Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 38 - 22 Dinas Powys RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
06 January 2019 / Team News

Feast of Running Rugby at Duffryn Pennar Park

Four superb tries and an interception try, making five in total, all converted by centre Will Holley, who scored two of them and also kicked a penalty to give himself a 23 point haul for the match, saw the Old Firm carry on where they left off against St Joseph’s and register a bonus point victory, this time over a capable Dinas Powys team which also scored four tries of their own and gain a deserved bonus point. The game was competitive from the first minute to the last with both teams fully committed and playing an open game, with referee Richard Jones also playing his part in one of the most entertaining games seen at Duffryn Pennar Park this season.

Mount had a chance to go in front in the first minute but a 20 metre penalty by Holley was taken by the wind and rebounded off a post for the visitors to clear. After a missed 35 metre penalty by the visitors and some staunch defending by the Old Firm from a 5 metre lineout, the deadlock was eventually broken in the 17th minute when an overthrow at a lineout on the Mount 22 saw the Old Firm move it to centre Alex Hughes who run strongly in midfield and broke the first line of defence, and passed to centre Will Holley in space. He raced away down the touchline, beat one man on the Dinas 22, and showed good strength to hold off a covering defender to score a well-taken try in the corner and finish off a near 40 metre run. Although against the breeze, Holley struck the conversion beautifully, with the ball bouncing on the crossbar and then over to put Mount 7-0 up.

Another attack from the Old Firm took the ball through a number of phases and talented right wing Rhys Davies – back after a muscular injury - almost got away in the Dinas 22. The visitors responded with a break-out which saw hooker and captain Tom Baister show a turn of pace – the first of several during the game - to take play up to the Mount 22. Both sides were very positive in their approach and testing each other’s defence, but it was the Old Firm who scored next to extend their lead.

From a scrum on the Mount 10 metre line, centre Hughes once again made ground and slipped a quick pass back to flanker David Richards, who was where a good openside flanker should be – on his shoulder. He did well to catch it and sped away from the Dinas defence. With only the full back to beat, he weighed up his options expertly, swerved inside, and although a defender was near him, he fired out a well weighted long pass to outside half Liam Jones who finished off a superb bit of play to score under the posts to great applause from the Mount support. Holley converted to make it 14-0 after 27 minutes.

The visitors hit back, though, shortly after. A superbly placed kick from a penalty on halfway gave Dinas a 5 metre lineout, and after a catch and drive, and several drives, a bulky visiting forward drove over near the corner for an unconverted try to make it 14-5.

The game was all action and from a wicked bounce of the ball near halfway from a kick into space by Holley, Dinas left wing Rhys Lloyd sprinted away down the touchline, but Holley covered a dangerous situation near the Mount 22.

The Old Firm were quickly out of the blocks at the start of the second half. Scrum half Ross Davies, who was his usual self, in the thick of the action, made a break and took play up to the Dinas 22. Quick ruck ball saw centres Hughes and Holley give to full back Morgan James who was in space just 10 metres out and he pass back inside to the supporting Holley who was held up over the line. A solid 5 metre scrum from the Mount eight saw scrum half Davies dummy with Hughes and run through a gap in the Dinas defence for a superb individual try under the posts. Holley converted to make it 21-5 to Mount after 44 minutes play.

Careless play by the Old Firm in defence saw a dropped pass on the Mount 22 when there was plenty of time and space available to clear the ball, which gave Dinas Powys a scrum. A blindside combination of No.8 and scrum half created an overlap but scrum half Davies read it and made a crucial, try saving tackle 5 metres out. Although Mount had the throw-in, they failed to secure the ball and from a couple of drives, the visitors got over and converted the try to reduce their arrears to 21-12 after 50 minutes play.

The Old Firm’s response was immediate. After taking play into the Dinas Powys half, a pass by Hughes and a good catch by second row and captain Jarrod Parfitt, who did well to hold on to the ball, saw him give a long, well-directed pass out to the full back Morgan James who outpaced the home defence from 15 metres out to score the bonus point try in the corner. Holley converted once again with a superb conversion, this time from a couple of metres in from the touchline, to make it 28-12 after 52 minutes.

