Fixture

Brecon RFC | 1st Team 87 - 10 Hartridge RFC | 1st Team
Lewys Cooke
Try 2
Jake Crockett
Try 2
Tudor Roderick
Try 1
Dean Gunter
Conversion 10
Geraint Workman
Try 1
Elgan Lewis
Try 1
Jonathon James
Try 2
William Prosser
Try 1
Ioan Edwards
Try 2
Christopher Davies
Try 1

Match Report
24 February 2019 / Team News

Brecon 87 - Hartridge 10

After the heights of victory against top of the table challengers, Brynmawr, there was great expectation as Brecon hosted bottom of the table Hartridge. With their other main rivals, Penallta, not playing over the International weekend, this was the opportunity for Brecon to reclaim their position at the top of the league. There were, however, a number of factors which perhaps should have tempered the general expectation. Hartridge, after an unproductive start to the season following their promotion, have shown considerable resilience in their last seven fixtures during which they have claimed 4 victories. There was also the worry that in seeking to win a try bonus point, Brecon may lose focus on what had to be the first priority, which was secure a victory.

The first signs at the start of the game were encouraging. Darren Witcomb put in a thumping tackle to halt any progress that Hartridge hoped to make, then at the following scrum the Brecon front row of Andy Nicholl, Kevin Jones and Elgan Lewis absolutely destroyed the opposition scrum and Brecon immediately gained a foothold in the Hartridge 22. With guaranteed front-foot ball at every scrum Brecon now dominated territory and possession. Hardridge, with their backs to the wall, showed commendable resistance and frustrated their opponents. After ten minutes the scoreboard remained blank. With Brecon not being able to contemplate anything other than an emphatic win there were signs of frustration but finally Brecon capitalised on their dominance. Jon James and Will Prosser drove hard and created a platform for Gunter to kick wide for Jake Crockett who just failed to gather but forced the Hartridge full back to scramble the ball into touch in the corner. From the line out Brecon drove and hooker Elgan Lewis timed his splinter off to perfection to record the opening try of the game.

If anyone thought that Hartidge would start to fold after this set back then they would have been disappointed. Another attritional ten minutes followed. Eifion Jones, Lewys Cooke and Dafydd Edwards created opportunities but again a combination of stubborn defence and lack of accuracy frustrated the home team’s ambitions.

When on 22minutes the next score came it was well worked and eased tension. The forwards set and drove a maul down the left flank. When the ball was transferred into mid-field left wing Jake Crockett created the extra man and an overlap. His pass to full back Lewys Cooke gave him a clear run to the line and Dean Gunter converted.

The constant pressure on Hartridge now began to tell and as Brecon’s confidence increased as did their accuracy. Centre Tudor Roderick, on his debut start with the first XV, made a lovely break and co-centre Eifion Jones cut back towards the posts. He was held up but Brecon maintained the pressure and finally Jon James broke through the final despairing tackles. Gunter again converted. Now Hartridge began to drop their heads and Brecon finished the half in enterprising and clinical fashion. Twice and virtually directly off consecutive kick offs, Brecon scored converted tries. Both twere claimed by Jake Crockett. Prominent in the build-up to both tries were Eifion Jones, Tudor Roderick and Dafydd Edwards.

Brecon now had a bonus point in the bag and in spite of Hartridge scoring their first points through a penalty, Brecon headed for the half time break in a commanding position. However, as the second half opened Hatridge were the first to claim territorial advantage. Some great work by flanker Ioan Edwards ensured that Brecon got back onto the front foot. Once in the Hartridge 22 Brecon’s constant scrum pressure came to the fore. After three consecutive penalties the referee awarded a penalty try. A second penalty try followed almost immediately but this time at the other end of the field. A penalty kicked to the corner gave Hartridge the opportunity to set up a driving maul and when it was pulled down the penalty try was awarded.

The score boosted the Hartridge resistance for a time but again after some great work by brothers Ioan and Dafydd Edwards and Ryan and Jon James, Jon claimed a try after a driving maul.

The try seemed to break Hartridge’s resistance and ill-discipline crept into their game as Brecon became an unstoppable force. Ioan Edwards scored after a great Tudor Roderick break. This was quickly followed with a try from fellow back row forward Will Prosser after great work by Richie Davies, Lewys Cooke and Eifion Jones. Tudor Roderick and Ioan Edwards were again involved in the build up to Lewys Cooke’s second score and then Ioan was involved again as Roderick scored. Replacement Davey Herdman then made an impact and scrum half Geraint Workman made an impressive break to score from 22 metres out. The final try, Brecon’s 13th, was claimed by Brecon’s Man of the Match, Ioan Edwards. When Dean Gunter’s tenth conversion from 12 attempts went between the posts, Brecon retreated to the changing rooms with a thumping 87 points to 13 victory. In the Clubhouse Ioan Edwards received his Man of the March Award from ex England International Simon Shaw who was a guest spectator at the match. He would certainly have been impressed by what he had witnessed.

Now Brecon’s focus turns back to the WRU Plate quarter final as this incredibly successful season continues. As Brecon travel to Nelson next Saturday they will be hoping that the whole of the Brecon and District rugby fraternity turn out to support their team and help take them into uncharted territory.

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