalty of their own they showed how to finish. The kick to the corner set up a line out on five metres and after a number of pick and drives prop S Dunne barged over in the corner. The score unsettled Brecon. While before they battled to reduce the lead with some belief that eventually they could build a score they now seemed to panic. Although they had plenty of possession and time they opted to run almost everything in spite of the fact that the wind at their backs was strong. Most of their attacks from long range were snuffed out and the frustration increased.

Eventually they did create a good position for themselves in the opposition 22. They were awarded a penalty and the referee dispatched a Llanishen player to the sin bin. With numerical advantage they could have opted for a scrum and as Llanishen had successfully done in the first half. Instead they took a quick tap followed by a wild pass which was snaffled by their opponents who broke away and eventually wing M Shepherd scored in the corner.

Having previously completely failed in all scoring attempts Brecon finally got onto the scoreboard with a great individual try. Outside half Gareth John Davies cut clean through from 25 metres out and Gari Davies converted. The score unfortunately was too little and too late.





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