Brecon RFC | 2nd Team 21 - 23 Merthyr RFC | 2nd Team
Darren Witcomb
Try 1
Kyran Dillon
Conversion 3
Try 2

Match Report
22 August 2021 / Team News

Brecon 2nd Xv 21 - Merthyr 2nd XV 23

With the 1st XV seeing no action Brecon RFC’s focus of attention fell on its young second XV. The team led by player coach Alan Taylor and Team Manager Lyn Parry have started the season well with three wins from their previous three games.  Saturday’s, match against a far more experienced, mature and physical Merthyr team presented their stiffest challenge to date. With the Merthyr team including two former Brecon 1st XV players, Adam Hoskins and Josh Martin (Flye), it was clear from the outset that Brecon would and face a hard physical contest. The fact that Brecon took the game right down to the last act, when at one time they looked to be physically outplayed, was credit to this talented bunch of youngsters. They remarkably came back from a 20 point half time deficit to lead going into the final minutes by one point. In the process they produced some outstanding free flowing rugby that included a wonderful final try which covered much of the length and width of the pitch. Sadly the dream of an outstanding victory came to an end in the last minute when, after a series of scrum penalties, Adam Hoskins kicked the winning score to end a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining match.

With such a young team there is always a lot to learn and out of this game there were definite pointers towards what is needed to be put in place in order to ensure further development. The line out, particularly, in the first half did not function consistently well. When Brecon got into good positions they failed to secure their throw and Merthyr were let off the hook on a number of occasions. Also, during this half, there was a tendency to force passes in tight situations and frequently the ball was surrendered to their opposition who possessed an outstanding openside flanker who caused Brecon numerous problems. Then in the second half and against much bigger opponents, the scrum was severely punished by the referee and it was this failing that to a large part led to the ultimate defeat.  On the positive side the pace and individual talent was there for all to see. In the second half, as the Brecon team began to come to terms with the general physicality of their opponents, so they were able to display their range of skills to the full and what and exciting performance they produced.

Brecon started well with Josh Millichap and Darren Witcomb carrying strongly and with second row Ben Pritchard making a number of big hits. The team, however, lacked fluency and Merthyr frequently turned the ball over and drove hard at the Brecon defence. The defence held until Hoskins took a quick tap, drew the defence and then moved the ball wide for Josh Martin to crash over. Hoskins converted.

Brecon responded well with second rows Owen Williams and Ben Pritchard driving hard for the line only to be halted five metres short. They earned a penalty and kicked for the corner but their frailty at the line out cost them as they lost possession and a Hoskins run and clearing kick forced Brecon to minor and drop out from their try line. Kyran Dillon, the undoubted star of the match, then showed a range of his abilities. He pulled off a try saving tackle in the corner before setting off on an outstanding run out of defence. He beat player after player from his own 22 and as he approached the opponents 22 he found a player in space outside him. The try scoring pass unfortunately was spilled and the chance to get back into the game went begging. With the chance lost, Merthyr took control of the game as Brecon made too many errors. Merthyr extended their lead with a second try. They quickly followed that with a Hoskins penalty and started to dominate territory. Some great defence with Rhys Mills, Josh Millichap and Keiran Dunford showing up well, kept Brecon in contention but when they seemed to have escaped thanks to an outstanding tackle in the corner they lost the defensive line out and Merthyr scored again. As the half time whistle blew Brecon found themselves 20 points down.

Not downhearted Brecon started the second half on the offensive. They upped the tempo of the game and put together a number of promising phases but small errors prevented them from capitalising until Kyran Dillon made a great try scoring break in mid-field. He converted his own try to reduce the deficit to 13 points.

With confidence now boosted Brecon took control of the game. Ben Pritchard again was prominent and his steal at the line out gave Brecon a platform. A good move involving forwards and backs ended with Darren Witcomb crossing for a try. Dillon added the conversion to bring the team back to a six point deficit. The next score was immediate and superb. Owain Williams took the kick off brilliantly and Josh Millicahp carried out of the home 22. The ball was spread quickly left to wing Owen Rees who made a great break on the outside before cutting back in and finding Dillon in support. He broke between two defenders and chipped ahead. Dillon arrived at the ball first and in full flight hardly broke stride as he brilliantly scooped the ball up one handed to score near the posts. His conversion took Brecon into the lead with eight minutes remaining. A win looked on the cards as the Merthyr wing dropped a kick ahead just outside his 22. This was where Brecon needed to play out the game there but the scrum was penalised and then  the next scrum in their own territory suffered the same fate. Hopkins spurned the kick at goal and ran only to be halted illegally near the posts. With time up and with the simplest of kicks from in front of the posts, Hoskins secured Merthyr’s win and denied Brecon the glory of posting a remarkable comeback victory.