Glamorgan Wanderers RFC | 1st Team 34 - 12 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
Dean Gunter
4 Penalty

Match Report
19 May 2019 / Team News

Glam Wanderers 34 - Brecon 12

Just one game too many. That was the assessment as Brecon lost out to rivals Glamorgan Wanderers in the chase for promotion to the Championship. There can be no question about the fact that Glamorgan Wanderers were clearly the better side on the day but there can also be no doubting the fact that Brecon can be immensely proud of their achievements over an incredibly long season. The season started with the first league match against Nelson on 1st September and ended on Saturday 18th May after a total of 32 competitive matches and a record of 28 wins and 2 defeats with 12 matches played in the last two months. During that time they won the WRU Plate and the Division 1 East League title and put themselves in a position to dream of victory and promotion to the Championship. Against a very good Glamorgan Wanderers side that final dream faded away. While the early exchanges were fairly even as the game progressed so the Wanderers looked hungrier, fresher and more confident and eventually ran out comfortable winners. Sadly the game ended in an unsavoury fashion as emotions spilled over on the terraces in a way that should not be witnessed at a rugby match and was totally out of character with all that had gone before.

Certainly for Brecon this was a game too far. Two areas which have been something of a worry all season again caused problems. The line out did not function effectively for most of the first half. This meant that although Brecon got into promising positions they too easily surrendered possession and gave their opponents an easy way out while they had to battle hard again to work their way back down the field. The other chronic failing was the inability to consistently secure ball at the kick off. This meant that whenever they scored they offered their opponents the chance to hit back immediately. While these were failings that have dogged the team throughout the season two other features rarely seen this term emerged as problems for the Brecon team. For once they looked vulnerable to attack in mid-field. The two Wanderers tries in the first half exploited this rare failing. The first came after a potent Wanderers line out drive which sucked in defenders and exposed a gaping hole in the middle of the park allowing centre Josh Male the opportunity to sprint through unopposed and give Luke Fish the simplest of conversions and the lead for the first time in the match.

The second try came at a critical point in the half. With the game finely balanced at 10 points to 9 in favour of the home side, Dean Gunter, who had a hat trick of penalties already to his name, attempted a long and difficult penalty. He struck it beautifully but at the limit of his range he saw the ball dip, hit the cross bar and bounce in field. Owen Morgan regathered and Brecon threatened. They failed to score but won another penalty wide out. Gunter again hit the ball well but it drifted just wide. The Wanderers punished that failure. A lack of awareness at the 22 drop out allowed Luke Fish to take a quick tap on the 22, re-gather the ball and set his backs away on a counterattacking foray. Brecon were caught out as fleet footed full back, James Loxton, took advantage of a mismatch in midfield where he was faced by a Brecon forward. He made a clean break and fed inside to Male who scored his second try which Fish again converted. Within minutes Brecon had gone from a position where they almost re-took the lead to finding themselves with a deficit of 8 points which they took into half time.

The second half opened with Fish and Gunter exchanging penalties and then Brecon created a position and an opportunity for them to close on their opponents. Throughout the season they have been clinical in such situations but on this occasion their cutting edge was not evident as a series of attacks were blunted by an efficient Wanderers defence. Andy Nicholl, Jon James and Richie Davies all got close to the line before being hauled down but hard though they tried they failed to get the score that could have spurred them on to a better finish.

Wanderers were elated with their efforts to shut out the Brecon attack and proceeded to punish Brecon for their failing. Wing Max Cunningham showed great pace to run out of defence and only a brilliant cover tackle by Jake Crockett prevented him from scoring. Now however, they had the advantage and the desire. They made Brecon suffer as they drove hard off a series of line outs and put the visitors under enormous pressure. That pressure finally told as a pop pass out of a tackle put Ioan Lewis over. Fish again converted and virtually secured victory. The game then became niggly and two players departed to the sin bin while Brecon wrung the changes. Wanderers now used their more and more potent driving maul to great effect and the final converted try came as they drove the Brecon pack back over their line.

When the final whistle came Brecon knew that on the day they were well beaten but after some time to take stock and reflect the whole of the squad and management can be justifiably proud of what has been an outstanding season. Never in the history of the Club has its senior team been so successful. Four years ago when they entered Division 1 for the first time they struggled to cope and but for sheer determination and hard work could have made a quick return to Division 2. Since that time there has been consistent progress with the current season seeing them pull off an outstanding double. The whole Club and Community are immensely proud of them both for their achievements on the field and for the way they have presented themselves as true ambassadors of their town, Brecon.