Brecon RFC | 1st Team 34 - 26 Pontypool United RFC | 1st Team
Owen Morgan
Try 1
Ryan Price
Try 1
Jake Newman
Conversion 2
Scott Gibson
Try 1
Ioan Edwards
Try 1
Ewan Williams
Try 1
Sam Hellard
Try 1

Match Report
14 November 2021 / Team News

Brecon 34 – Pontypool United 26

WRU National League Division 1 East                                                 Saturday 13th November 2021

Brecon 34 – Pontypool United 26


League rugby finally made a welcome return to Parc de Pugh after a 20 month break brought about by the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Although well into November the weather conditions helped to ensure that the game was played in near perfect conditions. The pitch looked in remarkably good shape for the time of the year and there was hardly a breath of wind. To say that these conditions suited Brecon’s style of play could not have been better illustrated than during the first 20 minutes of the match. Under the direction of coaches, Matthew Lewis, Wayne Morris and player coach Scott Gibson the team has developed an exciting, expansive game. Brecon are ambitious and prepared to run from almost everywhere. In so doing mistakes are inevitably made but players are encouraged to express themselves and mistakes, although not wanted, are accepted as part of that ambitious collective plan. During the first twenty minutes everything worked like clockwork.


Unquestionably Pontypool United were caught unprepared for the initial onslaught they faced. Brecon started at a very high tempo. They moved the ball at every opportunity and they had plenty of opportunity. The line out functioned well with jumpers, Rowan Starkey, Archie Trevethan, Will Prosser and Ioan Edwards winning clean effective ball off Tom Witcomb’s throws and pressurising their opponents. Scrums also worked in Brecon’s favour with the front row of Andy Nicholl, Tom Witcomb and the irrepressible Richie Davies putting their opponents under severe pressure. With plenty of ball to work with, the backs were outstanding. Scrum half Scott Gibson in particular stood out, not just for his link work but for the running threat he posed behind a dominant pack. It was appropriate that within minutes of the start Brecon took the lead when off the back of an advancing scrum Ewan Williams broke and fed Gibson who sliced through the defence for the opening score with Jake Newman adding the conversion. A word here should be added in relation to the commitment of Brecon’s captain Ewan Williams. Having been ill all week, Ewan turned out for his side when many would have taken time off. However, his performance was such that none of the spectators would have been aware of this background nor would they ever have guessed that his presence on the field had been touch and go until the last moment.


If Pontypool were stunned by this opening salvo then they were visibly distraught after the next period of play. Will Prosser and Richie Davies made inroads into the visitors defence before Jake Crockett made a break, chipped the defence, hacked on and wing Ryan Price won the race to ground the ball. Newman again converted.


The third try followed in short order. Jake Newman put in a huge clearance kick which took play into the visitors 22. From the line out Brecon moved the ball at pace through the hands of centre Ollie Lewis and on to full back Owen Morgan whose pace took him outside the cover for a try in the corner.


From the kick off Brecon were penalised and for the first time in the match we saw Pontypool as an attacking force. From a line out platform on 5 metres they drove hard but Brecon’s defence held firm. Deep in the 22 Brecon won a penalty and they opted to run. Ewan Williams made the initial break before Crockett carried the ball deep into the Pontypool half. His chip was gathered by the Pontypool full back but he was forced to carry the ball over his own line to minor. From a scrum on 5 metres Brecon drove their visitors back over the try line and Ioan Edwards dotted the ball down. After 20 minutes of play Brecon had scored four tries, and thus gained a bonus point and were 24points ahead. 


From such an uncompromising position the Pontypool team rallied and the game suddenly changed. Again at the kick off Brecon gave away a penalty. After an attempted line out drive was held up Pontypool went wide and with good continuity from successive breakdowns they finally created space to go over for a converted try. From this point on the pattern of play changed dramatically.


Brecon lost concentration at scrum time and the line out started to malfunction. Pontypool, now with the lion’s share of the ball worked their way into the game and took control of territory. Brecon were still dangerous from deep and should have scored twice before half time. Scott Gibson made a great snipe around the fringes of the maul and Owen Morgan, Jake Crockett and Ben Gibson combined in a length of the field breakout only for the final scoring pass to be dropped. The early accuracy had gone and Pontypool continued to make life difficult.


Following the half time break it seemed that Brecon had resurrected their early form. Ewan Williams broke, Andy Nicholl showed great handling skills and Sam Hellard was put away for a try. More of the same everyone thought but that was to discount Pontypool’s resilience. They hit back immediately with a driving maul and try. From the kick off there was almost a repeat performance. Pontypool won a penalty, went for the corner and drove over this time for a converted try. Suddenly Pontypool were just 10 points behind and in the ascendency. Brecon had to respond. They worked hard but now it was a battle and the pop passes that stuck in the first twenty minutes were now being dropped. Brecon found it difficult to impose themselves over long periods and the game became a dour battle. Finally Brecon broke the stalemate. Owen Morgan was almost over in the corner and then suddenly from a scrum on 5 metres Brecon found the power to drive Pontypool over and for Ewan Williams to claim the score.


Brecon were now safe with time running out but there was enough left for Pontypool to score a well-deserved try in the corner earn a bonus point as just reward for their efforts during the afternoon.


Other Club results off a full Saturday programme of matches saw Brecon’s second XV pick up an outstanding 41 to 16 away win at Mountain Ash and Brecon’s Youth lost a close encounter against Beddau by 16 points to 12 prior to their derby match at Gwernyfed on Friday evening.