Caerleon RFC | 1st Team 30 - 19 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
Gari Wyn Davies
1 Conversion
3 Penalty
James Thomas Hellard
1 Try
Jake Crockett
1 Penalty

Match Report
13 November 2016 / Team News

Uncontested Scrum cost Brecon Victory

With a win under their belts following their visit to Senghenydd, Brecon targeted the next two matches against Caerleon and Abertillery Blaenau Gwent as must win fixtures. Both teams were within a few points of Brecon in the league and wins against both would propel Brecon above both in the table. That was the script, unfortunately, it now has to be torn up and re-written as some players failed to commit to the prepared scenario. The winning team from the previous week had to be re-shaped with a total of six enforced changes as a result of players being unavailable. It has to be said that the players who stepped up gave their all and in the end were cruelly denied the much needed win. The performance was all the more creditable considering the fact that six of the match day squad, of 20, were playing youth rugby last season.

Brecon were right in the game up to the final whistle, with a good chance of claiming league points, only for them to see the opportunity snatched from their grasp in a very unsatisfactory manner. The final five minutes in fact defined the game and left Brecon nursing both mental and physical wounds. After struggling to cope with the disruption in the side, Brecon were then also forced to deal with, first the sin binning of influential centre Eifion Jones and then, immediately on his return, his permanent loss as he was taken out, off the ball and sustained a damaged shoulder. While he was in the sin bin Brecon conceded a try as Caerleon exposed the depleted mid field defence and took the lead by 10 points to three.

Brecon bounced back, first with two Gari Davies penalties and then, early in the second half, when young outside half, James Hellard cut through the home defence to score a great individual try. Gari Davies added the conversion and Brecon led by 16 points to 10.

Caerleon closed the gap with a well worked try. Their outside half looped around his inside centre and then sent in a kick for his right wing to gather and score. Brecon then lost, through injury, the services of young prop Richey Davies and James Hellard. James had acquitted himself well in his first outing at 10 and Richey had been having an outstanding match both at the scrum and in carrying the ball. Their loss caused further disruption until their replacements settled into the game and during that time Caerleon scored a converted try to give themselves a six point lead. That lead was certainly not unassailable, particularly as Brecon were now dominant at scrums and line out, where Andrew Hosie, Rhys Dawe and Danny Howe performed admirably.

With minutes remaining Brecon found themselves on the attack in the home 22. They were awarded a penalty, perhaps 17 metres out and understandably opted for a scrum. The Brecon front row of Ryan Harris, Luke Griffiths and Andy Nicholl destroyed their opponents and the advancing Brecon scrum was only halted when the home side brought it down some 10 metres out. Again Brecon opted for a scrum and the same pattern emerged with the scrum now being taken down on the home 5 metre line. For a third time the scrum re-formed and was immediately taken to ground. The referee blew for a penalty and showed the yellow card to the home loose head prop. Confusion ensued. Eventually it emerged that Caerleon had no substitute prop with experience on the loose head side of the scrum and so the referee ruled that scrums should go uncontested. At this point Brecon opted for a line out on 5 metres. They won the ball and drove to within six inches of the line. Time and again a Brecon forward attempted to cross the whitewash only to fall just short and eventually during the last play the ball squired out of a ruck on the Caerleon side. With the whole Brecon team committed to the attack, Caerleon kicked downfield into empty territory. Their left wing gathered the ball, kept his feet, although challenged and sprinted away to score in the corner thus denying Brecon not only the win but also a losing bonus point. It was a sad end to what had been a spirited performance by a depleted team.


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