Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 32 - 17 Llantrisant RFC | 1st Team
Hugh Ritchens
2 Conversion
1 Penalty
Taine Davies
1 Try
Jack Bunyan
1 Try

Match Report
02 September 2018 / Team News

Old Firm Start Season With Bonus Point Win

Mountain Ash RFC’s 143rd season kicked off at Duffryn Pennar Park with a Division 1 East Central game against visitors Llantrisant. Mount were quickly into their stride, winning the ball from the kick off and making some strong drives through flanker Jarrod Morgan and second row and captain Jarrod Parfitt which took play into the Llantrisant 22, where a penalty was converted by outside half Jack Roberts for a 3-0 lead. The visitors drew level minutes later, Mount being caught offside and wing Chris Ritchens having no problem bringing the score level after just 5 minutes of play. From a ruck on halfway, flanker Morgan went outside his man and chipped over the top of the oncoming defence, the Old Firm regaining the ball and setting up a sustained attack from which second row Parfitt made a half break in the Llantrisant 22, slipping a nice pass to fellow second row Adam Parry who was on his shoulder and touched down under the posts. Roberts converted to make it 10-3 after 15 minutes play. The visitors responded and a charged down clearance kick on the Mount 22 and then some committed defence by the Old Firm close-in kept Llantrisant out. A catch on halfway by full back Morgan James saw him link with wing Nathan Treharne who put in a well judged kick up to the Llantrisant line. He followed it up quickly to pressure full back Jack Bunyan who kicked into touch just 5 metres from his own line. The resulting lineout was taken by second row Parry and after a couple of drives, the ball was moved back to the blindside where flanker Jarrod Morgan touched down wide out for an unconverted try to make it 15-3 after 30 minutes play. The Old Firm looked on their way to a comfortable half time scoreline but several lapses in concentration allowed the Black Army to get on the front foot and hit back. A scrum against the head on the Mount 10 metre line was moved wide and some desperate defence kept the visitors out near the home line. The drive at the lineout was stopped by the Mount pack but a gap in the close-in defence was taken advantage of by scrum half Taine Davies who nipped through it from 5 metres out to score his team’s first try. Ritchens converted to make it 15-10. After the restart went straight into touch and touch was missed from a mark in the Mount 22, Llantrisant’s danger man in attack, full back Bunyan, who had a turn of pace, took advantage of non-existent Mount midfield defence to run through from 35 metres out and run under the posts for Llantrisant’s second try in five minutes, Ritchens converting to take his side into half time with a 17-15 lead, which had looked unlikely ten minutes earlier.

Early in the second half, a turnover at a maul midway in the Old Firm’s half was kicked high into space by scrum half Ross Davies. Centre David Richards was first up to pressurise the defence, with prop forward Geraint Lock showing his mobility by being the first onto the loose ball and taking play on. A pass to second row Jarrod Parfitt, in space, was made full use of by the captain who took advantage of an overlap to centre Richards away for him to run in from 20 metres for the Old Firm’s third try of the game to put Mount back in front 20-17. Another attack from the restart saw the Old Firm take the ball through several phases and move it wide for full back Morgan James to score in the corner, outside Jack Roberts kicking an excellent conversion from near the touchline to put Mount 27-17 up after 50 minutes. Mount were full of running, and minutes later a turnover in the Llantrisant half was moved wide quickly by the Old Firm to centre David Richards near the touchline. He kept the move going with a pass behind his back and inside to full back Morgan James who did well to take it and who then showed good composure to draw the last defender and put Richards over for a well taken try – the Old Firm’s fifth of the game - which took the score up to 32-17. Some over ambitious play by Mount from the restart turned the ball over and led to a period of pressure but the Old Firm defence held firm, as it did all afternoon. A 30 metre penalty by Llantrisant’s Ritchens hit the post and Mount No.8 Kriss Sanders did well to gather the rebounding ball and set up a clearance kick. The last 10 minutes proved to be a bit of a stalemate, leaving the Old Firm worthy winners of an entertaining game.

Although a good start to the season for the Old Firm, gaining maximum League points and scoring 5 tries, with the Mount team looking good when taking the ball through several phases in attack and defending with plenty of commitment, one or two things need tightening up and far too many penalties were conceded which left Llantrisant off the hook and resulted in extra pressure in and around the Mount 22. At the after-match 1st and 2nd XV Man of the Match awards back at the clubhouse, prop Geraint Lock was the choice from the 1st XV game and flanker Jordan Burke the pick from the 2nd XV game. Next up for the Old Firm is an away trip to Rhiwbina this Saturday, 8 September.

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