Brecon RFC | 1st Team 69 - 10 Senghenydd RFC | 1st Team
Ryan James
Try 1
Scott Gibson
Try 2
Ewan Williams
Try 2
Jake Crockett
Conversion 9
Penalty 2
Try 3
Owen Morgan
Try 1

Match Report
26 January 2020 / Team News

Brecon 69 - Senghenydd 10

Brecon RFC returned to league action two weeks after the disappointment of losing the Quarter Final Plate match at Newbridge. That defeat spelt an end to one of their goals for the season. The goal of retaining the title of League Champions, however, is still very much alive. In what is a tight and competitive race at the top Brecon needed to put the disappointment of Cup defeat behind them and focus on the task in hand as any slip up could prove costly. There was also the added knowledge that a try bonus point was essential in order to keep up the pressure on Newbridge who hold an eleven point advantage over Brecon but with Brecon having three games in hand. As the teams took the field in perfect conditions the Brecon team had a significantly different squad from that which faced Newbridge. The forwards were much as they have been for most of the season but with the addition of young Geraint Powell who was given his first start in the second row. The backs, however, were much changed. The enforced absence of outside half Dean Gunter, who has been a lynch pin at outside half in every game to date this season, meant a considerable reshuffle. Scrum half Scott Gibson moved to the No 10 berth and Lewis Cooke took up the place of scrum half in the starting line-up for the first time this season. There was a change at centre as well with Dragons academy player, Ollie Lewis, making his first senior debut in tandem with his former youth partner Tom Richards. Ollie’s introduction allowed Eifion Jones to move into the full back berth to continue the experiment that started so well last season. Jake Crockett moved from full back to wing to join Owen Morgan and Sam Campbell made a welcome return to the bench after a spell out with an injury. So with only one back retaining his starting position compared to the starting line-up at Newbridge there was some uncertainty as to how things would pan out.

If there were any doubters then any negative thoughts were quickly dispelled. The two newcomers Geraint Powell and Ollie Lewis were impressive throughout. Geraint Powell showed a wide range of skills, winning his own line out ball and stealing a number off the opposition. He tackled well in defence, taking players low and showed that he was comfortable with ball in hand. Ollie Lewis at centre looked completely at home. His well-established youth relationship with co-centre Tom Richards obviously put him at his ease and he was able to display good handling ability, excellent defensive qualities and an ability to choose good lines of attack. Lewys Cooke at scrum half slotted back into that role as if he had never been away from it and his half back partner had an excellent all round game at outside half. Eifion Jones looked comfortable at full back and was a real threat with his powerful counter attacking and the timing of his entry into the line. Owen Morgan was as lively as ever while Jake Crockett had and outstanding man of the match performance back in the wing role but with the added responsibility of goal kicking. If that was a responsibility then he certainly did not show it. He ended the match with a 100% goal kicking record after landing 9 conversions (two from the widest of angles) and two penalties. Those scores, added to a haul of three of Brecon’s nine tries, gave him an individual points scoring club record with a total of 39.

While it was the backs that shone and created at least four tries that will undoubtedly feature in the tries of the season, it was the forwards that laid the platform both for their tight and loose play. Richie Davies and Ryan Williams again displayed their ability around the field as well as their commitment in the tight. When Ryan left the field early with an injury, young Rhys Evans seamlessly filled in show great carrying ability. Andy Nicholl on the tight head looked to be back to his best after a few performances hampered by injury and illness. Apart from his tight work he stole two line outs at the tail and carried much lower and more destructively than of late and lasted the full eighty minutes. Second rows Will Prosser and Jonathan James shared the boiler house duties alongside Powell and both showed what effective carriers they are, always breaking the tackle line and laying back good ball. The back row was as it has been all season. Ewan Williams is a creative number eight and week in and week out puts in what must be some of the best performances of a Number 8 in Division 1. Davey Herdman is destructive in the tackle and a ball winner at the breakdown as well as being a powerful carrier. The two players who shared the open side flanker role, Ioan Edwards and Ryan James are of a similar mould. Both are important ball winners at the line out and both have enormous energy and ability to cover almost every corner of the pitch. Ryan is slightly more direct while Ioan is the ultimate support runner with great skills with ball in hand.

With the elements of the team combining well it was no surprise that after the initial period of settling down Brecon took complete control of the game and the scoreboard. During the more tentative early period Jake Crockett edged Brecon ahead with two well taken penalties and then they suddenly burst into life. The first try was a beauty. Ollie Lewis cut a great angle and then brilliantly linked with Eifion Jones and Tom Richards before putting Crockett away for the try.

Senghenydd fought back and won and kicked a penalty but they were quickly back under pressure. A wonderful piece of play started with an Owen Morgan run from deep in home territory. Will Prosser and Richie Davies carried the move on before Ewan Williams finished under the posts. When Andy Nicholl stole a line out in the Senghenydd half Brecon’s handling and pace cut Senghenydd defence wide open and Owen Morgan went in for the try. The fourth and bonus point winning try came just before half time when Ollie Lewis delivered a lovely pass which almost put Will Prosser over. Although he was held up short the ball was quickly recycled and slick handling put Crockett in for his second.

The second half started as the first finished. Crockett and Morgan combined and Scott Gibson dived in at the corner. Tom Richards was the next creator with a wonderful 50 metre run. He looked as if he might make it all the way but when he was brought down quick ball allowed Ryan James to cross for a try. The next try relied on power. From 5 metres out the Brecon scrum drove Senghenydd back. Ewan Williams controlled the ball at the back and scored.

With the score now at 55 points to 3 Brecon suddenly seemed to lose concentration. Some impossible offloads were attempted and the earlier clinical play became loose and lacklustre. With Brecon discernibly taking their foot off the gas, Senghenydd showed creditable fight and resolve. They pressurised the home team and were eventually rewarded with a try and conversion of their own.

The score failed, for a while, to shake Brecon out of their complacency and it was a Senghenydd mistake that led to the eighth try. An attacking ball was dropped and Crockett hacked on so effectively that he ended with his third try. The final score came from some quick thinking as Scott Gibson took a quick tap and stole over for his second and the final try of an entertaining game that showed Brecon bouncing back from defeat in a most convincing manner.