Beddau RFC | Youth Team 12 - 36 Brecon RFC | Youth Team
Ben Griffin
1 Try
Morgan Vaughan
1 Try
Thomas Richards
1 Try
Joshua Hamilton
1 Try
Dafydd Edwards
4 Conversion
1 Penalty
1 Try

Match Report
21 May 2018 / Team News

Blues North Plate Final Brecon 36 -Beddau 12

As the continually expanding rugby season edges ever deeper into the summer sports period, Brecon Rugby Club’s highly impressive Youth team raised themselves for one last hurrah as they sought to bring a long campaign to a close with a visit to The Wern in Merthyr Tydfil. The purpose of the visit was to play one final game against opponents from the proud club of Beddau, a team that Brecon had already conquered twice in the season in hard fought league games.

The purpose of this third confrontation of the season was to contest for the spoils of the Blues Region Plate, with both teams having overcome some strong opponents en route to the artificial delights of Merthyr’s recently laid ‘fast track’.

The game also had a particular significance for a large proportion of the Brecon squad in that it represented their final game in age group colours for the club, having come through the effective Minis and Junior section that has flourished at the club for some years. This ‘senior’ group of players has been supplemented by the emergence of a talented squad of younger players, and it is a significant credit to the club, and coaching/management team, that they have had at their disposal, and have used, a full squad of close on 40 players. That conscious decision by the inspiring coaching team of Huw Phillips, Alan Taylor and ALP Lewis, supplemented by the relentless enthusiasm of manager Tom Jones, to give all players an opportunity to represent the club has meant that the team has been one of the few in the region to make itself available at all times to honour its fixtures. This has contributed to another successful season that has seen the squad develop a significant strength in depth and offered numerous opportunities for all players to stake a claim for a place in the Final match day squad.

The beautiful spring weather saw the selected 23 leave the club with a steely focus on the job ahead, whilst the large travelling contingent of supporters made a more leisurely journey south, stopping at various vantage points to take advantage of the conditions and hospitality offered. The playing squad, whilst having been successful in the league against their opponents, were aware that the Green’n’Golds brought a very focussed, strongly driving game, backed up by an effective tactical kicking strategy. This instilled in the Brecon team a real awareness of the need to ensure that their own fluid, hugely attractive, playing style was delivered with particular focus and composure. The playing surface at The Wern, allied to the perfect weather conditions, provided a perfect platform, and the coaches and supporters would have been heartened by the fact that, whilst it does not replicate actual playing conditions, the squad’s warm-up was probably the slickest it has been all season.

Following the initial kick off, the game quickly developed into a pattern where Brecon dominated large proportions of territory and possession and encamped themselves deep in the Beddau half. The resolute defence of the opponents however limited the scoring opportunities of the energetic Brecon team, although the continual pressure did bring its rewards in terms of the pressured defence committing offences, and it was from one of these incidences that full back Dafydd Edwards stepped up to calmly slot a 35 metre penalty to open the Brecon account.

Following this the team continued to press strongly, and it remained a question of when their dominance would be rewarded with additional scores. Throughout this period, and for the whole  the game, the Brecon forward pack were a decisive factor, taking the game to their strong opponents with committed enthusiasm and skill. The one minor negative at the time was that the team were often their own worst enemy as their drive and energy often saw them lose sight of the need to remain precise in their execution. It could be argued that this, possibly churlish, criticism did see the squad refocus, and they added greater fluidity to their passion as the game progressed, stringing together some notable phase of play, at a tempo and skill level that has brought a great deal of pleasure to their large contingent of supporters over the last few seasons.

The front row led the way in this regard, with the increasingly effective Tom Witcomb, and prop partner, the bullocking Josh Hamilton, providing an assuring dominance at scrum time, and being prominent with ball in hand. Between them, hooker Rhys Evans had clearly determined that his last game in a Youth shirt was going to be one of his best, as he repeatedly launched himself at the Beddau defence, making good yards with every carry. Behind them, the calmly assured Starkey brothers, Rowan and Finn, had their usual intelligently effective influence on proceedings, dominating the lines-out and restarts, and both taking the lead from their front row colleagues in making themselves available to carry at all times.

