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SWALEC WRU National League Division 3 South East Saturday 10th September 2011

Brecon 9 - Pentyrch 9

Saturday’s league match between Brecon and Pentyrch was a curious affair. Traditionally matches between the two clubs are high scoring affairs as both sides enjoy playing expansive rugby. Saturday was no different in that both sides tried to play with width and yet the match ended in a try-less draw.

The weather certainly didn’t help with periods of heavy rain and wind interspersed with bright sunshine. The weather, however, was not the major contributing factor. Both sides certainly defended well but opportunities were created only to be spurned. Pentych had their chances, often after breaking out of defence with some ambitious play. Brecon also created and in the final analysis probably spurned the best opportunities. Twice number 8, Tom Daley, burst through the visitors’ defence. Twice he passed the ball out of a tackle made by the final defender and twice Brecon’s supporting players failed to hold on to the ball. Both opportunities were created in the second half when Brecon played with the wind and they should have been able to pull away from their stubborn opponents.

Those missed chances were not the only failing. When, having created a platform in the Pentyrch 22, the home scrum was turned and possession was lost. On the plus side, however, again Brecon showed great character and their defence was outstanding. In the thick of that defence was young flanker Osian Davies. His first up tackling was outstanding and he was very competitive at the breakdown. At scrum half Rob Price had another excellent game. He covered and tackled with great physicality and probed powerfully around the fringes of the breakdown. Another positive was the performance of young second row Hugo Robertshawe. He had an inspired period in which he burst away from a line out on his own 22 and was only finally hauled to the ground just short of the opposition’s 22. Having shown his ability with ball in hand he then pulled off two outstanding cover tackles wide out when Pentyrch looked threatening.

The tightness of the game was matched by the pattern of scoring. Brecon took the lead with a Gari Davies penalty which followed some good Brecon play. This ended when outside half Dylan Green threatened to break through, only to be cut down by a high tackle.

It did not take long for Pentyrch to respond in kind. A long speculative kick downfield seemed to pose no problem and only needed to be minored. Instead it was fumbled and the referee correctly adjudged that the ball had gone forward and ordered a 5metre scrum in favour of Pentyrch. Brecon held out under severe pressure but eventually Pentych won a penalty which was converted into points by number 8 H. Chatham.

Pentych created another opportunity during the half when burly scrum half T. Marley broke. Full back Owen Morgan produced a great tackle which scythed Marley to the ground and snuffed out a move which had looked as if it would produce a try.

Brecon started the second half with the wind at their backs. A good Rob Price break stretched the visitors defence and when they infringed at the breakdown, Gari Davies kicked Brecon back into a three point lead. Almost immediately Chatham replied in kind.

Brecon regained the lead through a third Davies penalty and it was at this point that Brecon should have taken control of the scoring and the game. Tom Daley’s great 30 metre run ended with a pass which, to be fair, wasn’t the easiest to take but should have been held and a try went begging. Making the most of the let-off Pentyrch broke out of defence with some enterprising play. When the referee signalled a penalty for a high tackle Chatham maintained his 100% record with the boot and levelled the score.

In the final quarter both sides had chances to score the winning points but neither side had the composure to close the game out.

Just one final act remained to be played. With the last move of the match Brecon were awarded a penalty on the half way line and 15 metres in from the left touchline. With the wind at his back, Gari Davies took the chance of kicking the winning penalty. He struck the ball well and distance was no problem but it drew just outside the left upright and the game ended with the teams sharing the spoils





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