St Peters RFC | 1st Team 21 - 26 Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
22 September 2019 / Team News

Mount Into Plate 2nd Round

BREXIT is the hot topic in the political world. In Welsh rugby it is passive scrums. Teams under pressure at the scrum now see passive scrums as an option to stop the inconvenience of putting up with a retreating scrum by taking a prop off. It is a tactic that is increasingly being adopted because it stops dead in its tracks the opposition’s scrum strength, guarantees a supply of steady ball, alters the dynamics of the game and is done without sanction. It is an ever-increasing tactic but it seriously undermines the integrity of the game. How can a team which cannot play to the full laws of the game end up winning the game and being awarded the full quota of points in a League game, and go through to the next round in a Cup match, just like as if nothing had happened? Surely the law makers need to introduce an immediate sanction if a club opts for passive scrums during a game. What about the club opting for passive scrums putting 9 players into a scrum when they put the ball in? Players only lean on in a passive scrum, so there’s no problem with that. What about all throw-ins to the lineout in the non-offending club’s half being taken by the non-offending club whichever team kicks the ball into touch? What about further substitutions being stopped as well? There has to be a downside to passive scrums. Anyone got any more ideas? At the moment, one side can opt for passive scrums during a game but not suffer any sanction. Surely, that cannot be right? The lawmakers need to introduce something which deters clubs abusing the rules as they stand. The season is in its third week, but the Mount team have now played two games during which passive scrums have been called by the opposition to their advantage. Any bets on how many more will be called by the end of the season?

In Roath yesterday, St Peter’s looked the sharper team in the opening 10 minutes, moving the ball at every opportunity. A converted try after 3 minutes followed by a penalty shortly after gave The Rocks a 10-0 lead, and minutes later they almost scored a second try but the Mount defence was quickly into a ruck metres out to gain a welcome penalty and clear.

Mount’s first attack of any note came after a quarter of an hour when outside half Declan Conway cut through midfield from a lineout on halfway and kicked diagonally for wing Rhys Davies to follow up quickly. A scrum to the Old Firm followed by a penalty kicked to 5 metres out was finished off by hooker Jordan Howe who drove over after a lineout take by second row Jonathan Lewis. Wing Morgan James converted to reduce Mount’s arrears to 10-7 after 20 minutes.

The Old Firm took play back into the home 22 and from a 5 metre scrum, the Mount pack shunted The Rocks eight backwards and No.8 Kriss Sanders touched down near the posts, James converting, to put the Old Firm into a 14-10 lead.

St Peter’s kicked a 40 metre penalty award from the restart to make it 14-13 after 26 minutes but after securing the restart and moving it to the narrow side, Mount centre Jarrod Cushion intercepted and run 25 metres to score an unconverted try in the corner to make it 19-13.

A pick up by No.8 Sanders, taken on by flanker Daniel Phillips and scrum half Morgan Cartwright, took play into the St Peter’s 22. The ball was moved wide to centre Cushion who was tackled metres out.

Mount continued the pressure, a half break by outside half Conway and centre Kieron Davies took play to 5 metres out. From a penalty award, the Old Firm opted for a scrum. After three consecutive penalties from pushover attempts, a home prop went off injured and passive scrums were called by the home team. Rather than take a scrum, Mount kicked to the corner.

From the 5 metre lineout in the 40th minute, flanker Daniel Phillips showed good strength to force his way over and touch down for Mount’s third try of the half which Morgan James converted with a nice strike to make it 26-13 to the Old Firm at half time.

The second half was a different game with The Rocks having a guaranteed supply of steady ball from the passive scrums. A kick by the home outside half directly across field was caught by the St Peter’s wing, who was in space, beat a man and showed a turn of speed to race down the touchline and score a fine try in the corner to make it 26-18 after 49 minutes.

During the second half, the home outside half put in several superb long diagonal touch finders which took play up to 10 metres out from the Mount line. A 25 metre penalty after 66 minutes reduced the Old Firm’s lead to 26-21.

The game was being played mostly in the Mount half and 22, but the Old Firm’s defence was committed and well organised, and although they came extremely close to scoring, The Rocks could not get over.

A cool, accomplished bit of play by centre Jarrod Cushion, who made a crucial mark under pressure, just 15 metres out from the Mount line, relieved another bout of home pressure in the last 10 minutes.

The Old Firm didn’t help themselves in the final minutes by failing to make touch from clearance kicks which enabled St Peter’s to set up another attack. Scrum half Cartwright put wing Rhys Davies away from 5 metres out on a relieving 25 metre run, and then a turnover just 5 metres out from a knock-on by a St Peter’s forward from a penalty award, saw the Old Firm clear and the ref call time, to put Mount into this week’s 2nd round draw.

The Mount lineout went well all game. Hooker Jordan Howe had a busy game and threw in consistently well, with Daniel Phillips, Kriss Sanders and Jonathan Lewis taking plenty of ball. Second row Mitchell Barnard was also prominent and Mount also put some nice passages of play together. The team is coming together and should strive to get better – because they have the ability to do so.

There is no game on Saturday 28 September due to a bereavement at Barry RFC. Attempts will be made to arrange a game, but with virtually every other club having a scheduled league game, there are very few clubs available to play. Details about any fixture on Saturday will be advertised on this website during the week.

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