Brecon RFC | 1st Team 45 - 15 Risca RFC | 1st Team
Jake Newman
Conversion 1
Try 2
Lewis Smout
Try 1
Gari Davies
Conversion 5
Penalty 1
Cameron Gardner
Try 2
Ryan Price
Try 1
Joe Carlin
1 Try
James Dowle
1 Conversion
1 Penalty
1 Try

Match Report
29 April 2018 / Team News

Brecon 45 - Risca 15

At the end of a long and very wet winter season it was pleasing to turn out at Parc de Pugh, for the final game, in conditions which were perfect for rugby. At the close of what has been a highly successful season Brecon were eager to finish in style. Certain of third and still with the remote possibility of a second place finish in Division 1 East, there was a strong feeling within the camp that they wanted to mark their best ever league position and enter the off season, with a morale boosting victory in front of a large home crowd.  Risca, fifth in the league, certainly would not be prepared to roll over and were determined to spoil the party. During a hard and competitive first half they certainly did their very best to achieve that aim.

Brecon started with a slight breeze at their backs as they played towards the town. They almost scored from the kick off as centre Joe Evans got close after a great scrum which immediately had their opponents on the back foot. In spite of the scrum providing a great platform and with Brecon dominating territory, the opening phases brought few tangible results, although time and again they got close. Twice they were held up over the line and on a number of occasions they got themselves into good positions only to lose possession at the line out which failed to function effectively. In fact the only reward they gained from their dominance was a well struck Gari Davies penalty. With Davies having missed so much of the season with injury the early success with the boot instilled confidence and it was pleasing to see him play so effectively on his first full game back at outside half. He kicked beautifully out of hand, varied his play nicely and returned with a 100% record with six successful kicks at goal.

In spite of their dominance Brecon were frustrated for much of the first quarter. Although they created opportunities, they failed to capitalise as in the final phases Brecon’s play lacked accuracy. Risca defended well but in truth early season fluency was missing. Gradually Risca worked their way into the game and strangely from almost their first foray into Brecon territory Brecon scored. Risca inside centre Rhys James made a great break through midfield on the Brecon 10 metre line but he lost the ball in the tackle. Centre Cameron Gardner picked up the loose ball and showed great pace to race clear and score under the posts. Davies’ conversion was a formality.

The remainder of the half was frustrating. Ten points ahead, Brecon tried to stretch their opponents but again line out problems and the inability to maintain possession through a number of phases meant that the scoreboard remained frozen for the remainder of the half.

At the start of the second half the large group of Brecon supporters could hardly have felt supremely confident. Risca now had the advantage of the breeze and Brecon needed to be more accurate while playing with 14 men after Jake Crockett was adjudged to have deliberately knocked on in the final minutes of the first half and was sent to the sin bin. That anxiety was increased when Risca cut the lead as impressive full back James Dowle kicked an early penalty after a period of Risca pressure.

That reverse suddenly seemed to spur Brecon into a far more productive and effective mode of play. The ambition didn’t change but the accuracy that was missing throughout the first half was suddenly evident. From a line out 5 metres out Brecon secured good possession and a thundering run saw prop Lewis Smout drive over for Davies to convert from wide out.

Brecon now stretched the Risca defence with a series of great drives through forwards Ewan Williams, Davey Herdman and Richie Davies. With Risca struggling to contain the direct forward play space was created out wide and Brecon capitalised. Full back Jake Newman scored a brilliant individual try which reflected a wide range of skills. On the counter he chipped and regathered and then as the cover arrived he chipped again and for a second time claimed the ball to drive over in the corner. Once again Davies converted from a wide angle.

Within minutes of the restart Brecon created and finished a great backs try. The two Jake’s, Crockett and Newman, first exchanged passes before putting Cameron Gardner away for his second try. Davies’ conversion was again a formality.

Having already earned a bonus point and with a 28 point lead, Brecon clearly lost concentration and the battling Risca team deservedly came back into the game. A lovely kick through the flat Brecon defence allowed full back Dowle to win the chase to the touchdown. Then lively flanker Joseph Carling intercepted off a turning scrum and he raced in for a try which Dowle converted.

At this point it seemed that Risca could yet spoil the party as Brecon’s lead was trimmed to 16 points but that idea was quickly quashed. Brecon produced a great try which emphasised the footballing ability of the forwards. Flanker Chris Davies first resisted the temptation to throw a speculative off load and took the ball into a ruck which was quickly won and in the following move prop Richie Davies showed wonderful hands to put Newman away for his second try. By now Davies just couldn’t miss the conversion. Then to finish in style a blind side move gave Ryan Price room on the wing and he showed his pace as he raced away to score Brecon’s 100th try of the season. Davies this time handed the conversion duties over to Jake Newman, playing his last game for Brecon before moving during the off season to Hendy. Newman, as he has been throughout his Brecon career, was accurate and he slotted the conversion to conclude a most satisfying bonus point victory.

Now Brecon have the offseason to reflect on what has been a great season. In the after-match celebrations Club Chairman Paul Amphlett, and all the players thanked coaches Andy Powell and Martin Keylock for their unstinting work throughout the season. With Martin now retiring after a long and successful period as coach everyone wished him well for the future and thanked him for the way he has contributed to the undoubted advancement of the team and the club.