Clwb Rygbi Crymych | 1st Team 26 - 32 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
Jake Mitchell Newman
1 Try
2 Conversion
1 Penalty
Carl Blacker
1 Try
Aneurin James
1 Try
Ewan Williams
1 Try
Logan Mcintosh
1 Try

Match Report
22 October 2023 / Team News

Crymych 26 - Brecon 32

Following their impressive win against Bonymaen, the previous week, Brecon made the long journey to Crymych knowing that they would have to work hard for a win in blustery, damp conditions. The Club at Crymych is the focal point for the small town set in the Preseli Hills. Having only been formed as recently as 1986 they have made huge progress both in terms of facilities and their Championship league status. They are also, justifiably, proud of their illustrious international connections which includes the famous Neath Trio of Kevin Phillips, John Davies and Brian Williams and more recent internationals, Josh McLeod, Stephen Varney, Catrin Edwards and Lleucu George. Over recent years their success has been built on establishing Parc Lloyd Thomas as a fortress and allowing few visitors the luxury a win at the Parc. Aware of this background and of the fact that for the first time this season Brecon would have to compete on a heavy wet ground, Dale McIntosh, and his coaching team had prepared well and set the aim of maintaining their 100% season record. That aim was achieved with a 32 points to 26 bonus point victory, in a game in which they were always in front but could never shake off the challenge of the proud and resilient opposition.

Undoubtedly Brecon were forced to work hard. Where, in a number of games this season, Brecon have run through defences with their pace and threat in the back line on this occasion the victory was based on an impressive forward effort. The scrum was dominant throughout and at times drove their opponents off their ball. The front row of Iwan Dowling Jones, Aneurin James, Andy Nicholl and replacements Dewi Edwards and Richie Davies all played their part in the dominant effort. One push over try came directly from this area of superiority and three other tries came as a result of the platform laid by the scrum. Another area where Brecon excelled was in the effectiveness of their rolling maul. Two tries were scored because of its effectiveness with one covering a full15 metres through a splintered opposition.

With such dominance in two key areas, and on a heavy ground, Brecon could and should have ended well clear of their opponents. The fact that they held an advantage of just six points at the final whistle was due to two factors. First and foremost was the resilience of the opposition. Each time Brecon threatened to break clear, Crymych hit back, and this allowed their vociferous home support to get behind them and lift the team. The other factor was of Brecon’s own making.

Brecon started well and after twenty-five minutes they were seventeen points ahead. Jake Newman, at outside half, used the wind effectively and kept Brecon on the offensive. He also added Brecon’s first points. From a scrum deep in the Crymych 22 he took the pass from his half back partner Carl Blacker and allowed centre Ollie Lewis to draw the defence with and inside run. His slight show of the ball on the inside was enough to open a gap and he raced through to score and convert. The second try came directly from pressure and Brecon’s tight forward work. Alwyn Lee won the line out on the home 5 metre line and set up a maul. Crymych overloaded on the right and Brecon rolled left for hooker Aneurin James to score. Newman converted and then added a penalty. At this point Brecon were making good use of their forward strength and the wind, and had subdued the crowd.

It became clear, however, that this was not going to be a walk over, when Crymych hit back. Their score started on half way with their young outside half Ifan Davies combining with equally young full back Eilir George. A clever flat pass put George in space and he cut through the first line of Brecon’s defence. His balanced running and pace stretched the cover. Tackles should have been made. but were not, and George scored a try which lifted his team. Brecon responded well and should have extended their lead before the end of the half but they made mistakes. First a penalty was kicked dead rather than into touch on the home 5 metre line and then flanker Matthew Williams set off on a run which brought him into the shadow of the posts. Although tackled, he laid the ball back, and with a two man overlap Brecon should have scored. Uncharacteristically the pass went astray, along with the opportunity to extend the lead just before half time

Crymych started the second half well but Brecon’s defence held and a storming Osian Davies run put Brecon on the offensive. They destroyed their opponent’s scrum on half way, gained a penalty, and set up a line out in the home 22. Alwyn Lee again claimed line out ball and the pack set up an unstoppable driving maul which raced over the try line for Logan McIntosh to score.

This was the opportunity for Brecon to sit on and then build a substantial lead but again their opponents hit back. The build up to their second try would have been frustrating for the Brecon coaches. From an attacking position Brecon conceded three consecutive penalties to surrender territory and then, when the ball was moved to Crymych’s impressive centre, Tomos Phillips, he took the tackle, stayed on his feet as Brecon overread the play and released him as support arrived. He ran away from the contact and scored a try which Davies converted. Brecon hot back and extended their lead again when Blacker sniped off the side of an advancing scrum and scored. Frustratingly, for the travelling support and to the delight of the home crowd, Crymych hit back. With Brecon moving the ball on halfway a pass was intercepted and Phillips had a second clear run to the line and again Davies converted. As was now the pattern of the match, Brecon hit back. This time their scrum drove the Crymych pack back over their line and Ewan Williams scored.

There was still time for a further twist as Brecon’s Dion McIntosh was shown a red card for what was deemed a high tackle. Then an injury in the Crymych front row led to uncontested scrums, and finally the home team had the last word when centre Tomos Phillips scored his third try after breaking through some weak defence from close to a ruck. Again, the try was converted, allowing the home team to deservedly take two points out of the match with four tries and a losing margin of less than seven.

Further good news came as Brecon’s Athletic and Youth teams posted wins at Hollybush and against Abercynon respectively. Now Brecon prepare for the away Cup match at Bonymaen next Saturday. A victory in that match would take them into the last eight, but before the team and management can think any further ahead there is a game to win away from home, with the recent victory at Parc de Pugh, over the same opponents, only providing Bonymaen even greater incentive to turn the tables.