Brynmawr RFC | 1st Team 15 - 25 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
Jake Crockett
2 Try
Dean John Gunter
2 Conversion
2 Penalty
1 Try

Match Report
02 October 2016 / Team News

Brynmawr 15 - Brecon 25

Hard Fought Win at Brynmawr

Brecon travelled to old Breconshire County Rivals, Brynmawr, hoping to build on their excellent win against Ynysybwl. The morning had been wet, leaving the ground heavy even at this early stage of the season. Thankfully at the time of kick off the rain had relented and there was a hint of sunshine. In the early stages of the game this played into Brecon’s hand as they quickly demonstrated that they possessed the more potent back line. While conditions were favourable Brecon made the most of their superiority. However, after 25 minutes the rain returned and the complexion of the game changed. The big, powerful home pack kept the ball tight and made the most of their physical superiority. With the rain continuing deep into the second half Brecon were forced to defend and defend again. They stuck to the task and although Brynmawr drew level at one stage Brecon had enough left to pull away and then hold out for a tremendously spirited win, which was based on skill initially and finally on character and commitment which was evident throughout a bruising second half.

Brecon’s start to the game was particularly impressive. In relatively good conditions the forwards supplied good ball at scum and line out and the backs made the most of their opportunities. Outside half Dean Gunter and full back Jake Newman kicked long and accurately for position and once in opposition territory Brecon’s backs were full of menace. A great score came when Brecon stole a ball at a scrum in opposition territory. Centres Joe Evans and Cameron Gardner combined beautifully to put Jake Crockett in space on the left wing. He outstripped the defence and cut inside to make the Gunter conversion easier.

Brecon continued to threaten and a break-out from their own 22 almost lead to a second try. When the second try did come it was beautifully created. With ball being delivered to the backs wide out on the right and being moved left, Gunter brought right wing Eifion Jones into play in mid field. The winger’s intervention split the home defence and only a timely cover tackle temporarily hated the move. However, support was swift and hard-working second row Rhys Dawe almost made the line before setting up a ruck just a metre short. From that range Gunter blasted over to give Brecon a deserved 12 point lead.

At that stage Brecon looked as if they would run away with the game but suddenly the whole complexion of the match changed. First Brecon lost hooker Jon Bowen. His loss had a major impact. The hooker had been playing particularly well, helping to hold a powerful Brynmawr pack in the scrum, throwing accurately at the line out and showing up everywhere in the loose. Without him the front row had to be reshuffled, and prop Clive Ryder was forced to throw in at the line out. Stability in the scrum and consistency of possession from the line out was lost. To compound matters, down came the rain and Brecon had a player sin binned.

With under-foot conditions becoming difficult Brynmawr started to take control of the game through their big forward pack. Brecon’s scrum came under pressure and this ultimately led to a penalty try as the Brecon pack was shunted back towards its own line. Then, with the last play before half time, Brynmawr struck again with a penalty to reduce the arrears to just two points.

With the rain continuing through the half time break alarm bells were ringing as Brecon turned around to play up the slope. Fortunately Brecon started well. Jake Crockett showed pace and determination in chasing a long kick and making the tackle to give Brecon a penalty which Gunter kicked.

The extra three point cushion was important as Brynmawr hammered away deep in Brecon territory. Their forwards picked and drove or their backs ran straight and hard but for a long period the Brecon defence was superb. Finally, however, something had to give and when Brynmawr kicked to the corner from a penalty they managed to drive over the whitewash to score a try which levelled the scores.

With the momentum with the home team and conditions only barely improving Brecon’s hopes of returning with a win were receding but to their credit the team fought back. Ewan Williams won an important line out in opposition territory. Brecon exerted pressure and won a penalty which Gunter converted. They then extended their lead with a great piece of opportunism. Dean Gunter was forced to kick under pressure and for the only time in the game kicked straight to the home full back in mid field. Inexplicably he decided to run with little or no support in sight. He was caught and stripped of the ball which was swept left to Crockett who ran in comfortably at the corner. With Gunter kicking the conversion Brecon now had a ten point lead with time running out. Brynmawr battled to the end but Brecon’s superb defence held firm and to the delight of their large contingent of supporters they claimed an important away victory.