Caerau Ely RFC | 1st Team 20 - 0 Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
28 March 2018 / Team News

Old Penarthians v Caerau Ely Match Report

The previous game that Old Penarthians 1st XV played before last Saturday’s match away to Caerau Ely was on 20th February against Cowbridge.  In the intervening period two games were called off because of bad weather and the other two Saturdays were lost to the Six Nations.

It was hoped that the players would have enjoyed their ‘mid-winter’ break and come back with an energy to push their way out of the relegation battle in which the team now finds itself.  Unfortunately, the appetite has been lost by all but the ‘hardcore’ and it was disappointing that a full contingent of front row forwards could not be found.  This meant that the team had to compete against a very competent Caerau side with the bear fifteen players starting with passive scrums.

Coaches Simon Hurley and Anthony Davies are to be congratulated for their unstinting service which sees their enthusiasm diluted by the indifference of the players.  Captain Rhys Lakin and team manager Chris Thorne tried in vain to secure the players, but it was not to be.

As has been reported on previous occasions when this situation has occurred there can be no blame levelled at the players who do commit themselves and at the interval Caerau led by only three points, from a penalty in front of the posts with the last kick of the half.

Fatigue and the amount of tackling caught up with the team in the end and with the withdrawal of Rowan Allcock through injury with 12 minutes to play, the final score in favour of Caerau Ely was 20 points to 0. It was unfortunate that Old Penarthians could not score but their efforts did deny Caerau a bonus point in victory

There were however positives to be taken from the game not only in terms of commitment but in the skill levels exhibited. The threequarters moved the ball fluently with Dave Lakin providing a service to outside half Jonathan Crimp that allowed both Rhys Lakin and Jon Patterson to attack the opposition defensive line. 

Late call-up James Williams was given few opportunities but did feature later on in the match when he switched from winger to flanker.  Mark Sadler, in off his wing, was able to break the gain line in mid field on a couple of occasions, however he will not want to relive his first defensive duty against a flying Caerau winger who left him for pace, sat on the floor.

The winger only escaped the once however and Sadler redeemed himself several times after that by not allowing his opposite number any space.  Sadler’s blushes were saved in that initial break by a fine covering tackle from full back George Kynaston.  This was one of a series of tackles made by Kynaston during the match that were important in keeping Caerau at bay.

The forwards were also able to attack on occasions and both Tom Sidford, Matt Stingl and Tom Rogers were able to break through tackles to set moves going forward from loose play.  Josh Allcock, as well as being the aerial target for Rhys Blake at the lineouts, was in the thick of the contests in the loose closely supported by Joel deClaire, who was returning from injury after breaking a bone in his hand.

It was however the strong defensive effort that was most to be admired. Everyone collectively made the tackles count and even Gareth Clancy, playing in the unaccustomed role of second row, was seen to make a head-on tackle. Sidford, without the physical demands of scrummaging, enjoyed the game and was prominent around the pitch in attack and defence, despite celebrating his latest golf tournament win at the Glamorganshire Golf Club the previous evening.

With the efforts of these players supported by others who need to make themselves available, there is still a hope that relegation can be avoided.  It will however be a hard struggle, but it will continue next Saturday when the 1st XV entertain Ynysowen at Cwrt-y-vil.  The management team are hoping to repeat their away victory earned earlier in the season and your support is needed for a kick off scheduled for 2.30pm.


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