Dunvant RFC | 1st Team 10 - 16 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
Dion Mcintosh
1 Conversion
3 Penalty
Aneurin James
1 Try

Match Report
03 December 2023 / Team News

Dunvant 10 - Brecon 16

The return home from Dunvant was full of mixed emotions. On the one hand Brecon were pleased that, on a cold and frosty afternoon, when many other league games were cancelled, they completed their fixture and returned home with their ninth successive win under their belts. On the other hand, they will have been disappointed with their performance. Dunvant dominated the game territorially, apart from the opening periods of both halves when Brecon scored most of their points. For long periods during the game Brecon were forced to defend. The fact that they emerged victorious was, in a large part, down to the team’s resilience and determination when faced by wave after wave of attack. Their commitment in the tackle area linked with the quality and organisation of their defence was outstanding, particularly during the final ten minutes when Dunvant were camped in the Brecon 22 and were within one score of a victory at just 10 points to 16 down. In desperation Brecon conceded penalties and were finally reduced to 13 men, losing the cornerstone of their scrum, Andy Nicholl and dynamic Number 8, Logan McIntosh, who both received yellow cards. Yet shorn of these important players and reduced in numbers they held at the scrum, stopped attempted driving mauls, and tackled to the final whistle, when centre Tomos Davies pulled off and outstanding tackle which drove Dunvant’s wing into touch near the corner flag. As the final whistle sounded, Brecon celebrated, while the home team and support were left frustrated, knowing that Brecon had robbed them of a victory in a game which they dominated for long periods.

The game was also a match of, “What iff’s.” What would have happened if Dion Mcintosh had an off day with his goal kicking. As it happened, he was immaculate kicking a conversion and three penalties for an 11 point haul from Brecon’s total of 16. What if Dunvant had trusted their goal kicker and gone for goal rather than opt to kick to touch when they were awarded numerous penalties towards the climax of the game. What if Brecon’s scrum had buckled when faced with a 5 metre scrum when the pack was short of two important players and finally, what if Brecon’s heads had dropped during the relentless, final Dunvant assault. The answer to all those questions is a simple one. Brecon would have lost the match and suffered their first defeat of the season.

That final, desperate struggle was in stark contrast to the way the game started. From the kick off Brecon set a high tempo and took the game to their opponents. A number of players, who later played a big part in the game, showed up well. Flanker Osian Davies and Number 8 Logan McIntosh were involved in almost every phase of play and contributed to the power of the maul which drove over the home line and allowed hard working hooker Aneurin James to score. Dion McIntosh then struck a superb conversion from virtually on the touch line. Seven points up after just a few minutes certainly gave no indication of how the game would pan out.

When Brecon knocked on at the kick off it allowed Dunvant to have a period of pressure in the Brecon half but Brecon snuffed out the danger with some big hits and some excellent work at the breakdown in which Matthew Williams and Lewis Smout were prominent. As a result, Dunvant’s period of pressure won no tangible reward. In contrast, when full back Jake Newman latched onto a loose ball in his own half he broke and carried into the opposition half where he kicked ahead. Wing Sam Jones was first to the ball and he hacked on as his pace took him clear. Disappointingly the ball bounced unkindly into touch just short of the try line. However, Brecon were not to be denied. As Dunvant tried to work their way out of defence Logan McIntosh won a penalty at the breakdown and brother Dion put Brecon ten points ahead.

Suddenly the game changed. Brecon were forced to defend for long periods. When they did win the ball, they tended to kick out of defence poorly. Too often the kick was short and found opponents who were eager to attack. Brecon also made mistakes with ball in hand. A few promising Ben Griffin sorties came to nothing and this gave their opponents plenty of territory and possession. As Dunvant’s confidence grew they started to look dangerous with lots of movement in their back line. However, with the defence well led by captain Ollie Lewis, Brecon held out until just before half time when a speculative kick through found a gap behind Brecon’s defence and wing Mark Robbins won the race to score.

Strangely the second half started like the first with Brecon regaining their composure and scoring with a Dion McIntosh penalty but when Brecon failed to take the kick off, Dunvant took the initiative. They put Brecon under severe pressure, pressure which Brecon just couldn’t lift. Finally, and inevitably, while Brecon were reduced to 14 men, second row Jack Phipps scored after numerous pick and drive phases.

To ease worries Brecon hit back immediately after an Osian Davies run led to a penalty that McIntosh again converted. Brecon then created their last opportunity of the half. Brecon’s scrum won a penalty in Dunvant’s half and they went for the corner. A score now would have put the game beyond Dunvant, but the kick went dead and Dunvant were again invited to take the initiative. This led to the final frenetic ten minutes. It was a question of backs to the wall defence and survival, but survive they did, against all the odds. Thankfully, Brecon now have a week’s break before facing third placed Llangennech at Parc de Pugh on 16th December. They will need to be at their very best for that encounter. Team spirit, determination and sheer effort won them the day at Dunvant but the team has more to offer than that and they will need to get back to their best if they are to end the year unbeaten.