Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 27 - 34 Treorchy RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
15 September 2019 / Team News

Mount Left Reflecting On Narrow Loss

This game was a battle between the Mount forwards and the Treorchy backs who were sharp as a tack when having the chance to score. However, the law of unintended consequences also played a crucial part in the second half. With the Mount forwards on top at every scrum and just 5 metres out from the Treorchy line, a yellow card to a Treorchy prop forward – which reduced Treorchy’s forwards down to 6 – saw passive scrums introduced which was of no benefit to the Old Firm at all as it stopped pushing in the scrum which was one of the strongest parts of Mount’s attack. Alternatively, it gave Treorchy’s under-siege forwards a 10 minute breather at the scrum and their backs perfect ball to clear their line or run. From Mount’s viewpoint, it would have been better if the Treorchy prop had stayed on and another player taken off, and it is something which the law makers should look at to protect the integrity of the game.

The Old Firm made a slow start and the game was just 3 minutes old when pressure on the Mount line resulted in Treorchy moving the ball to the touchline for their wing to touch down, outside half Jordan Lloyd unluckily hitting the post with his conversion.

A penalty to Mount at a scrum was kicked to 5 metres out where second row Daniel Phillips took the first of many catches during the game. The ball was moved wide to wing Rhys Davies who was tackled metres out. Mount were awarded a penalty for offside which full back Morgan James goaled to make it 5-3 after 12 minutes.

A failure to clear the restart by the Old Firm led to a penalty to Treorchy which outside half Lloyd kicked to take his side’s lead up to 8-3.

Mount flanker David Richards found space to break through the Treorchy defence and sprint into the visitors’ 22 but a lack of support saw the visitors get a penalty at the breakdown.

The Treorchy scrum was having problems at every scrum with Mount being awarded several penalties. Centre Jarrod Cushion cut through on halfway to take play into the visitors’22 but a knock-on stopped the attack. Once again, the Mount pack had the Treorchy scrum in trouble and from another penalty award, full back James slotted over a 20 metre penalty to reduce the visitors’ lead to 8-6 after 35 minutes.

A jink and a break by outside half Ethan Conway through midfield from the kick off had Treorchy in trouble but a misguided pass let go an excellent attacking opportunity, but not for long. After winning the ball back at the breakdown, second row Jarrod Parfitt went straight through the middle of a maul 40 metres out and with no defender in front of him put his head back and sprinted for the line. Just 5 metres out, a try saving tackle by a chasing defender stopped him, but he slipped a nice pass inside to flanker David Richards, who looked to have lost the ball forward but dived, caught it, and touched down in spectacular fashion to the delight of the Mount support. James converted from in front of the posts to take Mount into half time 13-8 up and on top.

The Old Firm’s lead was short-lived and another slow start saw two Treorchy converted tries within 5 minutes of the second half starting which put the visitors 22-13 up.

Just three minutes later, Mount got right back into the game with a lineout take and drive near the Treorchy line, flanker and captain Matthew Rees credited with the touchdown, Morgan James once again converting to make it 22-20 after 48 minutes.

Each side seemed to be scoring after getting the ball, and the second half’s fourth try in just 12 minutes was scored in the 52nd minute. After Treorchy took play into the Mount 22, outside half Jordan Lloyd showed good vision to put in a beautifully positioned and weighted grubber kick through the oncoming Mount midfield for a Treorchy midfield player to race through and beat the covering Mount defence to the ball for a bonus point try and a 29-20 lead after it was converted.

The game was still in the balance and Mount hit back, pressurising the Treorchy line. The visitors were on the back foot and quick ruck ball 5 metres out was moved wide but intercepted by a Treorchy forward who was judged offside by the referee and yellow carded. The Old Firm opted for a scrum from which Treorchy were reduced to 13 players when a prop forward was also yellow carded. Ironically, it benefitted the visitors as they conveniently opted for passive scrums due to no prop available to play competitive scrums which stopped the Mount forwards pushing for the next 10 minutes, gave the visitors' forwards a welcome rest, and allowed the Treorchy backs to get steady ball.

A Mount attack saw a half break by flanker David Richards which was taken on by scrum half Morgan Cartwright to 5 metres out. He slipped a pass to centre Alex Hughes who looked to have scored a try under the posts but the referee judged a forward pass which gave Treorchy a passive scrum.

A Mount lineout take on their own 22 saw a drive up to the Treorchy 10 metre line where a penalty was kicked into the 22. Another lineout take and drive was eventually finished off with a try in the corner by Mount flanker David Richards with full back Morgan James kicking a superb conversion from just metres in from the touchline to bring Mount back to 27-29 down after 68 minutes.

The game was in the balance. The Old Firm’s lineout had been excellent all game, but crucially, an overthrow at a lineout on halfway saw Treorchy first to the loose ball which led to an attack which led to a penalty. Outside half Lloyd looked to have kicked the 38 metre penalty but it rebounded off an upright and bounced back into play. Three Mount defenders all hesitated to claim the loose ball and when one did it was fumbled which gave Treorchy a scrum. The visitors got the ball away and moved it wide to the wing and scored a try which made it 34-27 after 73 minutes.

The game continued until the 91st minute with the Mount pack disrupting Treorchy at the now competitive scrums and catching and driving from lineouts. Fierce pressure in the Treorchy 22 saw the visitors infringing regularly with forwards flying in from various angles to try and stop Mount forward drives. Treorchy’s hooker was yellow carded which once again stopped competitive scrums. A couple of 5 metre lineouts and drives took place and although they were won by the Old Firm, further penalties were given. Another catch and drive from 5 metres out by the Mount forwards, which was resisted by Treorchy with players driving in at all angles, went down metres out, the referee judging the ball was held up, and blowing for full time to bring a hard-fought game to an end.

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