Old Penarthians RFC | 1st Team 10 - 20 Llantwit Major RFC | 1st Team
Rhys William Blake
Try 1
Joel De Claire
Try 1

Match Report
29 March 2017 / Team News

Old Penarthians RFC v Llantwit Major RFC

Old Penarthians v Llantwit Major Match Report

Saturday 25th March 2017

With the completion of the Six Nations tournament, last Saturday was the start of the Old Penarthians run-in to the end of their league season with the first of five consecutive Saturday fixtures.  The opposition for the first of these games was Llantwit Major in a home match at Cwrt-y-vil Playing Fields.
After the disappointment of the result against Cowbridge two weeks earlier it was almost a full-strength side that coaches Simon Hurley and Anthony Davies could field on a warm but windy afternoon and the match could not have started in better fashion for Old Penarthians.

The kick off from Llantwit was received by Joel de Claire who ran at the approaching opposition forwards.  He made ground with the support of Luke Crockett and Chris Cobbold and when Rhys Lakin broke the defensive line a penalty was awarded to the home team.  
Nathan Facey was called forward to kick to touch and as he did all afternoon found a long safe touch-finder.  The lineout was won by Jack Margetson and Matt Sutton took the ball forward.  He found support from de Claire who passed to Lakin who again aggressively ran through the Llantwit defence before releasing a pass back to de Claire who scored a try.

Three minutes played and 5 – 0 to Old Penarthians.  The game appeared to be quite straight forward.  Then as has happened all too often this season instead of fully concentrating from the kick off the ball was spilled after an initial good take by de Claire and the advantage was passed immediately back to the opposition.  

The Llantwit Major scrum was secure and they attacked through the scrum half and supporting flankers.  Good tackles from Jonathan Crimp and Lakin stopped the initial charges but Llantwit created a platform within the Old Penarthians twenty-two.  A couple of line-outs later and some close rucking and mauling close to the try line resulted in the inevitable try.  With the conversion successful it was 7 – 5 to the visitors.

The strong wind into the Old Penarthians faces during the first half made it difficult to gain much territory and it also gave the Llantwit kicker an assistance when he converted a penalty from in front of the posts from 40 metres to extend the lead to 10 - 5.

Then in the dying minutes of the half a scrum was won within their own 22 and Crimp attacked the blindside through Facey and John Patterson. Patterson kicked ahead and with the aid of Liam Union pressurised the defending full back into a mistake and the ball was won back.  

The move was continued to the right-hand side of the pitch and Mike Nash ran strongly along the touchline.  He passed inside to the supporting Reggie Blake who passed on to scrum half Gareth Clancy.  As Clancy was tackled he slipped an off-load pass back to Blake who crossed for a try.  The conversion against the wind from Crimp fell just short of the crossbar and it left the half time score level at ten points each.

The second half started with Old Penarthians playing with the wind behind them and with a positive attitude for a successful outcome.  This feeling was further enhanced when from the kick off Union and Tom Sidford challenged for the ball and caught the Llantwit player in possession.  The resulting scrum was however not secure enough and the opportunity of early territory was lost.  Unfortunately a planned scrummaging session earlier in the week was cancelled due to lack of numbers. 

And this was a theme throughout the second half that whenever Old Pens seemed to have an advantage it was squandered through poor discipline, that saw the team concede far too many penalties, or poor judgement, where too many wrong decisions were taken.  
Two penalty decisions in quick succession after 8 minutes of the half gave Llantwit another kickable penalty in front of the posts which they took for a 13 – 10 lead.

This score was to be retained until the 33rd minute when a series of rucks and mauls on the Old Penarthians tryline could not be defended and Llantwit scored their second close-range converted try to extend the lead to 10 points.
Old Penarthians did have the better of the last 7 minutes and even had an opportunity to bring the scoreline to within 7 points which would have meant a losing bonus point but Crimp’s attempted penalty was well wide of the posts.  

One last penalty and a good kick to touch by Facey gave an attacking line out.  de Claire won well and a planned rolling maul was carried on by Sidford and substitutes Matt Stingl and Chad Wilson.  The move however went to ground and a scrum awarded to the defending team.  Llantwit didn’t clear their lines and Penarthians had one last attack down the left-hand touchline but the final pass went to ground and the match was lost by 20 points to 10.
Unfortunately, another game of ‘what might have been’ that has characterised the season. 

Next week sees Old Penarthians 1st XV play at home again, this time against Tonyrefail with the 2nd XV travelling to the Diamond Ground in Whitchurch to play against Cardiff Quins.  Both games are due to kick off at 2.30pm.


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