Fixture

Nelson RFC | 1st Team 17 - 24 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
Dean Gunter
3 Conversion
1 Penalty
Scott Gibson
1 Try
Dafydd Edwards
1 Try
Ioan Edwards
1 Try

Match Report
06 October 2019 / Team News

Nelson 17 - Brecon 24

After the huge challenge of facing Penallta the previous week, Brecon could have been forgiven for thinking that travelling to face middle of the table Nelson would be somewhat easier. That assessment fell way short of the mark. The match was extremely closely fought and Brecon looked in danger of surrendering their 100% record as they game entered the final stages with the scores tied at 17 points apiece. The score line was even more surprising when the fact that Nelson’s second row was shown a red card for a high and dangerous tackle within the first few minutes of the match. Surprising though it may have been but Nelson certainly deserved to be in contention despite their one man disadvantage. Finally, and to the relief of all the travelling support, Brecon got their act together and stole the victory from the tiring Nelson team with a well worked try and conversion.

The contest itself was fascinating. Nelson were undoubtedly the underdogs particularly after losing their second row to a red card. They fielded a big, well organised pack that was able to cope at the scrum even when reduced to seven men. They also boasted an effective and efficient line out which was in complete contrast to Brecon. The Brecon line out was disappointing as time and again they got themselves into good positions only to find themselves unable to secure ball at that phase and as a result they failed to capitalise on some excellent approach work. Brecon also had to work hard in defence as the big Nelson forwards carried purposefully and at times made inroads but, it was mistakes under the high ball that was most costly. At times the ball was gathered well but with the Nelson scrum half kicking beautifully and putting the catcher under pressure, Brecon failed to consistently gather cleanly. On at least four occasions the ball was spilled and two of those mistakes led to tries.

Brecon also suffered to some extent from a lack of cohesion. Over the opening weeks of the season the side has been re-structured regularly, mostly as a result of injuries. This has led to the team being far more disjointed than it was last season. There were some excellent individual performances but as a whole there were times when the team lacked fluency and squandered opportunities. Those individuals who did show up particularly well included scrum half Scott Gibson who set up one try, scored another and produced an excellent all round performance. Dafydd Edwards was a real thorn in his opponents flesh. His offensive running was brilliant and should have led to further scores. Apart from one wayward pass he can be proud of his performance. Jake Crockett was, as always, dangerous although he was playing in the unaccustomed role of outside centre. Prop, Richie Davies, was outstanding around the field whether that was in defensive duties or carrying and handling the ball. The remainder of the team all showed glimpses of what they are capable of but under pressure from the opposition mistakes were made and the customary accuracy and finishing was not what it has been.

Brecon started well enough, taking the ball at their opponents and when the Red Card was shown it looked as if there could be only one winner. Brecon gained a line out deep in the home 22 but lost the throw. They then missed a penalty shot at goal and failed to capitalise on a great Dafydd Edwards run down the left flank. Having squandered those opportunities they allowed Nelson to take the lead when they failed to deal with kick ahead. Nelson regained possession and broke through to score a try which was converted.

Brecon responded by putting territorial pressure on their opponents but again the failure to win clean line out ball proved to be costly. Finally they showed a clinical edge when Dafydd Edwards carved a big hole in the home defence and his inside pass allowed Scott Gibson a clear run to the line. Dean Gunter converted and with the score level there was an expectation that Brecon would take control. A try almost came immediately as Dafydd Edwards and Ryan Price combined brilliantly down the left flank only for the ball to be held up over the line. Brecon failed to make the most of the position and as the half drew to a close again failed to convert a great move involving Jake Crockett and Ryan Price.

Moving into the second half there was at first a feeling that surely Brecon would start to make more of their dominance when the ball was moved wide. That confidence was quickly extinguished as Nelson took the lead again with almost a carbon copy of their first try. Their scrum half hoisted a good kick which Brecon made a hash of and the ball bounced into the arms of the home blind side flanker who outstripped the cover defence to score a try which was converted.

This time Brecon responded immediately. Ryan Williams made a great break near half way and then Jake Crockett and Ryan Price carried the move on before feeding Dafydd Edwards who crossed wide out. Gunter converted superbly to again level the scores. With the game now seesawing both ways. Nelson hit back with a penalty and Brecon responded with a Gunter penalty after good work involving, Dfaydd Edwards, Ryan Price and Richie Davies. At this stage in the game Nelson began, understandably, to look tired but their forwards continued to cause problems for the Brecon defence with powerful, well supported carries. They pinned Brecon back as they sought to hold on for a draw. When it looked likely that they would achieve their aim Brecon, through scrum half Scott Gibson, broke out. His break took him deep into the Nelson half before he chipped ahead. It looked as if the covering Nelson wing would be first to the ball but he failed to fall and kill the ball and Ioan Edwards pounced on the loose ball over the line to score a match winning try. Dean Gunter converted with just a few anxious minutes left before the referee blew for time. The battling Nelson team claimed a losing bonus point but that would have been little comfort to a team that came so close to at least earning a draw when the odds were stacked against them. Brecon now take a break from league action as they face Ynsybwl at home on Saturday in the WRU Plate 2nd round.

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