Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 34 - 10 Aberdare RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
19 September 2021 / Team News

Second Local Derby Win Of The Week For Mount

Although the Old Firm scored 4 tries and secured a bonus point win in this local derby, they played in fits and starts and gave away far too many cheap penalties. When Mount upped the tempo and moved the ball, they looked a far more dangerous and capable side. Full back Will Holley converted all 4 tries, some of which were excellent kicks from the touchline. He is a capable attacker and if he can join the line at pace, and the Old Firm keep playing at pace, they will ask questions of the opposition. The team has a good attitude when defending and the defence was excellent, with real desire to stop the opposition scoring even when playing for 20 minutes in the second half with 14 men due to two yellow cards.

The first half hour saw Mount pressure in the Aberdare 22 interrupted by giving away penalties which gave the visitors an easy clearance. Wing Morgan James looked capable when he joined the line and did well in one attack to wrestle the ball back. Full back Holley kicked a 15 metre penalty after 15 minutes. Then outside half Callum Hall made a half break near the Aberdare 22 which led to another close-in penalty which Holley converted to make it 6-0 after half hour’s play.

To be fair to Aberdare, they competed all game, kept their structure in defence and took the game to Mount when the opportunity arose. Minutes later, full back Jamie Richards joined the line near halfway and almost got away but a cover tackle – which the referee judged as high – stopped him. The resultant penalty was kicked into the Mount 22 and from the lineout, a half-break in midfield saw an overlap and a clear run-in to the corner from 15 metres for wing Liam Enoch to score the first try of the game. Full back Richards converted from the touchline with a well-judged kick to put the visitors ahead 7-6. The lead was increased to 10-6 within a minute as a long kick into the Mount half and an attempted counter attack by Holley was well-smothered by Aberdare players who were quickly up and won a penalty, Richards converting the 35 metre penalty to make it 10-6.

Mount were lacking bite, but they responded to being behind immediately by taking play into the Aberdare 22, where a penalty was kicked to 5 metres out. Untidy ball eventually found its way to scrum half Morgan Cartwright and after going one way and then spinning round and going the other, passed to oncoming No.8 Jordan Burke who burst through a couple of tackles to touch down near the posts. Holley had no problem converting to put Mount back in front 13-10, which was how it stayed up to half time.

Aberdare frustrated Mount at the start of the second half with the Old Firm lacklustre at times. Although flanker Kieron Davies, who has had a good season, competing hard in each game, was yellow carded in the 49th minute for a technical offence, it was Mount who scored next when they took the ball through a number of phases. Wing Curtis Williams was put away 15 metres out and tackled a metre or so out from the corner, and from the quickly recycled ball, second row Dai Richards went over to score Mount’s second try, which Holley converted from wide out with a well-judged kick to make it 20-10 after 51 minutes.

Further pressure from Mount ended with hooker and captain Jarrad Parfitt going for the Old Firm’s third try, Holley converting from the corner with another fine kick to make it 27-10 on the hour. An accidental high tackle by prop James Cowdry where a running player was tackled from behind and fell downwards as he went to tackle him saw him yellow carded, but once again the Mount team showed great desire and determination in defence to keep Aberdare well away from their line.

After 68 minutes, a loose tap at an Aberdare lineout in the ‘dare 22 was quickly seized on by scrum half Cartwright who side stepped one defender and run over from 10 metres for an opportunist bonus point 4th try, which Holley once again converted to take his personal tally up to 14 and Mount into a 34-10 lead.

Aberdare kept going and took play up to the Mount line, but the Old Firm were in no mood to give anything away and took play back down to the Aberdare line where the game ended with Mount looking for a 5th try.

When the Old Firm play a high-tempo game and cut down the cheap penalties they give away, they are a much more effective side. Plus, the defence is determined and has a good attitude to keep the Mount line intact. When the Division 2 East championship was won in 2010/11, the Mount team back then always finished stronger than the opposition because they were fitter. This Mount squad is well capable of doing the same – and should do it – as it will give them a better chance of challenging for honours. There is no reason why this squad of predominantly young players cannot be the fittest team in the division, playing with pace and tempo for the whole game, and giving minimal penalties away. Go for it boys and fulfil your potential.

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