Llandaff North RFC | 1st Team 7 - 5 Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team
Josh Alcock
1 Try

Match Report
21 January 2020 / Team News

Old Penarthians v Llandaff North Match Report

Only at the end of the season will Old Penarthians realise the full extent of their away defeat to Llandaff North in Specsavers Division 3 East Central (B) by 7 points to 5 on their promotion ambitions.  This was a match which could have been won even though for the second time in three weeks the team was unable to field a fully qualified front row.

On this occasion the referee correctly applied the league rules and Penarthians had to play the match with only 14 players but with two substitutions available.  In compliance with the rule, all scrummages were to be contested with eight forwards leaving Llandaff North with a numerical advantage in the threequarters whenever a scrum was formed.

Llandaff North fortunately did not capitalise on this advantage perhaps due to tactical naivety but mainly due to robust, physical and well managed Penarthians defence led in the backs by Jon Crimp and Chris Poole and in the forwards by James Beaton and Louis Chandler.  All 16 players involved in the game should however be congratulated for their efforts which ensured that the result was in doubt until the final whistle.

The team also had to contend with the loss of two players, James Roach and Kevin Maddox, to the same offence of deliberately knocking the ball forward.  Roach playing his fourth game in four weeks was particularly unlucky, but to his credit was prowling the touchline during his suspension eager to get his forty-year old body back in the fray.

This attitude was exhibited by the whole team and other than the opening three minutes of the game Penarthians were dominant in the first half showing collective forward drives and threequarter attacking options. The reward came after 10 minutes after a series of lineout options taken from penalties. A good throw from Joel deClaire was caught by Josh Allcock and the forwards combined to drive over the tryline with Allcock claiming the try.  Nathan Facey missed the conversion but Old Pens led 5-0.

Ten minutes later another line out was won and the ball was moved to midfield where Matt Sutton took the ball into contact.  Luke Crockett and the rest of the forwards drove to the tryline but in an effort to score Chandler was adjudged to have made a second illegal movement and a penalty resulted.

The threequarters also created opportunities with on one occasion Crimp making a midfield break before passing to fellow centre Poole.  Poole gave a return pass to Crimp but Roach overran the pass intended for him and the momentum was lost.

It was however the quality of the defence that shone and despite late pressure form North the half time score remained at 5-0.

The second half commenced with a renewed effort from Llandaff North to drive through their forwards and tire out the depleted Penarthian numbers.  To a certain extend it worked but on separate occasions deClaire and Geraint Blake produced effective jackal tackles to be awarded penalties by the referee.

The referee was however not convinced by a lot of the close-range defence and the penalties started to mount up against the Penarthians allowing North to maintain a territorial advantage. It was therefore something of a surprise that the try scored should come from a long-range attack started on halfway where the North left winger appeared in mid field and broke a tackle to sprint 40m to score under the posts.  The conversion was successful and Llandaff North led 7-5.

This was to be the last score of the match although with three minutes remaining a speculative kick by Sutton was caught in the air by Facey who set off from 50m towards the tryline.  Unfortunately, he was hauled down 1m short by a corner-flagging prop forward.

This Saturday the 1st XV are away to second placed Tonyrefail whilst the 2nd XV travel across Lavernock Road to play Penarth.  Kick offs are scheduled for 2.30pm


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