Dowlais RFC | 1st Team 0 - 35 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
Lewys Cooke
1 Try
Dean Gunter
5 Conversion
Elgan Lewis
1 Try
Jonathan James
1 Try
Ryan James
1 Try
Tudor Roderick
1 Try

Match Report
20 January 2019 / Team News

Dowlais 0 - Brecon 35

For the sixth time in their last seven matches Brecon hit the road as they headed towards Dowlais for the continuation of their challenge at the top of Divsion 1 East. In the corresponding fixture at Parc De Pugh earlier in the season Brecon completed a comfortable win in perfect playing conditions. Those conditions suited Brecon’s style of play. The playing surface at Dowlais on Saturday contrasted dramatically with those of last September. While there was little wind, it was damp and cold and the pitch, which at the start looked green, quickly deteriorated and resembled a glue pot as the game entered the second half. Those conditions had a marked effect on the game. While underfoot conditions were at their best during the first half, Brecon swept into a comfortable 28 points to nil lead, claiming a four try bonus point along the way. The quality of the game in the second half fell away as players struggled with the conditions underfoot and a ball which took on the characteristics of a bar of soap. In that half also Dowlais battled hard and played pragmatic rugby as they tightened up their game and kept possession through numerous driving mauls. This made life far more difficult for the visitors and Brecon’s only tangible return in that half was a superb individual try scored by senior debutant Tudor Roderick. Tudor had entered the fray as a replacement centre at the start of the second half and he produced an outstanding performance in unhelpful conditions.

Apart from the excellent result the other major positive for Brecon was the way in which the team adapted to a number of enforced changes which resulted from the effects of a very heavy programme of matches since the start of the New Year. Lewys Cooke, who filled in at full back, had very good game particularly with ball in hand. He counter attacked brilliantly, looked for work and was very comfortable all round in his unaccustomed position. Ryan James, after a number of outings on the bench, this time started the game a made a big contribution. It was also good to see Ryan Price back in the senior team together with Kevin Jones who took the field for the first time following the broken ankle he sustained in the Dowlas match at Parc de Pugh back in September. Luke Millichap also stepped up at prop for his second appearance with the senior team and performed well in deteriorating under foot conditions. Another stalwart, Howell Morgan, who has spent a lot of time on the bench,   got a full game on this occasion and as always, let nobody down.

The match started brightly with Brecon immediately looking dangerous. Dowlais struggled to cope with Brecon’s overall pace and after a great Lewys Cooke run Brecon constructed a try scoring move. Ryan Price made good ground down the right flank and when the ball came back inside Dean Gunter put Ewan Williams in possession. Williams carried and then off loaded to Ryan James who danced his way through a crowded defence to open the scoring. Dean Gunter kicked the first of his five conversions.

Brecon quickly extended their lead. They effected a turn-over in their half and Richie Davies made ground. The ball was then moved right and Lewys Cooke entered the line. His elusive run saw him cut through to score in the corner. Gunter’s conversion from wide out was superb.

The forwards then took centre stage. Jonathan James made one of his characteristic, bruising runs and off the back of that momentum hooker Elgan Lewis showed great power and pace to race away for a try which Gunter again converted.

As the game moved towards the end of the first half, so Brecon secured their fourth try and a guaranteed bonus point. A strong Brecon scrum laid the foundation and Jonathan James finished as he drove through the remnants of the Dowlais defence. Gunter’s conversion gave Brecon a 28 points to nil advantage at the break.

Brecon supporters hoped for a continuation of the first half try fest while Dowlais supporters surely feared the worst. Dowlais however, much to their credit, re-grouped. They started to play a simple but effective game. They kept the ball tight and used their weight to good effect in driving mauls. With conditions rapidly deteriorating Brecon found it difficult to maintain the accuracy of the first half. They created opportunities but when a score seemed likely they lost the ball. The game became scrappy with just a number of highlights. Two of those involved Tudor Roderick. First he made a great run from out of his own half and had his pass, deep in the home 22, been taken it would have resulted in a try. His second incursion did result in a score. Dean Gunter started the play on his 10 metre line with a neat chip over the top of the Dowlais defence. Roderick gathered the slippery ball and then sped away, showing everyone a clean pair of heels. His try in the corner was immaculately converted by Gunter.