Both sides were having trouble securing the restart and clearing the ball, but at last, the Old Firm did it and after taking play to halfway, a driving maul had the visitors’ pack in trouble and from the penalty award 30 metres out, Holley converted to put Mount 31-12 up.

The visitors were far from finished and were still very committed and looking dangerous with ball in hand. A fine tackle by wing Rhys Davies on the try line saved Mount, but after a kick out of defence did not make touch, another attack to the openside saw good support play and handling by the visitors result in a well taken unconverted try to make it 31-17 and all to play for with 20 minutes left.

Centre Hughes was quickly in at a ruck to win Mount a penalty on halfway, outside half Liam Jones almost intercepted a pass on the Dinas 22, and then Dinas hooker Baister once again showed his pace in the loose to get away up to the Mount 22 where his overhead pass to wing Wiltshire in space out wide was forward.

Play was going from end to end and with time running out for the visitors, a loose pass in midfield after 72 minutes saw Holley intercept and with no one in front of him, he run 55 metres to score his second try, and then convert, to take the Old Firm’s lead up to 38-17 and clinch the game for Mount.

Undeterred, the visitors kept attacking and with a good handling move that took play across the field and then back again, they scored their fourth try and gained a well-deserved bonus point to bring the curtain on a fine game of rugby which yielded 60 points in total, including 9 tries, and was a good advert for both clubs.

The win lifts Mount up to 4th place in the Division 1 East Central table with 33 points from 12 games, one point in front of 5th placed Dinas Powys who have played two more games, and three above Treorchy, who have a game in hand. Above them are Rhiwbina on 37, Rumney on 39 and Glamorgan Wanderers on 47.

The game showed what the Mount team are capable of. They are a much more effective team when they up the tempo of the game and take the game to the opposition, moving tha bll quickly and supporting each other.

The first four tries were superb efforts. The ones by centre Will Holley and scrum half Ross Davies were excellent individual efforts, and the two team tries, finished off by outside half Liam Jones and full back Morgan James just go to show that a simple, quick game of catch, pass and support, will break down sides and suits the Mount style.

It was good to see right wing Rhys Davies back in action. Given quick ball, he can score tries. Cory Roberts also did some good work during the game, making a fine tackle in midfield early in the game and also kicking into space down the touchline in the second half and following up at speed to chase down the Dinas Powys full back. The Mount scrum was far better, giving solid ball against a strong scrummaging Dinas Powys eight, who also started back pedalling late in the game when props Geraint Lock and James Cowdry came on. Second row Adam Parry was hard working and picked up the Man of the Match award back at the clubhouse. Centres Alex Hughes and Will Holley could make a very exciting centre partnership, outside half Liam Jones is settling in nicely to the outside half position and getting the line moving, and No.8 Kriss Sanders and flanker Chris Edmunds - who played his 363rd 1st XV game  - are both experienced footballers. Props Bleddyn Lock and Thomas Harper scrummaged well and also took the ball on, and working hard, and second row Jarrod Parfitt is a talent when he puts his mind to it, as his long, floated pass to Morgan James proved. As for full back James, he showed some nice touches, giving a nice inside pass to Will Holley when under pressure 5 metres out in the first half, and being in two attacks in the second half, the second of which he finished off with a corner try.

The 5 tries and 38 points scored against Dinas Powys built on the 4 tries and 30 points scored down in St Joseph’s, making it 10 league points from 10. There’s no room for complacency though as the Division 1 East Central division is a competitive one. Gilfach Goch will be looking for a win this coming Saturday to help them get out of the relegation zone, and another strong scrummaging performance will be needed by the Mount pack if the home game against Gilfach is anything to go by. On the other hand, another win for the Old Firm will keep them challenging for a top four place. Come on boys, you can do it.

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