Wattstown RFC | 1st Team 24 - 5 Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team
Jonathan Crimp
1 Try

Match Report
31 January 2018 / Team News

Old Penarthians v Wattstown Match Report

After the disappointment of a cancelled match at home to Ynysowen the week before, Old Penarthians travelled to Wattstown last Saturday to play their Division 3 East Central (B) fixture.

Despite the heavy rain that had fallen during the week the pitch was definitely playable however the weather was still misty and gloomy.  Unfortunately, there was also an air of gloom around the team and despite the efforts of the team management, of Chris Thorne and Rhys Lakin, only fifteen players made the 23-mile trip to the Rhondda.

Those players are to be congratulated for their efforts on behalf of the Club but despite some injuries to key players the commitment of some others must be questioned.  The team now has eight league games to play this season and it will require the combined endeavours of all players, coaches and supporters to avoid the real danger of relegation.

At the moment Old Penarthians are at the bottom of the table with 13 points from 14 games, Ferndale are above them with 14 points having played a game less.  Then comes Hirwaun with 19 points from 14 games.  It looks as if Canton with 24 points from 12 games may be safe and it is going to come down to a ‘dog fight’ between the bottom three.  The Old Pens home match against Hirwaun on 10th March could have crucial importance.

In fact, Wattstown with the victory over Old Penarthians by 24 points to 5 only have 25 league points and five of those were collected last Saturday.  A stronger representative Old Penarthians team may even have reversed the result and would have been a great step forward, but it was not to be.

The game itself was marked by the usual failures and successes.  The failures again included the concession of tries at the beginning of both halves and the poor option choices when trying to press for territory and possession.  The successes are the running of the back line when given possession and the wholehearted commitment in defence of those who represent the Club.

Added to that last Saturday the line out was almost faultless with hooker Rhys Blake hitting his target of Josh Allcock on all but two occasions.  With Danny Godfrey successfully competing against the opposition throw-in with support from Tom Sidford and Matt Stingl it did ensure a regular supply of possession.

This was aided by the fact that the game was played with passive scrums because of the Old Pens’ inability to fulfil an appropriately trained front row contingent and therefore the forwards were not under undue pressure.

Throughout the match Old Penarthians probably had more territory than Wattstown and perhaps the majority of the possession but at crucial times errors were costly.  The first try on three minutes came straight from the kick off when a clean catch was run back by Chris Cobbold, but he ran into one of his own players.  The resulting scrum turned into a penalty and the kick to the corner resulted in a line out which was driven forward for a try in the corner.

Ten minutes of play in the opposition half which featured some neat kicks by Jon Crimp and runs by Josh Allcock, Cobbold and Stingl was broken up when a Dave Lakin kick was charged down.  The bouncing ball was collected by the Wattstown scrum half who speculatively kicked across field.  Fearghas Gough collected inside his 22 but as he kicked to touch he was also charged down and the ball went over the goal line for the Wattstown winger to dive on.  The conversion was good and Old Pens trailed 12 – 0

The Old Pens responded and first Scott McCarthy and then Crimp gained valuable territory from well placed kicks.  From one attacking position Rowan Allcock nearly broke free and on another occasion stand-in captain John Patterson was well tackled. One opportunity for potential points from a kickable penalty was declined just before the interval but at half time Old Penarthians only trailed by twelve points.

There were signs of frustration in the home team throughout the first half which had resulted in a yellow card for their number eight and some of that indiscipline was to reappear later in the match, but any nervousness was settled almost immediately after the restart when a knock-on in mid field was pounced on and Wattstown again picked on the error to score a try wide out which went unconverted.

Old Penarthians continued to battle and Rowan Allcock was again to the fore with brother Josh with an attack from a lineout.  Patterson then made a series of direct runs at his opposite number but was well defended.  On 30 minutes however, Patterson avoided contact and beat his man only to stumble when free and not be able to pass to fellow centre Mark Sadler.

A further break from inside their own half instigated by Lakin and Crimp released Gough for a run down the wing, but he was bundled into touch before the supporting James Williams could get in contact.

With five minutes remaining Old Penarthians forced a scrum inside the Wattstown 22 and Cobbold fed Lakin.  He passed to Crimp who put Patterson free.  He was tackled 3m from the tryline, but the forwards retained quick possession for Lakin who sent a miss-pass to Crimp who dived in at the corner.

Wattstown were now definitely under pressure and more indiscipline saw them receive two yellow cards matched by one for Godfrey.  Penarthians could however not make the numerical advantage tell in the last few minutes and even managed another dropped pass when in attack. Wattstown fly kicked ahead and whilst Crimp won the race to the ball just in front of the goal line the ball squeezed out and Gough was then beaten to the free ball for a Wattstown try that was converted.

This was to the last play of the match and the scoreline of 24 -5 somewhat flattered the victors and did not do justice to the efforts of the vanquished Penarthians

There is no league action for the next two weeks as the Six Nations internationals take centre stage and the next time Old Penarthians 1st XV are in action will be a home game against Cowbridge on 17th February.


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