Old Penarthians v Penygraig Match Report
Saturday 15th April 2017
The Old Penarthians traveled to Penygraig RFC in a WRU National League 3 East Central (B) fixture. Penarthians hoped to reverse the season's earlier defeat against a Penygraig side who had already secured promotion. Unfortunately an Old Penarthians team missing no less than 18 regular players would eventually lose by 38-5 against one of the league's better teams.
Early exchanges were a mixed bag with both teams failing to retain possession through sloppy handling. It was Penarthians who had the better start with a lineout on halfway fired with accuracy by Rhys Blake to Joel de Claire, belying the blustery conditions. A pop pass from de Claire to scrum half Gareth Clancy released a pinpoint pass to Scott McCarthy, returning to outside-half for a second fixture whilst the club Captain was working on his gains in Spain. A perfectly timed pass to Lakin allowed the skipper to make his usual barn-storming run before offloading to an expectant Liam Union. Union was able to use his pace to take the ball up to the home 22, however a delayed offload to an already sunburnt George Kynaston went forward.
Both sides again exchanged possession and penalties that would eventually lead to the games opening score. A Penygraig scrum on their own five metre line resulted with the ball being hooked out the side of the scrum. An alert Clancy was able to pick up the loose ball with rapid support from Josh Alcock. The Graig defence was quick to recover however at the next breakdown Clancy was able to feed a hard running Luke Crockett who broke the line for the games opening try. The conversion missed, score 0-5.
From the restart Penarthians were adjudged to be offside allowing Penygraig to convert the easiest of penalties. 3-5.
The next five minutes were again strewn with errors in handling and at lineout. A long clearance kick by Penygraig was fielded well by a Rowan Alcock but two chasing tacklers were able to contain him leading to a scrum for the home team. Blake, joined in the front row by Sam Hall and Gary Bishop would struggle against the large, obviously well drilled Penygraig pack at scrum time. The referee awarded Penygraig a penalty at the scrum allowing another easy kick to be claimed for the league-leaders, 6-5.
From a Penygraig knock-on at the restart they were able to win a scrum against the head and set their winger on a run up the blind side. He was met by James Williams who was able to rip the ball and offload to Matt Stingl. At the next phase part-timer Thomas Sidford carried well to set up Crockett for a run that saw him break the Penygraig flanker. Play resumed shortly after with Penygraig penalised at the scrum, however instead of taking an easy kick at goal the players elected to kick to the corner. The driving maul that had worked so well the previous week was however halted and brought to ground, albeit illegally in the mind of the referee. From the next lineout the Old Boys attacked the try line through forwards Bishop, Sidford and de Claire allowing Clancy to release the backs. Some lovely interplay between Lakin, Rowan Alcock and Union put McCarthy on a course for the try. A good scramble defence meant he had to offload to a supporting run from Williams who took the pass to score. Unfortunately an unsighted referee adjudged a perfectly thrown pass to be forward and the score remained unchanged.
It was the home side who would score with the last play of the half, benefiting from a long kick and poor concentration to score a try in the corner. Half time score 11-5 to Penygraig.
Sadly for Penarthians the home team were able to score from the restart. Poor handling gifted Penygraig the ball and after a series of rucks with the pack gaining ground they scored the easiest of tries under the posts which was converted. 18-5.
The restart saw Old Penarthians awarded a penalty as half-time replacement Simon Barry was able to secure the ball with a tackled Graig player not releasing. A kick to touch from Union gained territory however a lineout mix up handed Penygraig possession with their fullback hitting the line with a perfectly timed run to make fifty metres. A determined cover tackle from Rowan Alcock halted the move and allowed the Penarthians defence to recover and turn over the ball. A collapsed Old Penarthians maul once again handed possession back to Penygraig.
At an ensuing ruck Old Pens were penalised despite a warning to the home side for illegal use of the boot on Barry who had to leave the field for a blood injury. Another easy penalty made the score 21-5 and Barry was replaced by Paul Jones.
The visitors were unable to secure any meaningful possession, often electing to kick when the ball should have been recycled by the forwards. A resulting Clancy box kick was blocked and claimed by the Penygraig forwards who made good headway into Penarthian territory. Some clever blocking runs took defenders out of the equation and it was testament to the Old Boys that they were able to recover to stop another attack. As Penygraig had the momentum the referee awarded a scrum in their favour in which they exerted their scrum dominance to drive a beleaguered pack backwards for another try. Another easy conversion made it 28-5.
For the remainder of the game it was a case of fire-fighting for the Old Penarthians with a strong break from the Graig winger allowing him to beat several would be tacklers and it was only pressure from Kynaston that forced him to place a foot on the touchline and deny him what would have been try of the day.
Penygraig added their fifth try shortly after from a driving lineout in the corner. The only consolation was a missed conversion that left the score at 33-5.
Old Penarthians showed good character and didn't stop playing until the final whistle. Blake managed to steal a poor lineout throw to release a final attack with Lakin still making the hard yards and trying to find replacement wing Scott Phillips with a pass that went to ground.
The games final score would once again go to the home team with a well executed backs move exploiting a dog-leg in the Penarthian defence. It was a well taken try and further evidence of why Penygraig have won promotion. With the conversion missed the final score was Penygraig 38, Old Penarthians 5, setting up an intriguing title decider between Penygraig and Cefn Coed and we of course wish both the best of luck.
A disappointing defeat that without wishing to detract from Penygraig's quality may have been lessened or reversed had regular players retained their commitment to their teammates. It is testament to the club's 2nd XV players who made the step up for their club.
The 2nd XV host Canton next weekend with a 2.30pm kick off. The 1st XV take a break next weekend, returning to league action on the 29th April when they travel to Tonyrefail.
There doesn't appear to be any tagged photos.
Please wait as the server processes your request. Do not attempt to refresh the page.