Brecon RFC | 1st Team 78 - 15 Monmouth RFC | 1st Team
Lewys Cooke
Try 1
Owen Morgan
Try 2
Geraint Workman
Try 1
Ewan Williams
Try 2
Jake Crockett
Conversion 1
Try 1
Dafydd Edwards
Try 3
Dean Gunter
Conversion 8
Try 1

Match Report
16 September 2019 / Team News

Brecon 78 - Monmouth 15

Brecon RFC hosted the recently promoted Monmouth RFC at Parc De Pugh on Saturday in their first home league match of the season and certainly did not disappoint the large crowd by entertaining them with a 12 try victory.  With the weather set fair and the pitch in perfect condition everything was set for open running rugby and the players duly obliged and made the most of the conditions to put in a commanding performance to secure a second bonus point victory of the season.

Before kick-off, there was a sombre mood, as a minutes silence was dutifully and respectfully observed by all present, following the devastating news received at the Club on Friday of the death of Christopher Duffield son of Club Physiotherapist Rory Duffield whilst working in China.  The Club sends its condolences and love to Rory and his family at this very sad time.

Against this challenging backdrop, the home team were determined to provide a performance of which all could be proud, and they were keen to respect the occasion by building on their opening performance of the season the previous weekend. In fairness to the visitors from the historic market town on the banks of the Monnow, they started the stronger team as they went through multiple phases. aHowever, the strong home defence denied their visitors early points on the scoreboard.

As with their opening game the previous week, Brecon were not yet achieving the consistent continuity upon which their stronger performances of last season were based. As they began to start to dominate possession themselves, they started looking increasingly threatening. Prominent with ball in hand in these early exchanges was captain Ewan Williams, and he was the person who opened the scoring as he ran in support of a probing run by physical hooker Ryan Williams, and took the final pass to race under the posts for a try that Dean Gunter converted.

Having enjoyed a period of dominance, Brecon then went through a phase where they committed a number of unforced errors. They showed a lack of precision in their offensive game, and also conceded a string of penalties in defence. This afforded Monmouth an opportunity to gain a foothold deep in the Brecon half, and this ultimately proved telling as they took advantage of home infringement to kick a penalty goal for their first points.

This provoked the home team into a powerful response as they based the next phase of the game on their increasingly powerful and influential scrum. They pressed deep into the Monmouth 22 and the pressure created by their setpiece saw a number of scrums and lineouts testing the visiting structure and defence. The dominant scrum was ultimately rewarded when another powerful drive saw the referee losing patience and ran in under the posts for a penalty try to extend the home advantage.

Brecon then settled into one of their better periods of play, and halfbacks Dean Gunter and Scot Gibson were creatively influential as they sought to increase the tempo of play and ran at the tiring visiting defensive line. It was from one such movement, involving both players, that allowed them to bring left wing Dafydd Edwards into play and, receiving the ball from Gunter, he was able to deal with the advances of two covering tacklers as he plunged over for the third try.

Notwithstanding this dominance, Brecon fell foul of the referee as they disintegrated the visiting scrum again, allowing open side flanker Ioan Edwards to pressure the number 8 and look to win the ball. In taking him off the ball, the visiting defence took the tackle past the horizontal, an event that impressive prop Andy Nicholl took exception to. Unfortunately for him the referee had only seen his indiscretion and he earned a yellow card for his troubles. Brecon remained the stronger team through this period however and, following a further Monmouth mistake in the face of ferocious home defending, mobile second row Darren Witcomb picked up the loose ball and charged forward before releasing Captain Williams who raced in from 50 metres for his second try of the game, racking up a bonus point score for the home team in the first half.

The remainder of the first period saw Brecon continue their dominant display, although Monmouth bravely responded with a further score of their own. This again caused the home team to raise the attacking tempo of their game, and they sought to make full use of the wide spaces on such a perfect day for running rugby. From one move, two effective wide passes released pacey full back Owen Morgan on a typically gliding arching run where he outpaced the covering defence to score the final try of the first period which, with Gunter again proving effective from the kicking tee. The half time whistle come with Brecon leading 33-10.

