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SWALEC WRU National League Division 3 South East Saturday 24th September 2011

Brecon 24 - Tonyrefail 20

Brecon finally claimed their first win of the season when they defeated old rivals, Tonyrefail, at home. It was a well deserved win and was reward both for the efforts of the players, coaches and the patient supporters. It wasn’t a comfortable victory with fortunes fluctuating during the course of the match. However, it was definitely an improvement on the performance of the previous week and showed that the team is making progress.

The early phases of the game were hardly characterised by flowing rugby. Both sides cancelled each other out and the referee didn’t help as he showed little empathy with the players of both sides. Well into the half the only scores that had been posted and the only scores that ever looked likely, were a penalty apiece. However, as the half drew to a close Tonyrefail opened up a lead after they managed to work their way through a number of phases before spreading the ball wide. Crisp handling created a gap which full back Jonathan Hopper exploited. Outside half Matthew Cook added the conversion. For the remainder of the half the visitors held the upper hand.

Tonyrefail started the second half much the sharper of the two sides and almost scored an early try when, after a clean break on half way, it seemed certain that left wing Rhys Morris would score in the corner. A great covering tackle from full back Owen Morgan prevented the score. It seemed to spark a remarkable change in the quality of Brecon’s play and the game changed dramatically in their favour. The forwards lifted their game and as if in sympathy the referee suddenly started to help the game to flow. The looser game suited the Brecon back row in particular. Suddenly Tom Daley, Wyn Davies and Osian Davies made good ground and set up good phase ball. With Tom Bucknell in the second row also having an excellent game on his return from injury, Brecon took control of the game territorially and took their chances to give themselves a clear lead.

The first try came after a Tom Daley inspired turn over. Off the quick ball possession the ball was spread wide and Owen Morgan cut through the defence to score. Gari Davies converted and suddenly it was all Brecon.

The second try came after a series of excellent attacks. A relieving kick was gathered by wing Aled Smith. He gained ground and committed defenders before offloading to Owen Morgan whose pace and power cut through a now stretched defence. He drew the last defender and delivered a well timed pass to supporting Gari Davies, who finished in style and added the conversion.

Gari, who had an excellent afternoon in all aspects of play, was then rewarded for his alertness as he pounced on a dropped ball. He hacked through and re-gathered the ball in the shadow of the posts. Again he converted bringing his contribution on the score board up to 19 points.

With a 14 point lead and dominating play it looked certain that Brecon would gain the fourth bonus point try but instead they allowed Tonyrefail to claw their way back. Owen Morgan was sin binned and Osian Davies substituted after he made a huge hit on large rampaging forward. Whether it was as a result of these changes or no, Brecon suddenly lost their rhythm. The focus of the game swung in favour of Tonyrefail and their ambition to get some reward for their efforts. They finished the game strongly with winger Lewis Crabbe scoring a brace of tries. Deservedly they earned their bonus point after closing the losing margin to just 4 points.

In spite of the lack lustre finish Brecon will be happy with some of their play during the second half and the fact that they recorded their first league win of 2011/12. Surely it will have helped to build some momentum prior to their local derby at Gwernyfed next Saturday.






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