Old Penarthians U10s v Clwb Rygbi Cymru Caerdydd U10s
Sunday 13th November 2016
A fine sunny morning greeted the teams at Cwrt-y-Vil this Sunday. The home team buoyed by an impressive performance at Whitchurch the previous week were looking to carry on where they left off.
With the Old Pens squad commanding good numbers, the boys were split into two teams each playing a 20 minute match against the visitors who were able to field just the one team due to some players being unavailable.
Old Penarthians Gold squad were first up and immediately on the front foot, maintaining a good tempo throughout the game, with some colossal tackling from Kyle Haynes and James Bennett, and mazy running in the loose from captain Steffan Davies the stand out performances.
The 1st try came from the industrious Connor Kennedy who broke a few of tackles before feeding Gethin Jones to go over in the corner and open the scoring.
More of the same followed almost immediately, as once again heads up rugby from Connor, first in making some hard yards and then being able to offload in the tackle to setup Steffan Davies who finished well for the second score.
The Old Pens defence was much stronger and has certainly been improved in recent weeks by the midweek training sessions. Dylan Davies was strong in the tackle and Will Davis tackled much lower after several requests from the coaches! Particular mention has to go to Caleb Isherwood for some fantastic chop tackles that ended several CRCC attacks before they could come to fruition.
There was to be no let up in the 2nd half as the Old Pens brought on fresh legs and quickly got into their stride with Ethan Galsworthy's evasive running to the fore and Jared Penn's no-nonsense crash ball evident. What was especially pleasing for the coaches was the number of players becoming more involved in tackling - growing in confidence each week are Ethan Beasley, Yan Terry and Max Pratt. Old Penarthians were still made to work hard particularly at the breakdown, where new boy Jimmy Lloyd learnt what it felt like to be ‘cleaned out’ for the first time, he took it well and was soon back on his feet.
Alec Davies carried the ball well in only his second game and Dan Gaughan-James proved that last week's strong running wasn't a one-off as he continued to run through opposition defenders. Daf Hewlett contributed in all phases, putting in the hard work for speedster Gethin Dobbs-Evans to score and set up a try.
The game concluded when Steffan Davies completed his hat trick with the try of the match after the ball was switched from the left flank, to the right flank and back again with quick recycling, passing and superb support running.
All in all a great team performance epitomised by a solid work ethic, each player stood up well particularly at the tackle and in supporting the ball carrier.
With the pad and pen safely stowed after the game had ended, the proverbial penny dropped that I'd been had by co commentator Stephen Davis (who’d snuck off early doors to attend a party), and I would in fact be reporting both games.
With the introduction of the Old Penarthians Blue squad in the 2nd game, it looked like being a tough ask for the weary men from CRCC. The new players duly stepped up to the plate, with Macsen Callaghan cutting a glorious angle and scything through the CRCC cover to get the scoreboard ticking over. Macsen didn't have to wait for long for his second try, anticipating a CRCC pass to perfection to break the line and intercept a pass and jog in unopposed.
After more dogged tackling in the middle of the park personified by Jac Johns (in possibly his best game so far), the platform was setup for the moment of the match as the Old Pens scored the try of the day, great hands and offloading from Jericho Perkins, Gethin Jones, Josh King and Dylan Rose to give the ever available Harry Thompson the space to arc around the cover and touchdown in the corner. A slick piece of play which had parents and coaches of both sides applauding.
Jericho Perkins (or as the CRCC coach warned his players Bachgen Mawr!) was next to go over, a fine solo run showing good strength to shake off a number of tackles. What also pleased the coaches was the willingness of support runners Evan Friis and Luke Summerfield to be on hand should their teammate need support.
Archie Evans showed his passing ability on several occasions, starting attacks that resulted in a try each for Charlie Meyer and David Cozma who both exploited the space out wide to score from distance. This was built on solid defensive foundations laid by Joe Francis-Oaten and Jacob Edmunds and strong work in the scrum from Hooker Harry Edwards and Second Row Zach Gilbert.
Following the games, the Under 10s of Old Penarthians RFC and Clwb Rygbi Cymru Caerdydd were joined on the 1st Team pitch by their clubmates from Under 6s through to Under 15s to observe and respect a two minute silence for Remembrance Sunday. It was fantastic to see players, coaches and families from different clubs united in their appreciation for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
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