Risca RFC | 1st Team 34 - 17 Brecon RFC | 1st Team
James Dowle
Conversion 1
Penalty 9
Owen Biddiscombe
Try 1
Jake Crockett
1 Try
Jake Newman
1 Try
Gari Wyn Davies
2 Conversion
1 Penalty

Match Report
16 October 2016 / Team News

Risca 34 - Brecon 17

Perhaps the most telling statistic to come out of Brecon’s latest league match at Risca was that Brecon outscored their opponents by two tries to one and yet lost the match by 34 points to 17. The question then has to be asked, “Where did the remainder of Risca’s points come from?” The answer is simple. All 29 other points came from the boot of full back James Dowle who finished the day with a 100% kicking record and a haul of one conversion and 9 penalties. While his kicking, in difficult conditions, was exemplary there has to a question about how could Brecon be so ill-disciplined to allow him so many opportunities to score.

The answer to that question really highlights Brecon’s problems after what was a most encouraging start. For the first twenty minutes of the match conditions were good and both sides attempted to move the ball quickly from first phase. In doing that Brecon’s backs in particular proved to be far superior. Defensively they closed down their opponents and in attack they cut the home back line with lovely angles of running, great handling and excellent support. They created two beautifully taken tries which were expertly converted by outside half Gari Davies. The first of the two tries came after the ball was moved across the width of the field and Cameron Gardner managed to brilliantly offload out of a tackle to free full back Jake Newman. When Jake received the pass there was still work to do. With Jake Crockett in support on the wide outside, Newman threw a lovely dummy which fooled all the remaining defenders and he ran in himself for the try.

The second try also resulted from a fluent move, this time involving forwards and backs. Captain Ewan Williams made a storming run down the middle of the field. When he was brought down the pack delivered quick ruck ball and Gari Davies threw a huge, wide pass straight to wing Crockett. With no room to work and with plenty of cover, Jake’s pace and footwork allowed him to cross the line without a finger being laid on him. When Davies converted from the touch line, Brecon looked well placed with a 14 points to 3 lead.

While the weather stayed dry Brecon looked as if they could add to their score particularly as centre Joe Evans delivered a lovely slip pass only for the referee to adjudge that it was forward. However, as the first quarter ended so the rain came and the whole complexion of the game changed.

In early scrums Risca had been eager to move the ball quickly, as had Brecon. As the weather deteriorated, so Risca adopted a more forward orientated game. Now they held the ball in the scrum or drove hard on Brecon’s put in and made the most of what became a massive superiority. With the ball becoming wet and slippery so the number of scrums increased and the advantage to Risca grew until they were completely dominant in this phase.

No individual on the Brecon side could be blamed for the failure of the scrums and young props Richard Davies and Jamie Evans gave their all but against the massive disparity in weight between the Brecon front 5 and their opponents it became a lost cause. Possession, particularly at this phase was at best on the back foot or was surrendered or led to a penalty. Three kickable penalties in the first half came from scrum infringements and Dowle converted them all and one other when Brecon were penalised when desperately trying to win some possession at a breakdown and so the teams went into half time with Brecon holding a slender 2 point lead, 14 – 12.

Brecon opened the second half brightly and looked to have carved an opening for themselves only to be again brought back for a marginal forward pass. That setback was costly. Possession became a rarity and as conditions deteriorated further Brecon became reluctant to throw caution to the wind by keeping the ball in hand even in their own half and so, out of defence they kicked and that played into Risca’s hands. They dominated possession with flow of penalties which seemed to come at every breakdown. Dowle kicked two to give the home side a four point lead.

Brecon did hit back with a penalty of their own but soon Risca’s lead grew as Dowle hit his seventh and eighth to giving the home side a seven point lead.

One chance was all Brecon needed to level the scores but they were becoming more desperate and when they did have possession were beginning to make mistakes. A loose pass when attacking on the Risca 22 allowed the home side to hack up-field and although the move was halted by a great Lucas Jones cover tackle Risca gained an attacking platform in the Brecon 22. Brecon held out for a time but finally their defence was broken as outside half Owen Biddiscombe dummied his way over under the posts. Dowle couldn’t miss nor could he with a final penalty which brought the game to an end and left Brecon a lot to work on in the coming week before they meet third placed Penallta next Saturday at Parc  de Pugh.