Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 22 - 45 Rhiwbina RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
31 December 2018 / Team News

Mount Never In It Second Half

With the score at 17 all at half time, not many supporters would have put their money on a comfortable 23 point win for Rhiwbina, but that’s what happened as the Old Firm slid to their fourth consecutive defeat and their second successive heavy defeat at home.

Rhiwbina No.8 Olly Golden scored what was probably the fastest try every seen at Duffryn Pennar Park. From the kick off, the ball was kicked high into the Mount half and with no one able to get under it, Golden was the first to pick up the loose ball and sprint 40 metres to score. Outside half Lewis Pearce converted with a fine kick from the touchline to make it 7-0. The lead didn’t last long as the Mount pack set up a driving maul to take play into the visitors’ 22. Play went one way and then the other before centre Alex Hughes burst through in midfield to run in from 20 metres for Mount’s first try. Wing Will Holley converted to make it 7-7 after just 6 minutes play. Shortly after, Holley came into the line from a Mount attack and got away from the defence but with just one man left to beat and an overlap, his pass was behind the player and a good scoring opportunity missed. Pressure at a scrum by the Mount eight secured a 20 metre penalty which Holley had no problem converting to put the Old Firm 10-7 up after 14 minutes. Mount made basic errors all game, leaving Rhiwbina off the hook, and one of them came from the restart when a knock-on gave the visitors a scrum from which they took play into the Mount 22. Slack defence from a maul allowed the visitors’ scrum half to break through and he had an easy pass to full back Josh Moscardini who had no problem scoring in the corner from 5 metres out. Pearce again converted with a superb kick from the corner to put the Squirrels back in front, 14-10. The Old Firm went back on the attack but a knock-on from a scrum 15 metres out turned the ball over to Rhiwbina and the ball was cleared. Another driving lineout had the visitors in all sorts of trouble and made ground into the Rhiwbina 22, but somehow it was held up and a scrum awarded to the visitors. To compound things, Mount then conceded a cheap penalty at the set piece to allow Rhiwbina to clear. Wing Andrew Kane-Evans was first to a well-placed kick into space from Holley, but with the visitors defence under pressure, crossing at the ruck gave another penalty to the visitors. From a sporadic Rhiwbina attack, Pearce converted a 35 metre penalty just before half time to increase his side’s leave to 17-10. The Old Firm hit back straight away when a dummy scissors in midfield by Liam Jones saw the outside half cut through and side step the full back to touch down near the posts for a fine individual try. Holley converted to make it 17-17 at half time with Mount well in contention and having the better of the first half despite playing against a slight breeze.

Once again though the Old Firm got off to a terrible start to the second half. After conceding a penalty which Rhiwbina outside half Pearce missed from 37 metres, a Mount forward was then yellow carded for a technical infringement. The ball was kicked up to the Mount 22 and after winning the lineout and taking play up to the line, a penalty try was awarded from a 5 metre scrum, which put the visitors 24-17 up. Next came a rushed pass into midfield which was knocked on, Rhiwbina No.8 Golden once again the first to pick up, and once again running 40 metres to score a sucker punch of a try under the posts. Pearce converted to make it 31-17. The two scores gave the visitors extra impetus and belief whereas the Old Firm seemed to lose it and were subdued. Wing Holley almost intercepted a long pass on the Mount 22 after 63 minutes but a fifth Rhiwbina try, scored by wing Dafydd Williams, and converted by Pearce put the visitors out of sight at 38-17. From what seemed to be the Old Firm’s only time in the Rhiwbina 22 during the second half, replacement second row Matthew Dixon touched down after a drive from a 5 metre lineout to reduce the arrears to 38-22 after 68 minutes. But it was short lived as a penalty into the Mount 22, followed by a drive, saw forward Cameron Neal awarded the try – Rhiwbina’s sixth of the match - Pearce converting for a fifth time to take his personal tally up to 13, complete the scoring, and condemn Mount to another heavy home defeat. The defeat saw the Old Firm drop to 8th in the Division 1 East Central table, just above the relegation zone. The game away to St Joseph's on Saturday is a big game for both clubs in their battle to move up the table. The 22 points scored by the Old Firm was enough to win a match, but conceding 45 leaves any team a mountain to climb. The first thing the Old Firm have to do is compete hard for 80 minutes and tighten their defence if they are to have a chance of winning games.

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