WRU National League Division 3 South East Saturday 18th September
Fairwater 12 - Brecon 34
What a difference a week makes. After the despair and despondency in the aftermath of the heavy defeat to neighbours Gwernyfed, Brecon pulled off and outstanding bonus point away win against previously unbeaten, Fairwater. The victory was even more remarkable considering the fact that they played the last quarter of the match with 14 men. Second row Dan Leigh, who was having an excellent match, unwisely retaliated after being targeted by the home flanker on the fringe of a ruck. His dismissal from the field could have been costly for the Brecon team but in adversity they played some of their best rugby and left the home side demoralised by the end of the game.
Right from the kick off Brecon showed far more fire and purpose than they did the previous week. The scrum was rock solid and prop Steve, promoted from the 2nd XV, had an outstanding game in both tight and loose. The line out functioned well with hooker Martyn Jones hitting his target on every throw and also having an outstanding all round match on his first full senior outing this season. The ball carriers, Richard Galea, Ceri Morgan, Wyn Davies, Andrew Davies and Gethin Meredith, who found it so hard against the powerful Gwernyfed side, suddenly looked dynamic and capable of driving across the advantage line. With good ball, scrum half Paul Williams was able to dictate play and supply good ball for inexperienced but very impressive outside half Eifion Jones.
With a good supply of ball on the front foot Eifion made a great debut in the No 10 position. He scored one glorious individual try off quick ruck ball when he broke through the home defence on their ten metre line and rounded the full back to score. In addition he converted all four tries and added two penalties racking up a total of 19 points.
With other new faces and positional changes in the back line there was a period when things didn’t quite click. Even during the early stages of the game and facing a stiff breeze Brecon were by far the more effective side. However, little mistakes, when in threatening positions prevented them from displaying their dominance on the score board.
They should have taken the lead when flanker Gethin Meredith crossed the line but he lost the ball in the act of scoring and they were punished for their lack of finishing when the home scrum half kicked three penalties on the only occasions Fairwater entered Brecon territory. The three penalties also reflected a worrying feature of Brecon’s play. Regularly they fell foul of the referee at the breakdown and conceded numerous penalties. They did learn as the game progressed and once they cut down on the transgressions they took the game away from their opponents.
By the time the game arrived at half time Brecon had gained a slender lead. An Eifion Jones penalty was followed by his own outstanding try and conversion. Soon after half time he extended Brecon’s lead with a penalty before Fairwater clawed their way back with a penalty of their own. From that point, 10 minutes into the second half, Brecon blew their opponents apart.
Suddenly the inaccuracy and poor finishing of the first half disappeared and the back line became more fluent and threatening. Owen Morgan, at full back, took every opportunity to run at the opposition and looked very dangerous. Eurin Morgan in the unaccustomed position of centre established a good partnership with Alun Davies who was, as always, a rock in defence and straight running in attack. The wingers, promoted from the 2nd XV, also had very good games. Ross Parry looked very impressive whenever he touched the ball and he will surely establish himself as a great prospect. On the other flank Stuart Slough took two try scoring chances brilliantly.
The first came when he latched onto a clever chip by scrum half Paul
Williams and then outpaced the defence. His second was all about evasiveness
as he took an inside ball from Eifion Jones and wriggled his way through
a desperate defence. The final tackle took him down short of the line
but he had the awareness to reach out and place the ball on the line.
© Brecon RFC 2006-2014