The coaching team gathered their charges together in the half time huddle and would have stressed that, notwithstanding the comfortable gap between the teams on the score board, Brecon were, in their own honest opinion, not firing at 100%, with little inaccuracies and mistakes impacting on the high tempo momentum they sought. They would also have been aware that their visitors were starting to tire in the heat and humidity, so the message would have been to ensure that they kept playing the game at pace.

The second half started well for the hosts insomuch as they improved their precision and delivery, and also varied the game between using their rampaging pack to drive forward or use the wider channels with the pace they had. Additionally, fly half Gunter sought to use the tactic of chipping behind the tiring defence and, from one such kick, open side Edwards was first to reclaim the ball and, from there, scrum half Gibson fired the ball wide and Mark Squirrell, who again was effective with his all round contribution, was able to release full back Morgan for his second five-pointer.

Fly half Gunter’s boot was again at the heart of the next score as Brecon gathered from the restart and they made ground forward through centre Eifion Jones. Quick recycling saw space out wide which Gunter aimed for with a probing cross field kick. Busy winger Lewys Cooke  was able to gather and run in for well deserved score.

Brecon were rampant at this stage and immediately went on the offensive from the next restart. They sought to move the ball to the left, although a misdirected pass halted the momentum. The front row players were prominent at this time as they got in on the act to generate a fresh wave of momentum from some great offloading. The ball was recycled at pace and precise passing saw left wing Edwards have the opportunity to run at the remnants of the defence. He stepped inside the covering defenders to score a try that saw Brecon move past the half-century of points.

The game at this stage was highlighted by Brecon pressing strongly, with Monmouth defending strongly. This defence saw them turn the ball over although they were somewhat disorganised in their counter attacking alignment. From this, winger Edwards spotted an opportunity to fly up in defence and intercept the pass to enable him to run under the posts to complete his hat trick of tries.

Brecon’s dominance threatened further scores although Monmouth showed a spirit that will serve them well in the coming season, and it was they who constructed the next score where they maintained possession, and stretched the home defence to release their winger for a fine score.

Brecon countered this when Jake Crockett fielded a ball deep in his half. He showed his customary pace and power to make significant yardage before a skillfull exchange with centre Jones, saw Crockett take a switch pass to race in under the posts for the tenth try.

The closing periods saw both teams struggle with the heat and humidity, but Brecon remained committed to their ‘all-court’ game and, from a quick penalty, Tom Richards, enjoying a hugely effective senior league debut after moving up from the Youth Team, produce a sublime off-load under intense pressure from which Gunter was able to cross for a great score. This mporved link play, and interpassing also resulted in a further score, the twelfth and final try, when replacement scrum half Geraint Workman was freed for a run-in to the line to complete the scoring. Gunter’s ninth successful kick saw the score move to 78-15, this being the final result when the referee brought proceedings to an end with the full time whistle

It seems curious to say this, but a real positive from this result is that the home team will be aware that they achieved a significant win whilst not yet fully performing to their full potential. A secondary positive was the impact off the bench of young hooker,Rhys Evans. On his debut appearance with 1st XV he impressed with the way he slotted into the team and made a great contribution particularly in defence where his chop tackling brought down much bigger opponenets and stemmed the flow of the visitors' attacks. Focus will now shift to the defence of the WRU Plate competition when Rhiwbina RFC visit Parc De Pugh next Saturday and then a tricky away trip to Penallta who are so far unbeaten in the League.  Brecon met Rhiwbina in the Plate last season and the hosts will have to play well if they want to progress in this season's competition.  The next two weeks will provide a sterner test for the Brecon team than that faced in the first two league games and will give a clear indication of where the team is in terms of current form.

To top off a great weekend for the Club the Second XV also put together an outstanding performance in their first Conference game scoring 7 trys to win 51- 15 against Rhiwbina RFC.  Also on Friday night the Youth side battled hard to earn a well-deserved 17-17 draw against local rivals Gwernyfed RFC in an entertaining league match under lights which highlighted the strength of Youth rugby in both Clubs, well done lads.