Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team 15 - 7 Llandaff RFC | 1st Team
Nathan Smith
Try 1
Joel De Claire
Try 1
Nathan Mark Facey
Conversion 1
Penalty 1

Match Report
30 January 2019 / Team News

Old Penarthians v Llandaff Match Report

In weather not suited to any outdoor sport Old Penarthians gained another victory last Saturday in WRU league Division 3 East Central (B) when they defeated Llandaff by 15 points to 7.   The performance may have been efficient rather than spectacular in the atrocious wind and rain that prevailed throughout the match but it brought Old Pens their fourth straight victory to ensure they retained fifth spot in the league. 

Stand-in captain Jon Crimp replacing Rhys Lakin, who will be out for at least four weeks with a flaked thumb bone sustained in the Llandaff North victory, won the toss and elected to play into the elements. 

James Roach caught the ball from the kick off and was driven on by the forwards.  Tomos Hillman kicked high from the ensuing ruck and as the Llandaff winger caught the ball, he also received the full weight of Matt Sutton who timed his tackle to perfection.  Unfortunately, Old Pens could not take advantage because of a ‘hands in the ruck’ penalty awarded against them.  A mistake that was to be repeated throughout the match by both teams.

Penarthians were finding it difficult to enter opposition territory due to the conditions and only good defence, particularly from Liam Bevan and Crimp in the threequarters and Luke Crockett, Joel deClaire and Josh Allcock in the forwards ensured the game remained scoreless. 

 Llandaff did have two opportunities after 10 and 12 minutes to open the scoring from penalties awarded at the ruck but from in front of the posts from 35m and 30m both were missed.

From the second restart Old Penarthians gained some territory and Bevan and Nathan Smith nearly broke through the Llandaff defence.  From one of these attacks a scrum was awarded and good work by the front row of Sam Hall, Crockett and Gareth Boulton presented the ball to deClaire.  He broke to the blindside where Hillman supported to pass to Smith.  With Crimp and John Patterson waiting to his right Smith decided to kick rather than pass but his kick was charged down by Geraint Williams.

The rebound bounced kindly for Williams and he raced 75m to score under the posts.  A try he converted to give Llandaff a seven-point lead.

This galvanised the Old Pens and they put together a sustained period of pressure in the Llandaff twenty-two.  This culminated in a series of drives by the forwards led by Sutton and supported by Roach, Scott Mackie and Boulton.  The controlled ball was then released to Smith who, making amends for his earlier misjudgement, stepped inside his opposite number and as he was tackled and brought to ground, spun around to score a try.  Nathan Facey converted to level the scores.

Llandaff were now giving away too many penalties and the referee proffered a yellow card to their number 8 after 33 minutes.  From the penalty, Facey kicked to touch inside the Llandaff twenty-two.  The line out was won by Roach, Sutton drove on with support and after two forays deClaire broke free to score a try.  The conversion was missed but Penarthians led at the break by 12 points to 7.

The second half started with the weather getting even worse and the pitch beginning to deteriorate but with the wind at their backs Penarthians always had the advantage.

On one occasion a raking kick from Smith pinned Llandaff deep in their own half.  The lineout was won and from the forward drives a scrum was awarded 5m from the tryline.  The otherwise effective scrum was however dismantled and a penalty conceded.

Old Pens were back on the attack five minutes later when a kick ahead by Tillman was fumbled by the Llandaff fullback under pressure from Fearghas Gough and Crimp.  On this occasion the scrum was solid and deClaire drove forward.  Roach supported and this time a well worked three-quarter move created a chance for Patterson.

With 30 minutes played after a bout of pressure Smith compounded his mixed day by seeing yellow for a shoulder charge at a ruck  but Penarthians were not to be denied and three minutes later Facey kicked three points for a two-score lead.

In the last ten minutes Gareth Clancy, replacing Hillman, after a series of rucks near the opposition line threw a short pass to Boulton in ‘Penarth corner’.  The pass hit Boulton’s knees but went forward over the line.  Unfortunately, his despairing dive was not quite timed and the ball squirted out of play in the in-goal area.

The game was however nearing completion and Old Pens had won again

This Saturday Old Penarthians 1st XV travel to second placed St Albans whilst the second team are away to Pentrych.  The kick offs are scheduled for 2.30pm.


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