Fixture

Senghenydd RFC | 1st Team 14 - 26 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
Ryan Price
1 Try
Jake Newman
3 Conversion
Joshua Millichap
1 Try
Scott Gibson
1 Try
Ioan Edwards
1 Try

Match Report
27 March 2022 / Team News

Senghenydd 14 - Brecon 26

For the fifth time in succession Brecon travelled away to fulfil their latest league encounter. The match at Senghenydd was important in its own right but it took on added significance as preparation for the semi-final Plate match against Treorchi at Ebbw Vale on Saturday 2nd April. With the incentive of possibly returning to the Principality Stadium as WRU Plate holders, the travelling Brecon support were hoping for a real test and a morale boosting performance on a glorious spring afternoon in the Aber Valley. They certainly were given a real test by a resilient Senghenydd team and had to work hard to come away with a bonus point victory. The quality of performance, however, was perhaps not as satisfying. That in itself may not have been a bad thing as it highlighted areas to work on in the coming week before facing the challenge of a Treorchi team which has a 100% record to date in Division 1 East Central.

Brecon will have been pleased with a number of aspects of their performance. They took the spoils at almost every scrum against a much bigger pack and to some extent this was the foundation of their win. The starting front row of Andy Nicholl, Johnny Bowen and Iwan Dowling Jones together with substitutes Richie Davies and Dewi Edwards all played their part both in the tight and loose and their contribution directly laid the foundation for two of Brecon’s tries. The line out with, Rowan Starkey, Will Prosser and Ioan Edwards prominent, was also effective and as a result Brecon had an excellent supply of good ball. Where Brecon were less effective, particularly in the first half, was their ability to finish. Chances were created but either the decision making in the scoring zone was flawed or the final passes were less than accurate. Then in the second half, with the stiff breeze at their backs, they generally kicked poorly. Too many kicks gave talented full back Tom Davies far too much time. He frequently fielded the ball in the middle of the field where he could weigh up options and link with left wing Jack Evans who was a constant threat.

In the opening minutes of the match, Brecon looked as if they could romp home. With plentiful ball they played high tempo rugby and time and again stretched the home defence with the width of their play. Opportunities came but Brecon failed to score and as time wore on so this became more and more of a concern. That concern was justified as Senghenydd made a rare sortie into the Brecon half. A missed tackle in defence put the hosts on the front foot and when they won a penalty, they opted to kick to touch for a line out on 5 metres. Their catch and drive was effective and they rumbled over for the opening try which outside half Owain Padfield converted.

The set back forced Brecon to take a more pragmatic approach which saw them keep the ball much tighter, using the forwards to drive on. Finally, a try came. Rowan Starkey pulled off a great tackle and then showed great hands to create an attacking position on the home 5 metre line. After a number of close calls scrum half Scott Gibson finally crashed over and Jake Newman levelled the scores with an excellent conversion.

The score enlivened the Brecon side and they again looked threatening. Good runs by wings Ben Griffin and Ryan Price threatened but Brecon’s accuracy in the final third was still missing and the determined Senghenydd defence held out for a long time. With just five minutes of the half remaining, Brecon finally took the lead, thanks to their dominant scrum. After number 8 Josh Millichap and scrum half Scott Gibson combined to win Brecon territory, they were awarded a scrum on 5 metres. Brecon’s dominance in this area told and with Josh Millichap controlling the ball at the back they drove the home pack over the line and Millichap scored. Newman again converted. In the last few minutes of the half Senghenydd fought back but some good defensive work saw Brecon through to half time with a seven-point lead.

The second half started very brightly for the visitors. From a scrum on Brecon’s 22 metre line they spread the ball wide to wing Ryan Price who broke on the outside and raced away for an excellent try. Jake Newman converted brilliantly from the touchline.

Brecon should have been able to stretch away from there but the resilient home team had other ideas. Full back Davies caught a loose kick and attacked down the left flank. He was caught on halfway but Senghenydd recycled the ball quickly and went blind to wing Jack Evans. With forwards guarding the narrow blind side he showed the pace and ability to escape their clutches and to race away to score under the posts allowing Padfield an easy conversion.

Senghenydd were back in the game and Brecon were now finding it difficult to sustain pressure in spite of a number of good counter-attacking runs from full back Owen Morgan and Jake Newman. It was their scrum, however, that provided the platform for their bonus point score. On their 22 the Senghenydd scrum was driven backwards and Scott Gibson exerted pressure on the scrambling home scrum half. The ball broke loose and Gibson hacked ahead. Ever present flanker Ioan Edwards was on hand to pick up and run in at the corner. Although the conversion failed Brecon now had a comfortable lead and a bonus point in the bag. Brecon looked to finish with a flourish but the proud Senghenydd defence held firm against multiple attacks and Brecon were forced to be satisfied with an away win with a bonus point as they head into the final week’s preparation prior to the biggest match of the season so far when they meet Treorchi in Saturday’s Plate Semi Final.

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