Fixture

Brecon RFC | 1st Team 25 - 0 Nelson RFC | 1st Team
Jake Crockett
Try 2
Conversion 1
Dafydd Edwards
Try 1
Ryan Price
Try 1
Dean John Gunter
Drop Goal 1

Match Report
02 September 2018 / Team News

Brecon 25 - Nelson 0

Following on from a successful season in 2017/18, Brecon looked to take advantage of their opening home fixture in order to gain some momentum going into the new season. Pre-season training had gone particularly well under the direction of the new coaching team, Andy Powell, Matthew J. Watkins and Matthew Lewis and there was a sense of expectation at Parc de Pugh. That expectation was, however, somewhat tempered by the fact that their opponents, Nelson, have been something of a bogey team as far as Brecon were concerned. Since Brecon were promoted to Division 1, three seasons ago, the teams have faced one another on six occasions with Brecon only being successful once and that was as far back as February 2016. Even during the success of last season Brecon lost twice to Saturday’s opponents and so there was an air of caution as the prospects for the game were discussed at pitch side.

Conditions at the end of a long hot summer were perfect for rugby. The air was warm and calm and the ground was still firm to hard in spite of some recent rain. Brecon’s team had a familiar look as they took the field to kick off the season, with just three new faces donning Brecon jerseys. The team welcomed Dafydd Edwards to the wing berth on his first full step up from youth rugby. In the second row Jarryd Davies made his first league start in Brecon colours and off the bench Lewis Cooke made a second half appearance at scrum half.

Once the game got under way it was clear that both teams wanted to make the most of the favourable conditions. It was also clear that there was some rustiness in the performances. Mistakes were made by both teams as they struggled to find the fluidity that comes with regularly playing together. The game was also beset by regular interruptions for injuries and this halted the momentum of the game which at times was very fragmented.

On the positive side, Brecon in particular, when they maintained continuity looked very dangerous. They also were undoubtedly the stronger of the two sides, winning the contact area and scrums and displaying a very potent driving maul on one or two occasions, however, maintaining continuity and capitalising on their superiority proved to be a problem as ambitious offloads went astray. Brecon also struggled at the re-start. Twice they scored and almost immediately made a hash of the re-start to such an extent that twice they were relieved when Nelson squandered the opportunity to hit back.

Undoubtedly the opening thirty minutes belonged to the home side with a number of chances being created. An early penalty miss was followed but a great driving maul which was halted just a metre short of the line and on two other occasions Brecon were denied by a combination of stout defence and unforced errors. It was Nelson, who, in spite of the fact that they played mostly on the back foot, had an opportunity to open the scoring. Brecon for the second time were penalised for crossing; the first time within sight of the visitors’ line and on the second occasion as they tried to run out of defence. Fortunately for the home side the kick was well wide.

Into the last ten minutes of the half Brecon finally recorded the score that their superiority deserved. Man of the match Ewan Williams broke from a scrum on half way. He made good ground before feeding the young and inexperienced scrum half Geraint Workman. Geraint showed great composure for one so young as he committed the Nelson defence and then put Jake Crockett in for the opening try.

Brecon made a complete hash of the kick off and were fortunate to bundle the ball into touch just 5 metres short of their own line. They were lucky not to have conceded a score. From there they defended well as first the Nelson forwards failed to break through and then the Nelson backs. Finally Brecon broke out. They missed a second penalty before on the stroke of half time they extended their lead with a critical score. Geraint Workman was again involved together with wing forward Davey Herdman as they pressed hard towards the right corner. With quick ball delivered at the breakdown the ball was spread left and Dafydd Edwards drew the defence and put Crockett in for his second try.

The ten point half time lead was certainly not comfortable but Brecon started the second half with confidence. A chip over the defence almost brought a try before Dean Gunter extended the lead with a penalty. They quickly followed that score with an excellent try in which forwards and backs combined. Ewan Williams and Davey Herman were again prominent in the build-up before the impressive Jarryd Davies provided the link to the backs. With the Nelson defence stretched Crockett held the remaining defence before putting Dafydd Edwards away for his first senior try.

Again the failure to secure the kick off could have proved costly. Nelson exerted enormous pressure in the Brecon 22 and genuinely threw away a scoring opportunity when the final pass went into touch rather than the hands of a completely unmarked player.

The game then went to uncontested scrums and this took away a major weapon from Brecon’s armoury. With just one more try needed for a bonus point win, Brecon spent most of their time on defensive duties and gave away penalty after penalty. It seemed that Nelson would get the consolation score they deserved but for a piece of individual inspiration. Deep in the Brecon 22, Nelson moved the ball wide. It looked as if they may have created an overlap but right wing Ryan Price read the play brilliantly. He cleanly picked off and intercepted the pass and then showed a clean pair of heels as he raced the full length of the field to score under the posts. Crockett converted and Brecon emerged with a satisfying first bonus point win.

Celebrations at the Watton Clubhouse were augmented with the news that the 2nd XV had pulled off a resounding 74 points to 7 victory over Bedlinog and the Youth team had come from behind to win the local derby match against at Gwenyfed by 29 points to 20.

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