Old Penarthians v Caerau Ely Match Report
Saturday 4th March 2017
On a blustery cold afternoon Old Penarthians travelled to Trelai Park to play Caerau Ely in a WRU League Division 3 East Central (B) fixture. It was an important game for both teams as they sat just above the relegation zone, Penarthians holding a one point advantage over the Cardiff team, albeit with a game in hand.
By the end of the match however the positions were reversed with Caerau sealing a bonus point victory by 24 points 15.
The foundation for the Caerau victory was based around their forwards and within ten minutes the big home forwards had powered over the try line from two five metre scrums to take a 14 point lead. The visiting spectators were left wondering how long an afternoon they were about to endure.
Fortunately the poor start was turned around and for the rest of the half Old Penarthians had parity of the possession and the territory and definitely had the greater quality in the three-quarters. Liam Union and Mike Nash both had opportunities to break the defence but final passes and lack of support brought the attacks to nothing.
Penarthians forwards did however muster a ten minute period just before the break when they had a series of attacking line outs and pressure on the Caerau tryline. Despite good throws from Reggie Blake and secure ball from Joel deClaire the combined effort of the forwards was thwarted by the home defence on each occasion. Illegally on a couple of occasions according to the referee who brandished a yellow card after one too many infringement. However, the intent to slow ball had its intended effect and Penarthians could still not get over the line and with the half coming to an end Jonathan Crimp kicked for goal and three points.
The half time whistle was blown almost immediately after the restart but not before a wayward clearance kick again put pressure on the Penarthians defence. The half time score was 14 – 3 to Caerau.
Coaches Simon Hurley and Anthony Davies had strong words for the team at half time about controlling the ball and using the wind that was now in their favour in the second half but within four minutes of the restart another five metre scrum resulted in a second try for Caerau no (16) 8, Ryan Davis. The conversion hit the post and bounced in field.
This was again not the start that the Old Penarthians had wanted. It meant that the possession that was won needed to be used better and not kicked away and Luke Crockett, Matt Sutton and Tom Sidford all carried the ball into the Caerau defence allowing time for Crimp to bring Rhys Lakin and Union into the attack. Too often however the final decision was poor or a pass went astray.
Penarthians did stay on the offensive and they earned a five metre scrum after a touch in goal by Caerau. Joel de Claire and Clancy combined at the base of the scrum and passed to the supporting Sidford. When the ball was recycled from a series of rucks Crimp found himself in space and crossed for his second try in two games. The conversion was unsuccessful but with twenty minutes to play and a wind advantage Penarthians thought they were in with a chance.
That chance was dashed three minutes later when a ball was turned over on half way and from a counter attack the Caerau centre scored a try. The kick was missed but Caerau led 24 – 8.
Despite tiring, Penarthians continued to strive for a further score and when Caerau were penalised inside their own twenty-two with six minutes remaining Clancy took a quick tap and fed Sidford. He almost crossed the line but managed to pass to James Williams to score. Crimp converted for a 24 -15 scoreline and game on.
At this stage Caerau were also very tired and Penarthians were in the ascendancy. More attacking play resulted in a penalty to the left of the posts 20m out from the posts. A successful kick at this stage would have resulted in a losing bonus point and still the opportunity of further attacks. Unfortunately a quick penalty was taken and this time there was not a positive end result.
Still the visitors pressed and when Caerau were asked to defend a scrum near their line the break out was held up by Lakin and Williams and a scrum awarded in front of the posts to Old Penarthians. Unfortunately indiscipline after the whistle resulted in a penalty kick to Caerau and the pressure was relieved.
There was time for one more attack from deep within their own half but Nash was well tackled when he had nearly broken free and the game was over.
Overall this was a disappointing performance and many of the team will have to look at their contributions individually and collectively to ensure that results are improved as the season moves into the last couple of months.
Next weekend sees the 1st XV on their travels again, this time to Cowbridge whilst the 2nd XV have a league fixture at home to Caerau Ely. Both games are due to kick off at 2.30pm.
A bus will be departing the club at 12 pm on Saturday bound for Cowbridge and supporters are welcome. Please advise Team Manager Stu Barter if you wish to travel on 07884 362393.
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