Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team 17 - 8 Llantwit Major RFC | 1st Team
Jonathan Crimp
Conversion 2
Penalty 1
Christopher Poole
Try 1
Adan Cole
Try 1

Match Report
11 September 2018 / Team News

Old Penarthians v Llantwit Major Match Report

The first home game of the season for Old Penarthians was played last Saturday against Llantwit Major, a team the club had not beaten since a WRU Bowl fixture in 2011.  The match was played in a competitive spirit throughout and was a tense affair up to the last ten minutes when Old Penarthians scored a decisive try to win the game by 17 points to 8

After a week of warm weather, the pitch was in good condition with a strong breeze blowing towards the clubhouse.  Llantwit won the toss and decided to play into the wind leaving the onus on the home team to dominate the conditions and build a lead that could be defended in the second half.

The game started favourably for Old Pens with the visitors giving away a succession of penalty infringements under the watchful eye of the referee.  Jon Crimp, returning to the side for his first outing of the season missed his first competitive kick after three minutes but was successful five minutes later and Old Penarthians led 3 – 0

Despite the penalty count in favour of the Old Penarthians the referee failed to penalise the Llantwit scrum and in the minds of the many home spectators the Llantwit dominance at this phase of play was due to illegal binding.  The pressure on Callum, Wingren, Simon Barry and Sam Hall did not however detract from their performances around the pitch with Wingren in particular relishing the close quarter driving into the opposition forwards.

Another to relish in the physical battle was Louis Chandler who provided a non-stop athletic performance throughout the match.  He was ably supported by fellow backrowers Adan Cole and Joel deClaire, who also undertook the throwing-in duties at the line out.  This phase of the game was better than the previous week but there is still room for improvement to ensure a good supply of ball to the threequarters.  That said Scott Mackie was still able to deliver from well-timed organisation.

On 35 minutes the referee’s patience was broken and the Llantwit second row was yellow-carded for side entry at the ruck.  Penarthians elected to kick for touch and from the ensuing line out Tom Sidford and then Mackie nearly got over the tryline.

Moments later a move along the threequarters saw Tomos Hillman release Chris Poole with a miss move and he in turn passed to Mark Sadler on the wing.  Sadler was unfortunately bundled into touch near the corner flag.

With five minutes of the half remaining came a forward drive led by Chandler.  Gareth Clancy passed to deClaire in mid field who passed to Poole.  Poole sold a dummy and trusted his pace and strength to beat the tackling defenders and touch down in the corner.  Crimp converted from the touchline and Penarthians led 10 – 0.

As is so often the case, Penarthians relaxed at the kick off and conceded possession to Llantwit.  This was compounded by the concession of a penalty which Llantwit kicked to the corner.  Two line outs followed and from the second after a series of forward drives Rob Carter scored in the corner.  The conversion was missed and the half time whistle blew with Penarthians having a slim 5 point lead with a second half to be played into the wind.

At half time coach Anthony Davies decided that Hillman should be replaced by Sam Booth, making his debut for the club, to play at centre with skipper Rhys Lakin moving to outside half.  A shuffle in the pack saw the introduction of James Roach coming on at second row with Sidford moving to loose-head prop and Sam Hall replacing the injured Barry at hooker.

The half started with Penarthians under pressure in the loose and a touch line tackle by Crimp assisted by Poole thwarted one attack, whilst determined try line defence by the forwards also resulted in no further scores.  On 10 minutes a penalty chance was squandered by Llantwit but on 25 minutes the lead was reduced to two points with a successful kick by Llantwit outside half Howley.

Clancy was then sent to the sideline for a ten-minute rest and Sadler moved to scrum half.  Pressure was relieved at a scrum in the home 22 when Cole broke away on a 35m run supported by Chandler and Wingren.  The forwards then dominated the play and when a line out was won 10m from the Llantwit tryline concerted efforts saw Cole emerge from the pile of bodies with a try.  Crimp converted for a 17 – 8 score.

Further attacks by Booth, Lakin and Poole supported by the forwards saw Old Penarthians end the match in the ascendancy and the first win of the season was secured.

At this early stage of the season the result leaves the Old Pens well placed with five league points in a twelve-team division where only three clubs, Canton, St Albans and Llandaff, are unbeaten

Next Saturday Old Penarthians host Treherbert in a WRU Bowl fixture, which eventually leads to a final played at the Principality Stadium, whilst the 2nd XV are also at home against Canton.  Both games kick off at 2.30pm


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