Brecon RFC | 2nd Team 57 - 21 Nelson RFC | 2nd Team
Lewys Cooke
Try 2
Matthew Watkins
Try 2
Ben Crockett
Try 2
Gari Davies
Conversion 6
Try 2
Ryan Price
Try 1

Match Report
02 December 2018 / Team News

Brecon 2nd XV 57 - Nelson 2nd XV 21

With Brecon’s 1st XV match against Pontypool United falling foul of the gales and rain of the previous week the focus fell on its second team. Although in the shadows of the senior team the 2nd XV have quietly been going about their business and have built up an impressive record. Playing in the Mid District Championship they carried an impressive record into their latest league match against Nelson. Holding a 100% record in all 9 of this season’s matches to date they sat at the top of the league with a record of 5 wins from their previous five league games in which have amassed a total of 215 points against a meagre 51. Nelson, by contrast, had yet to win a league match and so the expectation was that, especially with home advantage, Brecon would secure their sixth win to reinforce their position at the top of the league. When the match started, on a remarkably good Parc de Pugh surface, that scenario quickly seemed to be totally false and needed to be torn up and consigned to the bin.

Nelson dominated the opening exchanges. Their scrum was impressive and in the back division they possessed a number of quick and skilful players. Before Brecon could get their hands on the ball Nelson took the lead with an impressive try. They maintained possession through a number of phases and had the Brecon pack retreating in the opening scrum. With good ball being delivered they spread it wide and their right wing showed great pace to break on the outside and then to outpace the cover defence from all of 50 metres out. With the try being converted from wide out Brecon found themselves 7 points behind with the game having only just started.

With confidence dented Brecon needed to re-establish their credentials as match favourites. Finally with ball in hand, they started the process. The front row of Luke Millichap, Dai Price and Howell Morgan began to hold their own in the tight and with Andrew Hosie and Iain Mitchell supplying good ball from the line out Brecon began to come to terms with the game. The front 5 were now holding their own and the back row of Iwan Davies, Josh Millichap and Ryan James began to make big impact on the game. Iwan worked hard across the field and Josh carried impressively but it was Ryan James who sparked the Brecon response. He was a massive influence on the game with his pace and power allowing him to drive through the opponents defence time and again. One such run off the base of a scrum created an opportunity. Full back Matthew Watkins almost got over to open Brecon’s score but when he was held up. The ball was quickly recycled and scrum half Lewys Cooke claimed they try.

The latter two players had a big influence on the game. Matthew was sound in defence and creative on the counter attack. Time and again he turned defence into attack with elusive running and excellent support play. Lewys distributed the ball quickly and efficiently and was a constant running threat to his opponents.

Brecon took the lead for the first time after a Josh Millichap run created panic in the visitors’ defence. He linked with outside half Gari Davies who finished with a try under the posts and converted easily. Gari Davies had a great afternoon. He mixed up the game beautifully by kicking well, linking with his backs and forwards and when the opportunity arose making breaks of his own. In particular he linked beautifully with Cooke and it was this combination that created space for wing Ryan Price. Price broke on the outside and showed great pace to score in the corner with Davies adding the conversion. Price broke again soon afterwards and this time proved to be the provider as he put Watkins in for a try.

Brecon now held a 19 point lead as half time approached and looked to be in complete control. In the addition to the aforementioned players the centre and wing combination worked effectively. Sam Hellard on the left wing was very lively and elusive while captain James Hellard and Phil Saunders combined beautifully in attack and defence. That defence, however, was still not good enough to snuff out an outstanding Nelson try in the closing stages of the half. Just 5 metres from their own line their accomplished outside half made a break and linked with their jet heeled wing who scorched his way down the right touch line to score under the posts. The conversion brought Nelson back to within 12 points as the half time whistle sounded.

Any questions that remained at the start of the second half were quickly answered. Within minutes Brecon extended their lead after Ryan James and Gari Davies combined to put Lewys Cooke over with Davies adding the conversion. This try was quickly followed with another when Matthew Watkins counter attacked brilliantly to allow Sam Hellard to make a great run down the left flank before feeding the ever present Watkins allowing him to score his second try. Not to be overshadowed on the scoresheet, Gari Davies finished a move which featured the irresistible Ryan James and Andrew Hosie.

Brecon then made a whole series of changes with Tom Witcomb and Jamie Evans coming on in the front row and with Ben Crockett and Tomos Griffin coming into the backs. All made an impact but none more so than Ben Crockett who finished with two tries. With the score standing at 57 points to 14 the gallant Nelson team had the final word when they scored their third brilliant try which again featured their right wing, giving him a well-deserved hat trick.

The joy at the Watton Clubhouse was enhanced when the news came through that the Youth Team had defeated their Dragons Premiership opponents, Newbridge, to reach the quarter finals of the WRU Youth Cup.