Rumney RFC | 1st Team 8 - 15 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
Eifion Jones
1 Try
Dean John Gunter
1 Conversion
1 Drop Goal
Jonathon James
1 Try

Match Report
03 January 2019 / Team News

Rumney 8 - Brecon 15

Finally, after a number of postponements, Brecon completed their Round 3 Plate match at Rumney, Cardiff. Travelling away during mid-week and following a tough league match on the previous Saturday is never an easy scenario. That scenario was made even more difficult when they faced a Rumney side placed second in Division 1 East Central and boasting a record of just two defeats out of 11 previous Plate and League matches. In addition Brecon have not been at their best since the enforced four week period of inactivity which followed their impressive win over Brynmawr, for although they have won their matches the performances have not been of the same high quality as that shown previously. This therefore was a step into the dark both physically and metaphorically.

The early phases of the game suggested that it would be a contest between two well matched sides. The approach for both was rather different. Brecon looked for space where they could utilise their collective pace and fitness. Rumney were far happier in close quarter work where they could use the big pack to drive forward and then utilise their backs. In these opening stages the teams tested one another out with defences holding firm. At this stage it was Brecon who had the edge as they forced Rumney to defend deep in their own territory. They defended well and Brecon’s only reward was a well struck penalty kicked by Dean Gunter.

As these early stages drew to a close so the game became evenly balanced with Brecon holding on to their three point advantage. Possession from the line out was generally clean and efficient for both sides and scrums evenly balanced with both sides having the occasional advantage. The fact that Brecon were competing in this area was great credit to the front row who faced much bigger opposition overall. Andy Nicholl formed the cornerstone of this effort and he was ably supported by loose head Richie Davies and hooker Elgan Lewis. Both these players and replacement Ryan Williams, also got through a huge amount of work around the field, particularly in defence.

Another significant factor in keeping the home team in check was the all-round effort of the back row. Ewan Williams, as always was the consummate footballer from number 8, carrying and supporting to great effect. Ioan Edwards, on the open side, showed great ability to cover the field, defend and slow opposition ball down. He also contributed to one of the highlights of the half when the big Rumney Number 8 broke from a scrum on half way, at the mid-point of the first half. He was immediately flattened by an outstanding Edwards tackle which drew gasps of approval from the visiting supporters and sighs of disappointment from home supporters as one of their favourites was unceremoniously cut down. Not to be outdone the third member of the back row, Davey Herdman was also outstanding both in defence and with ball in hand.

As half time approached the stale mate continued with the only opportunity to score coming to Brecon. Jake Crockett almost made the line but was hurt in the tackle and was forced to leave the field. This meant a re-shuffle as Geraint Workman coming in at scrum half and Lewys Cooke moving to unfamiliar territory on the wing. To his credit he performed brilliantly in his new role; looking composed in defence and eager for work in attack. On the stroke of half time Brecon were awarded a long range penalty but the kick sailed just wide of the target.

The pattern continued during the early stages of the second half and the scores were levelled when Rumney were rewarded with a penalty which they converted. Suddenly the game became looser and more fragmented and this played into the hands of the Brecon team. Full back Eifion Jones was brought into play both on the offensive and through counter attacks from the back. He picked his lines of running superbly and on a number of occasions carved a hole in the opposition defence. Now the game began to swing in Brecon’s favour. Dean Gunter orchestrated the attacks and it was fitting that his lovely pass, under great pressure, gave Eifion Jones an opportunity. He took it brilliantly as he powered his way to the line for the game’s first try which Gunter converted.

Now trailing by seven points Rumney needed to hit back but the momentum was with Brecon. Second rows Darren Witcomb and Jonathan James carried the ball with ever increasing potency. The home defence found James in particular difficult to contain and when the next try came he played a big part. A kick deep into the Rumney 22 had their wing under pressure and his partly charged down clearance kick fell into the arms of James on the 22. As he drove for the line he brushed aside three would be tacklers. Finally he reached the line leaving a trail of defenders in his wake. The conversion was missed but Brecon now had a 12 point lead with 20 minutes to play.

Brecon almost extended that lead as their backs became more and more involved. Sam Campbell and Cameron Gardner in mid-field were rock solid in defence and the made room for the back three in attack. Dafydd Edwards on the wing started to see the ball more frequently and seemed to score what would have been the try of the match as he ended a flowing move which started in their 22, only for the referee to adjudge that the final pass had gone forward.

That would have concluded the contest but with time running out Rumney now threw everything into attack. Brecon held against everything that could be thrown at them until the final play of the game when a driving maul rumbled over the line for a deserved home try. With the conversion failing the referee blew his whistle to signal a significant victory for Brecon. In the round of the last 16, to be played on Saturday 12th January, they travel again to Cardiff to take on Rhiwbina who are currently third in Division 1 East Central but before that they have a very short turn around as they travel to Caerleon for a league match on Saturday 5th.


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