Fixture

Llantwit Major RFC | 1st Team 20 - 13 Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team
Rhys William Blake
1 Try
David Lakin
1 Conversion
2 Penalty

Match Report
18 September 2017 / Team News

Match Report - Llantwit Major RFC v Old Penarthians RFC

Old Penarthians v Llantwit Major Match Report

 

Saturday 2nd September 2017

 

The Old Penarthians 2017/18 rugby campaign in Division 3 East Central (B) kicked off last Saturday with an away fixture to Llantwit Major.  The match was played in warm sunshine probably more suited to a game of cricket but the players had been well prepared during the summer training sessions by Simon Hurley and John Bruno and were looking forward to the challenge of playing against the team who had finished fourth in the division the previous season.

After fifteen minutes however that enthusiasm was ebbing as the team found themselves adrift by 10 points through a penalty and a converted try after a pushover from a scrum by the home team.

At that stage of the game if anyone had suggested that a bonus point gained in defeat was possible new captain Rhys Lakin would probably have taken it willingly.  The fact that this point was achieved in a 20 – 13 loss says something for the determination in the team but at the end there was great disappointment in the camp that the game had not been won.

In fact, after the initial opening the contest was more evenly contested and Old Penarthians were at times quite dominant.  

Debutant David Lakin scored the first points of the season from a penalty to make the score 10 -3 but it took another try through a quickly taken penalty kick by the Llantwit scrum half to finally wake up the Old Pens from their summer break.

The lineout had functioned well throughout but the scrum was under pressure and it was to Matt Stingl’s credit that his propping debut lasted until the 30th minute before being forced off with an injury.  He was replaced by Tom Sidford, moving up to the front row after his last few seasons in the second row.  

This brought a little more control and with that Gareth Clancy was able to distribute passes to Lakin at outside half, who in turn brought the outside backs into the game.  Fearghas Gough and George Kynaston were both given opportunities to attack the Llantwit defence.  And on the stroke of half time pressure in the home team twenty-two led to a penalty for Lakin in front of the posts and a 15 – 6 half time scoreline

Defence by the forwards in the latter part of the first half had been strong and Sam Hall, Josh Alcock and another debutant Andrew Hilbourne stood out.  This aligned with the foraging skills of Geraint ‘Trevor’ Blake and Joel de Claire meant that parity in the loose was achieved.

Playing down the slope in the second half the momentum from the end of the first half was maintained and attacks through Stuart Clarke, returning to the club after a sabbatical with Penarth RFC, Nathan Facey and John Patterson nearly brought the required scores.

It was however not until two Llantwit players were shown yellow cards within two minutes of each other that the numerical advantage turned pressure into points.  Both dismissals were justified when first Trevor Blake was dangerously ‘cleared out’ from a ruck and then Clarke was tackled early by his opposite number in the second row when a final pass could have resulted in a try.  There could have been an argument for a penalty try but when the ensuing penalty was kicked to the corner the forwards combined well and mauled the ball over the line for Rhys ‘Reggie’ Blake to claim the score.  David Lakin again converted and the score was 15 – 13 to Llantwit Major.

With twenty minutes remaining it looked as if Old Penarthians could further impose themselves but despite charging runs from Rhys Lakin, Sidford and Facey the Llantwit defence held strong.  Briefly the home side escaped their 22 with a kick upfield.  This was collected and a high ball put up in return.  Unfortunately, the kick was not well directed, the kick chase not organised and the Llantwit full back evaded three potential tacklers in his own 22 to make 30m.  He passed on to his supporting runners and a try resulted wide out that went unconverted.

There was still four minutes remaining and Old Pens again dominated the possession and the territory and were rewarded with a penalty about ten metres from the try line and near the touchline.  Lakin and de Claire discussed the options and decided that a possible try from a lineout would have left a difficult kick to draw the match so determined that a penalty taken towards the middle of the pitch would be more beneficial.  Unfortunately, the chance was not taken and the game lost by 20 points to 13.

There were obvious signs that the three-quarters are going to be a threat to all the teams they play this season although some composure will be required at times.  In turn, the forwards will work hard to provide the ball that is required but they will hope that the front row can be reinforced in order that a solid scrum can be developed.

The next match is at home on Saturday 9th September when Canton will be the visitors for a 2.30pm kick off. The seconds are scheduled to take part in a Festival of Rugby at Llandaff North which will also start at 2.30pm.

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