Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 46 - 10 St Josephs RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
07 January 2018 / Team News

Seven Tries for Old Firm in Season's Best Performance

The Old Firm started 2018 off with a bang, scoring 7 tries at Duffryn Pennar Park in their best performance of the season to gain a bonus point Division 1 East Central victory over St Joseph’s. As well as playing winning rugby, Mount were refreshing in their approach to the game, varying their play and keeping ball in hand, which delighted the home support. It was the visitors though that got the first points on the board after non-existent tackling in midfield in the opening minutes led to a 25 metre sprint to the line for supporting No.8 Olly Young which made it 5-0, outside half Jacob Chilcott hitting the upright with a conversion attempt from wide out. The Old Firm’s response was immediate, and after a catch and drive at a lineout in the St Jo’s half made valuable ground, scrum half Ross Davies nipped through a gap in the close-in defence to score Mount’s first try, which was well converted by outside half Jack Roberts to put the Old Firm 7-5 up after just 6 minutes play. The restart, taken by Mount No.8 Chris Edmunds, was passed to centre Alex Hughes who took the ball at pace and broke through the St Jo’s midfield. Flanker Jarrod Morgan was well up in support with Mount full of running and taking the visitors on in all aspects of play across the field. A scrum on the St Jo’s 10 metre line was moved to wing Will Holley who was tackled 5 metres out. From the lineout, Mount No.8 Chris Edmunds took the ball and burrowed over for a try which made it 12-5. There was no respite for the visitors as a neat kick into space by full back Declan Conway was quickly followed up by wing Steve Brittain who forced a lineout on the St Jo’s 22. A penalty to the Old Firm was converted from 35 metres by Holley to make it 15-5 after 24 minutes, and another attack from the restart, which saw Mount take the ball through a number of phases, saw centre Hughes sprint through, but, with two men unmarked on his outside, he turned back in and was tackled, and the scoring chance was missed. Indecision by the Old Firm in their own half gave the visitors a scrum and then a penalty which was kicked to 5 metres out, but a lineout take against the throw by second row David Richards saw the ball cleared. Right on half time, pressure from the Old Firm after a kick up to half way saw a Mount scrum on the St Jo’s 10 metre line which was moved to wing Holley who burned away down the 5 metre line, and although his inside pass was knocked back by a defender, full back Declan Conway was first to the loose ball to run over from 10 metres out for the Old Firm’s third try of the half, which was well converted from wide out by Holley to make it 22-5 at half time.

The Old Firm came out of the blocks for the second half in blistering fashion. A scrum on the St Jo’s 22 metre line saw a couple of skilful finger-tip passes to put wing Holley in space, for him to sprint clear of the cover defence and power through the last defender to finish off the attack for the bonus point fourth try, which he also converted with a superb strike from the touchline to make it 29-5. From the restart, outside half Roberts moved the ball wide, where it eventually reached wing Holley on halfway. He tore away from the cover defence and got to 5 metres out where he was tackled by the full back. Quick ruck ball was moved through half a dozen pair of hands and a superb attack was finished off by prop Tom Harper who run in from 5 metres out. Holley converted to make it 36-5 after 45 minutes. Mount were playing entertaining, effective rugby, keeping the ball alive and probing all over the field for gaps in the visitors’ defence. From a scrum on the Mount 10 metre line after 62 minutes, replacement No.8 Kriss Sanders and scrum half Ross Davies worked wing Holley away. He beat one man and left the cover defence for dead, swerving inside and then outside the full back to score a superb try in the corner to make it 41-5. St Jo’s kept going and in injury time, a pick up from a 15 metre scrum by No.8 Olly Young saw him go over for his second try to make it 41-10. The last act though of a highly entertaining display of running rugby by the Old Firm came from a well-placed kick into space by centre Hughes for wing Holley to chase, and after the visiting full back was unable to collect the bouncing ball, Holley sniped in to get the touchdown, which made it a hat-trick for him, and finalise the scoring.

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