Blaenavon RFC | 1st Team 7 - 34 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
Mark Squirrell
1 Try
Geraint Workman
1 Try
Dean Gunter
3 Conversion
1 Penalty
2 Try
Eifion Jones
1 Try

Match Report
08 September 2019 / Team News

Blaenavon 7 - Brecon 34

After the success of the previous season Brecon started the new campaign short of pre season warm up fixtures. Training through the summer had gone well but with only one warm up game under their belts Brecon entered the first league fixture of the season short of match pactice. That was not the ideal build up to their first match at Blaenavon, a team which had recruited heavily during the off season. Even last season, when Brecon were the dominant team in the Division, they found life hard at Blaenavon and little easier at home against a determined team which battled to the final whistle. The same can be said about his first fixture of the season. Brecon claimed the spoils and added a bonus point but it was anything but plain sailing.

Brecon welcomed three new players into the squad at the start of the game. All acquitted themselves well. Aiden Luxton at loose head prop formed a formidable front row in concert with Ryan Williams and Andy Nicholl. The trio dominated the early scrums and ensured that Blaenavon were forced to live off retreating ball for much of the game. This allowed Brecon to dominate the early phases territorially. Aiden’s brother Emlyn made an appearance on the tight head in the second half and was particularly prominent in the loose, particularly when the Blaenavon pack got to grips with the game and put Brecon under severe pressure. The third newcomer, Shane Davies, looked very accomplished in the centre but unfortunately his afternoon was cut short as he picked up knoee ligament damage and was forced off the field. It was also good to see Mark Squirrel returning to the field after a season out through injury and young Sam Hellard also entered the fray at scrum half in his first senior appearance in that role.

Brecon started the game as the dominant side. With great possession from the scrum they took the game too Blaenavon and dominated territory with the game being almost exclusively played in the home team’s half. The disappointing feature was that with so much territory and possession Brecon failed to score. They looked rusty and made mistakes and instead of the scoreboard reflecting their dominance the game remained scoreless almost until the end of the first quarter. When Brecon did open their account it was through the boot of Dean Gunter who slotted a well struck penalty.

The score settled some nerves but with the line out not functioning efficiently and with handling being disappointing Brecon Failed to add to their score until after the half hour mark. A well worked move opened a gap in the Blaenavon defence and eifion Jones broke through to score. Gunter converted. With only minutes left of the half Brecon scored again. This time a chip ahead was re-gathered and Dean Gunter scored the try and added the conversion to give Brecon a 17 points to nil half time lead.

Now with a cushion Brecon looked to target a bonus point in the second half.  They extended their lead when scrum half Geraint Workman stole in for a try but then Blaenavon deservedly hit back. Brecon kicked poorly out of defence and Blaenavon struck with a converted try.

Brecon now needed to re-assert themselves and they did with an excellent try again scored and converted by Dean Gunter. The game and bonus point were now safely in the bag but Brecon were now forced to show their resolve in defence. Blaenavon came close to scoring at the end of their best piece of play of the afternoon. Although thwarted they then put Brecon under huge pressure. Three scrums near the Brecon line brought no reward as Brecon defended brilliantly. Tempers flared briefly before Emlyn Luxton twice stole ball and allowed Brecon to escape from their own half. Back on the offensive Brecon scored. A score looked unlikely when they failed to secure line out ball but Blaenavon failed to gather cleaned and Mark Squirrel stole in to score and bring the curtain down on a very satisfactory afternoon’s work. With both Youth and 2nd XV also posting wins the first day of the new season proved to be very productive for Brecon who will look forward to next weekend when they play hosts to Gwenyfed Youth in what is always an exciting derby match and the senior team welcome newly promoted Monmouth to Parc de Pugh.


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