Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 17 - 15 Rumney RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
17 February 2019 / Team News

Mount Fight Back After Poor First Quarter

Well done to Mount captain Jarrod Parfitt and his team on recovering from a disastrous first quarter, after which they trailed 15-0, to fight back and eventually win this important league match. With the Division 1 East Central division being the most competitive in Wales, with clubs as high as 5th in the table still under threat of relegation, it was an important game to win for both clubs.

The Old Firm were error strewn in the first quarter, making numerous errors. As early as the 2nd minute, a dropped pass on the Mount 10 metre line gave Rumney a scrum from which a break in midfield and some good support play and skilful handling saw scrum half Morgan Williams take an inside pass to touch down for the first try of the afternoon and make it 5-0.

Mount were turning the ball over too often which allowed Rumney to dictate the game in the Old Firm’s half, and some committed defence was needed to keep the visitors out. But, in the 16th minute, veteran outside half Danny Clark converted a 38 metre penalty to take the visitors into an 8-0 lead.

The Old Firm had not entered the Rumney half at this stage of the game and they didn’t from the restart either as they conceded a scrum on halfway for being in front of the restart.

In the 19th minute, a scrum in the Mount half near halfway saw a pass to the narrow side intercepted by Rumney wing Callum Macdonald who run 45 metres unopposed for a simple try which Clark converted to take the visitors into a 15-0 lead.

Again though, the Old Firm still didn’t make it into the Rumney half as the restart went straight into touch. The writing was on the wall for Mount and they needed to up their game big time.

Dangerous play by a Rumney player saw him yellow carded and then in the 25th minute, a fracas amongst the forwards in midfield saw a player from each side dismissed. The Old Firm were awarded a penalty though, which was kicked up to the Rumney 22.

A take by flanker David Richards, given quickly to second row Matthew Dixon, saw him pass to oncoming centre Alex Hughes, who run powerfully at an angle to go through one tackler and score in the corner. It was virtually Mount’s first attack in the Rumney half with the game in the 27th minute. The conversion missed but it didn’t matter as the Old Firm, at last, had a foothold in the game.

From the restart, there was an extra edge to Mount and they took play up to the Rumney 22 where a sustained attack took play close to the Rumney line, first through prop James Cowdry and scrum half Ross Davies, and then after the ball was moved across the field, by No.8 Kriss Sanders and flanker David Richards. The visitors survived and cleared, but a dropped pass by outside half Clark was quickly seized upon by Mount centre Hughes, who linked with scrum half Davies for him to put flanker David Richards away for a second Mount try after 36 minutes play to reduce Rumney’s lead to 15-10 at half time.

The Old Firm started the second half taking the game to Rumney. Second row Matthew Dixon put in a powerful run – one of several throughout the game – and made good yardage for Mount.

After 45 minutes, a charged down drop out by Mount flanker David Richards, who did well to secure the ball on the floor, was moved quickly to wing Will Holley who run hard for the corner from 5 metres out but was gang tackled into touch at the corner flag.

The Mount scrum did well all game and nullified one of the visitors’ main strengths, with the front row of Tom Harper, James Cowdry and hooker and captain Jarrod Parfitt, and then substitutes Geraint Lock and Jordan Howe giving Mount a solid platform.

Mount scrum half Ross Davies, who was his usual self, leading from the front and into everything, took a quick penalty after 56 minutes near halfway and burst through the visitors’ forwards to link with flanker Richards. He made ground and gave to second row Mitchell Barnard to take play into the Rumney 22. The visitors once again survived but although they had the throw-in to a 5 metre lineout, it was taken by Mount flanker Dai Richards, but a pass to the oncoming Alex Hughes metres out was knocked-on.

The try which brought Mount level eventually came on the hour when another take at a close-in lineout by Richards was driven on and scored by second row Matthew Dixon. Holley converted from midway out to make it 17-15 and put the Old Firm in front for the first time in the game.

The last quarter was very competitive and frantic at time with both sides giving it their all. On occasions, the Old Firm tried to play too much rugby in their own half rather than kick for territory and protect their lead. But, on the whole, it was Mount which applied the pressure in the Rumney 22, with the visitors trying to kick long or run out, but they were met by a determined defence.

A 5 metre lineout take by Mount second row Mitchell Barnard was driven on by the Mount pack towards the line but a penalty for obstruction was awarded to the visitors.

With the game in the final 10 minutes, a long kick up to the Mount 22 by Rumney was run back by full back Morgan James who gave to wing Holley who sprinted away down the touchline and chipped over the Rumney defence. A wicked bounce of the ball behind him saw him gather the ball but be forced into touch metres out.

With the game in the 76th minute and play still fast and furious, a take and drive by the Mount forwards at a 5 metre lineout looked like a try but, as well as a penalty award to the visitors, captain Jarrod Parfitt was shown a yellow card for a comment made which changed could have changed the game in the last few minutes.

Rumney took play up to the Mount 22, but an overthrow at a lineout allowed flanker Jordan Burke to come away with the ball and kick downfield into the visitors’ 22 where quick following up stopped any counter attack. Although the visitors made their way out of their 22, a penalty to Mount in the 83rd minute looked to have sealed it for the Old Firm, but rather than kick for goal, it was quickly taken and booted into touch, with the expectation that the referee would call time. He didn’t, and he ordered a lineout near halfway. Although Rumney threw in, the Old Firm came away with the ball and after prop Tom Harper kicked it into touch, this time the referee did blow up and end an all-action game.

Although this was a good win for the Old Firm after being 15-0 down with only 20 minutes played and not in the game, by the time the game ended a bonus point had been missed given that Mount scored three tries during the game and had several chances of scoring a fourth. It was nice to see second row Matthew Dixon back to his best, putting in some strong, powerful runs which made ground and gave the Old Firm go-forward. Flanker David Richards, No.8 Kriss Sanders, and scrum half Ross Davies had busy games, always where the ball was. The Mount front row held a powerful Rumney scrum, hooker Jarrod Parfitt threw in well, second row Mitchell Barnard and flanker Jordan Burke did well when they came on, and wing Will Holley was unlucky not to get a try, but he kicked the all-important conversion with a nice strike. One thing the Mount squad have got to avoid repeating in the run-in is being yellow carded in the final minutes of a close game because of needless backchat and knowing whether time is up before kicking to touch instead of for the posts.

It’s on to Bedlinog this Thursday, 21 February, in the ¼ final of the Coors Mid District Cup. Kick off is 7:15pm at Duffryn Pennar Park.

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