Bridgend Athletic RFC | 1st Team 23 - 20 Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
15 October 2018 / Team News

Mount Rue Not Taking Points On Offer

Despite scoring 4 tries, victory slipped through the Old Firm’s hands in frustrating fashion.

With the game in the 63rd minute and the Old Firm winning 15-10 away from home, playing against a strong cross wind and being awarded a penalty 10 metres out under the opposition’s posts, most teams would have opted to take the points and go into an 18-10 lead. Not Mountain Ash in this game. Instead they opted for a scrum, and did the same thing again less than a minute later when a second penalty in the same position was awarded. And those two decisions came back to bite the Old Firm big time.

After the second scrum, the ball went loose and was turned over by Bridgend, and a break out by the home side set a back racing away. A superb smoother tackle on the Mount 22 by all action flanker, David Richards, who was the only Mount player close enough to stop a certain try, saved the day. But it proved temporary as a penalty was awarded to the home team, which was kicked to the corner, and a converted try scored from the lineout put Bridgend into a 17-15 lead and turned the game on its head. There had been a 10 point swing in a minute - from what should have been an 8 point Mount lead, the Old Firm now trailed by 2. Bridgend must have thought Christmas had come early.

The score put a spring in the step of a home side which had hardly bothered the Old Firm’s line in the second half. Minutes later, the home team went 20-15 up with a 20 metre penalty made easier by backchat by a Mount player to the referee that reduced the kick by 10 metres; and then in the 71st minute, a 42 metre penalty put Bridgend 23-15 up. Thirteen unanswered points in 8 minutes had changed from what had looked a likely Mount win into a probable loss, without even a bonus point to show for their efforts.

To be fair to the Old Firm, they regrouped and worked their way back into the Bridgend half. Scrum half Ross Davies took a quick penalty and from several drives by the Mount forwards, second row Jarrod Parfitt scored the Old Firm’s fourth try of the match in the 75th minute to gain a bonus point and make it 23-20, and give Mount hope they could still win or draw the game.

From the restart, the Old Firm took play back up into the Bridgend 22 and were awarded a couple of penalties which were kicked to the corner. Although the home line lay under siege in the final minute, it held, with some desperate defence by Bridgend securing them what had looked like an unlikely win 15 minutes earlier.

Mount played with the cross-wind in the first half and led 15-7 at half time by scoring three unconverted tries, two by scrum half Ross Davies, and one just before half time by full back Morgan James who came into the line and shot over the home line from 10 metres out after the Old Firm had elected to take scrums from several penalty awards. The Bridgend backline looked dangerous when counter attacking from loose Mount kicking and did so on a couple of occasions. From one attack, a scrum close to the Mount line saw the home outside half break through to score near the posts with the conversion putting Bridgend into a 7-5 lead after 26 minutes. During the first half, Mount were extremely unlucky not to be awarded what looked like two perfectly good tries from drive overs by No.8 Kriss Sanders from a driving lineout, and second row and captain, Jarrod Parfitt, with the referee deciding on each occasion the ball had been held up. Parfitt was also harshly yellow carded for what looked like a fair challenge for the ball at a lineout.

Although the home team had the wind in the second half, the Old Firm were comfortable. A lost Mount throw-in to a lineout on the home 22 gave the home team the opportunity to attack, taking play into the Mount 22 where they were awarded a penalty which made it 15-10 after 58 minutes. Mount responded well, taking play up to 10 metres out from the home line where they were awarded a penalty. But the Old Firm took their eye off the ball and went for a fourth bonus point try rather than a certain 3 points and ignored the fact they had not yet secured victory. And the home side made them pay for it.

What a disappointing defeat this was, the second away League loss in succession. In Dinas Powys, the kick to touch missed in the last minute of the game, and in this one 3 points was turned down when Mount were 15-10 up. Both mishaps can be avoided in the future. It looks as if the whole division will be a dog fight from top to bottom and the Old Firm need to take every point on offer in games. Next up is Glamorgan Wanderers who have lost two home games in succession and who just won at Bridgend Athletic, 10-8. Mount need to learn from this game, put it behind them, and put in an 80 minute performance on Saturday at Duffryn Pennar Park where they are unbeaten this season. Kick off against the Wanderers is 2:30pm. All support welcome.

This Saturday, 20 October, Mountain Ash 2nd XV are away to Caldicot 2nd XV in the first leg of the Brunel Cup, which is a cup played for between the two clubs on an annual basis with the aggregate score of the games at home and away deciding who holds the cup at the end of the season. Mountain Ash Youth travel to Penarth for a Blues Division A League game. Both games kick off at 2:30pm.

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