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SWALEC WRU National League Division 3 South East Saturday 6th April 2012

St Peters 22 - Brecon 18

Buoyed up by the out standing win against second placed Nelson the previous week, Brecon travelled to 3rd placed St Peters with justifiable hope of claiming another prized scalp. The justification for Brecon’s confidence was based on the fact that Brecon’s form of recent weeks has been comparable with that of the top teams in the league.

When Brecon finally fell just short of another notable victory there was disappointment in the camp. Not disappointment at the lack of effort or desire but disappointment at the small errors which allowed the game to slip away from them. There was no doubting that when Brecon gained the lead with minutes remaining there was an expectation that they could close out the game. The scrum was in control and the flow of the game was definitely in their favour. Two final errors caused the game to slip away from them. The period after scoring is always critical and so it proved much to Brecon’s detriment.

On gathering the ball from the kick off Brecon kicked into St Peters territory and the chase was good. Right wing, S Driscoll, faced with a sound defensive line, put in a raking grubber kick which bounced into touch just on the Brecon 22. There seemed little problem as Brecon’s line out, after an initial blip, had been secure. Sensibly they went for front ball but on this occasion the throw-in was well read and second row C. Lewis stole the ball for St. Peters. They used the ball effectively and eventually from a ruck near the Brecon line No 8 S. Lloyd dummied and drove over for his second try of the afternoon. D, French kicked the conversion from a wide angle and St. Peters claimed a four point lead.

The game was still certainly not over. Brecon pressed hard and clearly earned a chance when Gari Davies kicked a penalty to touch on the home 5 metre line. With Brecon having shown on a number occasions that they had a potent weapon in their driving maul off the line out the option was simple. Unfortunately for the second time in critical positions their line out malfunctioned. They lost the ball and although they continued to pound at the St Peters line right up to the final whistle the opportunity and the match were lost.

Brecon had started the game brightly. After a period of pressure Gari Davies put them ahead with a penalty.

Having gained the lead they then gifted a score to the home side. From a turnover on half way Number 8, C. Lewis crossed the gain line but seemed to be covered by a number of defenders. Their tackling, however, was far too high and totally ineffective, gifting Lewis a passage through to the line.

For a while after the setback Brecon looked to be in the state of shock and they allowed St. Peters to gain confidence and to threaten mostly through right wing Driscoll who popped up regularly in mid-field and looked an accomplished player.

Although on the back foot Brecon held out and eventually they regained their composure. When they did they scored a great try of their own. Full back Owen Morgan, gathered a kick on his 22 and countered brilliantly. On half way he fed Tom Daly who sent Stuart Slough away down the right wing. In a tight space he drew his man and popped up a lovely pass to Morgan who burst past the final defence and scored in the corner.

Brecon extended their lead when Gari Davies hit his second penalty to lift his points total for the season to over 200. Brecon should have been able to maintain the lead to the half time whistle but although Wyn Davies made a great catch off the kick off they failed to secure possession and in an attempt to recover it they gave away a penalty. St Peters kicked to the corner and although the line out drive was stopped just short of the line scrum half O. Smith was able to wriggle his way over for a try which he converted.

St Peters started the second half the hungrier of the two teams and soon extended their lead to four points when Smith kicked a penalty after Brecon failed, not for the first time, to deal with a kick ahead.
For a long period St Peters were able to keep play in the Brecon half and it took an excellent counter attack involving Aled Smith and Owen Morgan to regain momentum for the team.

At last on the front foot Brecon grew in strength and the balance of play swung in their favour. After a number of charges in which second row Darren Witcomb was prominent, Brecon won a penalty under the home posts. With the front row now gaining the upper hand, captain Wyn Davies correctly opted for a scrum. No 8 Tom Daley broke off the solid platform and crashed over to give Gari Davies the simplest of conversions.

From there Brecon should have won the game but after surrendering their lead and time ran out with St Peters desperately defending their lead on their own line.

The disappointment now has to be put aside as Brecon face their third away game in succession with a visit to lowly Penarth. Victory there must be secured before the league season concludes with a visit to Leaders Llanishen on 28th April.






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