Cwmbran RFC | 1st Team 26 - 34 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
Dean Gunter
3 Conversion
1 Penalty
Dafydd Edwards
1 Try
Ben Griffin
1 Try
Christopher Davies
1 Try
Ryan Williams
1 Try
Ioan Edwards
1 Try

Match Report
02 May 2019 / Team News

League Champions and Plate Winners

Success comes at a price. There is no doubt that Brecon enjoyed both their victory in the Plate at the Principality Stadium and the celebrations which followed. Well into the next day the town turned out in great numbers to be part of the unique tractor and trailer procession. Celebrations did not just stop there and by Tuesday there was many a sore head amongst players and supporters. There was to be no time, however, for basking in the glory or relaxing after the exertions of the previous days. There was still serious business to be done if the goal of achieving a league and cup double was to be realised. So on Wednesday the team set out to finally secure the League title. Their task was straightforward. Two more points were needed from their final three matches to guarantee that they would be crowned as League Champions. Not a huge task but following the recent euphoria and exertions it was never going to be easy and it was important to complete the task at the first hurdle. That first hurdle came in the form of a Cwmbran side who were desperately trying to win a point of their own in order to avoid relegation. With two wins from their previous two matches and on their own sloping pitch they were never going to make life easy for Brecon and so it proved.

Cwmbran started will all guns blazing, metaphorically and physically. They were aggressive almost to the extreme. Both Will Prosser and Ryan Williams suffered but while Ryan managed to survive Will was forced to leave the field with facial damage after what can only be described as a brutal assault. Brecon players reacted and even in the early stages of the game tempers flared. Fortunately Brecon’s most effective response was to play rugby rather than be dragged down into physical confrontation. Their ability in open play was clearly demonstrated by full back Owen Morgan who twice lifted everyone’s spirits with great counterattacking runs. Gradually Brecon took control territorially and soon they posted the first score. Dean Gunter kicked a penalty into touch in the home 22. Brecon’s line out, which has been malfunctioning lately, suddenly clicked. Ioan Edwards won the ball at the tail and delivered to his hooker Ryan Williams who drove around the tail of the line out on a run which proved to be unstoppable. Dean Gunter converted and Brecon looked more comfortable with the score under their belts.

Although they made a hash of the kick off, they quickly re-established control and returned to the offensive where they were again rewarded. Andy Nichol was held up over the line but they were not to be denied. Second row Jarred Davies, who had an outstanding game, leapt high to win the line out and the drive was unstoppable with another outstanding player, Ioan Edwards grounding the ball over the try line. Gunter again converted and in spite of the physicality of the opposition Brecon were pulling away.

They soon pulled even further ahead when Ioan Edwards broke blind and Chris Davies, off an inside pass ran hard, as he did throughout the match. When the ball moved to Davey Herdman he showed great dexterity with ball in hand and put Ben Griffin in space. Youth player, Ben, on his first outing with the 1st XV showed why he is rated as a highly promising player. His pace took him clear of the cover and he scored a great try in the corner.

Nineteen points up and Brecon looked to have the game in the bag but that showed disrespect for their opponents who had everything to play for and were now rather more focussed on rugby as opposed to intimidation. They earned a penalty after a Brecon high tackle and put the ball into touch on the Brecon 5 metre line. They copied Brecon’s success and drove over for a try which was converted.

The score galvanised the team and on the stroke of half time they stuck again. Brecon tried to run out of defence but a pass went loose and Cwmbran pounced. They moved the ball swiftly wide, created an overlap and capitalised with a try to cut their deficit to 7 points at the break.

The second half started with errors being made by both sides. For Brecon both Davey Herdman and Chris Davies were impressive while Owen Morgan continued to be a huge threat from the back. Finally Brecon got their act together and from another rolling maul Chris Davies scored and Gunter again converted.

With a bonus point in the bag Brecon should have moved ahead comfortably but not for the first time this season they made a hash of claiming the ball at the re-start. With Cwmbran’s scrum now looking effective as it drove down the slope, they won good ball and finally crossed for a try which was beautifully converted from the touch line. Again they had put themselves in contention but were pegged back by a Gunter penalty. Brecon then went further ahead after a great passage of play. Sam Campbell directed everything in mid-field and eventually the ball went wide with James Hellard showing great handling skills to put Dafydd Edwards away on the outside to score.

Although now the game was won it certainly wasn’t over. Cwmbran had a lot to play for. One more try would bring them the bonus point they desired and deserved. When Richie Davies was sent to the sin bin they seized their chance. Another line out deep in Brecon’s 22 was the launch pad to set up a driving maul which was again effective and for the second time the try was brilliantly converted from the touch line.

The game ended with both teams having succeeded in achieving their goals. Brecon emerged with a try bonus win to make certain of the League Title while Cwmbran had done enough to almost ensure survival in Division 1 for next season. Now both teams meet each other again at Parc de Pugh on Saturday before Brecon play their final league game against Penallta on Wednesday and prepare for the double header play off against Glamorgan Wanderers at home on 11th and away on the 18th.