Brecon RFC | 1st Team 20 - 5 Croesyceiliog RFC | 1st Team
Elgan Lewis
Try 1
Eifion Jones
Try 1
Jake Newman
Conversion 2
Penalty 2
Daniel Goode
1 Try

Match Report
14 January 2018 / Team News

Brecon 20 - Croesyceiliog 5

Following a series of wet weeks during which fixtures and training have turned the normally good surface on Parc de Pugh Pitch into a bog, it was decided to move the home fixture against Croesyceiliog to the artificial surface at Merthyr while remedial work was undertaken at Parc de Pugh. The move to a new environment and on an excellent playing surface resulted in a free flowing and closely fought match.

Opponents, Croesyceiliog, brought with them a far from enviable league record. With just three wins from their twelve matches they were placed 10th in the league with 17points. A comparison with Brecon’s record of 11wins from their 12 matches and a points total of 52 suggested that this could be a comfortable win for the home side. That idea was dispelled right from the kick off. Croesyceliog looked comfortable on the ball and looked for width in their game. They also possessed a powerful scrum and challenged at the line out, frequently denying Brecon clean, useful possession. During the early phases, therefore Brecon were pressurised and severely tested. They can be thankful that their defence, particularly in mid-field, was outstanding. Throughout the afternoon centres Eifion Jones and Cameron Gardner built an impenetrable wall in mid-field in spite of being severely tested by a set of lively and enterprising backs who were supplied with a stream of good front foot possession. Brecon were also well served by the boot of Jake Newman who not only posted a 100% goal kicking return but drove Croesyceliog back deep into their own territory with long and accurate kicks.

By the time the game moved beyond the first ten minutes it was clear that the disparity in league positions between the two teams was not being reflected in the way the match was developing. That period was characterised by periods of pressure in the Brecon half interspersed with short periods where Brecon gained territory and looked threatening, only to fail to secure good line out ball or find themselves on the back foot in the scrum. A few opportunities were created particularly down the right flank where Mike Powell and Gwyn Pengelly created space only for, what could have been, a telling final pass to go astray.

With the teams evenly balanced at the end of the first quarter, Brecon finally broke the deadlock. Croesyceiliog were forced to scramble a long raking Newman kick into touch ten metres out from their own line. Brecon’s line out this time was well organised. The catch and drive was perfectly executed and hooker Elgan Lewis, shielded by his pack, crossed the line for the first score which Newman converted.

The score seemed to enliven Brecon and they almost struck again immediately afterwards. No 8 Ewan Williams broke from the tail of an attacking line out. Andy Nicholl then carried powerfully to within a metre of the line where he was finally hauled down. Brecon’s support for the carrier was just too slow and the Croesyceiliog defence won a penalty as Nicholl was forced to hang onto the ball on the ground.

From there, outside half Haydon Simons, cleared to half way where his team won a penalty at the following scrum and very lively scrum half Ryan Bates made a break deep into Brecon’s 22. Brecon were forced into desperate defence. For a long time they held out but eventually Croesyceiliog won a penalty and Simons kicked the ball to touch within 5 metres of the try line. Croesyceiliog matched Brecon’s earlier efficiency and impressive tight head prop, Daniel Goode, was driven over for the try. The conversion from wide out on the touchline failed and Brecon went in to half time with a narrow two point advantage.

The second half started with Brecon’s failings at the line out still evident but some good driving forward carries kept Brecon on the offensive and the pressure finally resulted in a penalty which Newman easily converted. Having earned success and with Ewan Williams and Darren Witcomb prominent, Brecon persisted successfully with this pattern of play and earned another kickable penalty on five metres. Spurning the certainty of three points they opted for a scrum, a decision that could have had serious repercussions. Instead of putting themselves two scores ahead they found their scrum retreating and giving away a penalty. Croesyceiliog cleared and then for the first time in this half threatened. Brecon escaped as a result of some great work by scrum half and Man of the Match, Adam Hoskins. His probing runs and astute kicking allowed Brecon to regain territorial supremacy and that led to another penalty which, this time, added three points to Brecon’s lead.

Almost immediately from the kick off another critical moment materialised. Brecon were attacking on the ten metre line when a pass was intercepted by the Croesyceiliog second row. He set off in the clear.  He obviously didn’t have the pace to run in for a try but with his winger in support he passed. Under no pressure at all the ball was dropped and a critical scoring opportunity was lost.

From that point on Brecon dominated affairs. Ioan Edwards and Adam Hoskins made good runs and left wing Jake Crockett threatened on a number of occasions. Finally from a scrum 5 metres out Brecon gained their second try. A neat switch between outside half Newman and centre Eifion Jones allowed Jones to cut through and score under the posts. The conversion was a formality and Brecon left for home knowing that they had been severely tested by their lowly opponents. So, with what could be a season defining fixture against close rivals Brynmawr looming, Brecon’s coaches Andy Powell and Martin Keylock will have plenty to work on in the week’s build up to that match which will take place at Parc de Pugh on Saturday 20th, kick off 2:30pm