To complete the dominant pack performance, the starting back row were not insignificant in their contributions with No 8 Josh Pritchard producing yet another stellar performance as he drove into the heart of the opponents defence time and time again, sucking in defenders and creating space out wide for the pacy back division. He was supported by his flanking colleagues, with openside Henry Morgan Gervis bringing his usual coltish exuberance in a lively display, whilst blind side flanker Matt Williams was a quiet revelation with the understated effectiveness of his contribution.

The platform provided by this group of eight forwards, each setting new benchmarks in terms of individual performance, allowed scrum half Geraint Workman to dictate proceedings with a varied kicking, passing and probing running game, whilst captain and outside half Gareth Price was back to his confident best as he too mixed up his options, but always added real pace and vigour to what he did, setting his back line in motion by fizzing flat passes out in both directions.

The conditions and weather, and the Beddau tactic of kicking deep into Brecon territory, provided real opportunities to launch counter attacks with the Brecon back three of the darting Sami Hellard, electric Ben Griffin, and the afore-mentioned Dafydd, looking to run back at their opponents with real pace and intent. Helping to provide a complementary mix between the phased attacking game, and the opportunistic counter attacking options, centres Olly Lewis and Tom Richards were a dominant midfield combination, even in the face of two influential opponents. The latter was a physical and pacey option with the ball in hand, whilst the former continued his huge improvement this season by being a focal point of the Brecon attack as he provided direction and purpose to the organised mayhem around him. Both also led the way in terms of their defensive contribution, nullifying the potential threat of their opponents.

These impressive individual performances combined to great effect to provide an exciting, high tempo, team performance, and this was rewarded with more scores as the game evolved. Firstly, Josh Hamilton powered over the open the try account, whilst an impressive string of controlled phases saw the team provide Ben Griffin with the sniff of a chance on his wing, which he duly took with great aplomb. Dafydd Edwards converted both to provide a strong platform for the team to continue to develop their ‘fast court’ playing style.

Notwithstanding this, Beddau remain a proud team and they were also going to have say in proceedings as the game continued. It is to their credit, that as half time approached, they enjoyed a period of extended possession and attacking opportunities and their effective centre eventually saw a half chance that he duly took close to the posts to pull them back into the game at half time.

The Brecon coaching team would have looked to their charges to provide more of the same in the second half, and to ensure that they remained focussed and precise. Additionally, they would have been looking for opportunities, in the hot conditions, to use their strong bench to supplement the starting fifteen. The advice was duly noted as the team proceeded to enjoy a period of extended dominance that became a joy to watch for the travelling band of supporters. It was based on high skill levels with the ball in hand, controlled phase play that was a credit to their fitness, and an awareness of where space was developing on the side expanses of the Wern. This would inevitably bring its rewards as space was worked out wide for full back Dafydd Edwards to speed in for a score, and it was clear that the team’s confidence was visibly growing as time wore on.

This coincided with the influence of the Brecon bench also coming to the fore as Dan Davies came on to have an influential time with the ball in hand, and at the line out, and prop Dewi Wormwood showed his massive potential and what he is capable of bringing to this team. Glyn Powell enjoyed an effective time at hooker, showing the improvements he has made, whilst Dan Hiscocks had an effervescent influence at scrum half in the period of time that he was on the pitch. Among his numerous effective contributions, one particular pass enabled powerful wing Morgan Vaughan to score with his first touch of the game, for a try that, notwithstanding Beddau’s own additional score, did provide more scoreboard comfort to the Brecon squad.

Impressive winger Finn Boult, and influential flanker Iwan Havard also made significant contributions in their cameos, the latter showing some intelligent work at the break down, and the former always hinting at what he can provide with the ball in hand. Charlie East came on to provide further power and direction in the centre, and the Brecon team’s performance was capped by a try by his co-centre Tom Richards who ran in a score under the post to set the seal on a great performance in the pressure of the final. Dafydd Edwards converted the tries to ensure that the final score of 36-12 reflected a great spectacle of running rugby that underpinned Brecon’s dominance.

The post match celebrations were a hugely deserved reward for what the squad has achieved over the last few years, and the coaching team were a proud group of men in the clubhouse after. The performances on the pitch have been of the highest quality, and have always been played in great spirit and with positive intent and attitude. Equally, the behaviour and values of the team have been exemplary and they can be immensely proud of that element of contributions. Whilst a number of players will now move into the senior ranks, as part of the continued progression of players throughout the club system, the development of the youth squad this season (and previously) will provide them with a clear opportunity to enjoy future successes on the field.