Rhondda and East Glamorgan Premier League Sat 20th Dec 2008
Llantwit Fadre 2nd XV 36 – Brecon 2nd XV 12
Brecon travelled to Llantwit Fadre with hardly its strongest team. Injuries and unavailability at senior level meant that resources were stretched and many players played out of position. What they lacked for in terms of team organisation and experience they certainly made up for in guts and determination.
Llantwit Fadre were a big well organised outfit. They had a good pack with a particularly strong line out and that was complemented by a set of backs which kicked well and knew how to pressurise their opponents.
The early exchanges were fairly even with the half back pairing of Alan Taylor and Rhys Thomas hardly looking as if they had spent most of their playing careers in the front and back rows of the scrum respectively. However, Llantwit gradually took control territorially. Their kicking was long and accurate and once they realised that the Brecon line out was not functioning they kicked to touch knowing they could regain possession. As a result Brecon were pinned in their own half and only solid defence kept their opponents out. Ian Morgan in the centre was a rock. He made one great tackle under the shadow of the posts, regained his feet and stole the ball to bring much needed relief.
Eventually Llantwit scored from a long range penalty and then the game reverted to its previous pattern with Brecon defending bravely. The stalemate was broken by uncharacteristic sloppy defence. They seemed at first to have won a line out near their try line but somehow they lost possession and a Llantwit forward pounced to score a try which was brilliantly converted. Another long range penalty extended the home sides lead and then in the dying moments of the half Brecon completely failed to deal with a very innocuous kick ahead. The bouncing ball seemed to evade every attempt to kill it and eventually the Llantwit wing hacked ahead to score a try which again was beautifully converted.
The start of the second half was a disaster almost immediately Llantwit increased their lead from close range. At this stage a heavy defeat looked a distinct possibility but Brecon galvanised and showed great spirit. The forwards began to take more control and carry the ball. Gethin Thomas, at Number 8, lead by example. He burst away from scrum after scrum and caused problems for the home defence. The pack followed his lead with Dan Turner in particular making a huge impact. Time and again he drove forward gaining ground and he was eventually rewarded when he crashed over for a try.
Steve Barnard entered the fray at this point and showed what an aggressive and effective carrier he can be. It is a pity that this talented young prop can’t focus on playing rugby and fulfil his obvious potential.
Against the run of play Llantwit scored again with a long range penalty. Then they rubbed salt into the wounds with a try out of nothing. Brecon kicked ahead and chased. Unfortunately the chase was not organised and the counter attack was brilliant. The move encompassed almost the length of the field and ended with a try wide out in the corner. Brecon weren’t finished. They pounded at the visitors’ line and were only prevented from scoring by cynical killing of the ball. The referee let them get away with it and so one Brecon flanker took exception and, in the referee’s eyes, “overstepped” the mark to such an extent than he sent him off.
In spite of being a man down Brecon continued their onslaught and once
again Dan Turner smashed through the home defence to score and Ian Morgan
converted. The final act of the game was a further Llantwit penalty as
again Brecon got on the wrong side of the referee. The team, however,
should not be dispirited as in spite of their obvious lack of cohesion
they showed great character and had it not been for silly errors would
have made this game a real contest against a very good side. When the
squad returns to full strength then it can look forward to returning
to winning ways.
© Brecon RFC 2006-2012