Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 21 - 21 St Josephs RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
15 December 2019 / Team News

Mount Blow Hot & Cold In Home Draw

The Old Firm have been slow starters all season and it continued for most of the first half in this game at a cold, damp and overcast Duffryn Pennar Park. Although Mount started well enough and applied pressure in the St Joseph’s 22 in the opening minutes, the visitors cleared.

The St Joseph’s defence was measly all afternoon, hardly conceding any penalties. The only one the Old Firm was awarded in kickable range rebounded off an upright and back into play in the first half.

After catching a Mount drop-out, a chip and catch by a St Joseph’s forward over the oncoming Mount forwards opened up the Old Firm’s defence and some interpassing in the Mount 22 was finished off by wing Will Rowlands who scored a simple but well-worked try in the corner to make it 5-0 after 12 minutes.

Mount were flat as a pancake and lacked intensity and pace in their play. From two penalties conceded in quick succession, St Joseph’s went 8-0 up after 15 minutes with a penalty by outside half Rob Sweetman, and minutes later, a fine 40 metre strike by Sweetman made it 11-0 after the visitors’ scrum half was pulled back at a scrum.

Mount hit back in the 22nd minute with a well-worked try, which was virtually the only one they put together in the first half. A clearance kick by St Jo’s was well caught by full back Jarrod Cushion running back. He gave to wing Morgan James, who side-stepped a defender and sped through the defence to get to 15 metres out. Quick ruck ball and a couple of drives saw prop Tom Harper given the ball 5 metres out and he finished off a 45 metre move with a try under the posts. James converted to reduce St Joseph’s lead to 11-7, which was how it stayed up to half time.

A long drop-out by St Joseph’s early in the second half was caught by full back Cushion. He spotted a gap in the visitors’ defence and run at speed through it, and almost went through the whole team, being tackled in the 22. Mount were on top territorially, and from another attack from halfway, the ball was moved to scrum half Jamie Long, who broke through near the St Jo’s 22 and gave an inside pass to the unmarked Jarrod Cushion for the full back to run in unopposed from 15 metres out to score under the posts. James converted to make it 14-11 after 53 minutes.

From the restart, another break by Long and some quick interpassing put wing Morgan James away. He got to 15 metres out where he gave an overhead pass to full back Cushion who was tackled. The Mount forwards delivered quick ruck ball and moved it to flanker Mitchell Barnard in midfield who went through a tackler from 5 metres out to score under the posts. James converted to make it 21-11 after 56 minutes and a win and a bonus point looked on the cards.

But, like they did against St Peter’s last time out, the Old Firm took their foot off the peddle and let the visitors back in. A penalty conceded 25 metres out was converted by Sweetman after 59 minutes to make it 21-14. Then, a charged down 22 drop-out, followed by a 22 drop-out straight into touch, gave St Joseph’s two attacking positions, and from the second, they broke the Mount defensive line in midfield and with some good support play and skilful catching and passing, wing Rowlands was put free down the touchline and he had no problem running round near the posts to score. Sweetman converted to make it 21-21 after 68 minutes. The visitors attacked again, and although an attack out wide looked covered, wing Rowlands got away down the touchline in the Mount 22 and was tackled 5 metres out.

The last 10 minutes saw the Old Firm in and around the St Joseph’s 22, pressurising the visitors. Full back Jarrod Cushion went through a gap at the side of a maul and got to 5 metres out, but the visitors held on. The penalty count against the Old Firm was well into double figures, and from a last-ditch attack, backrow forward Richards broke through to take play to 10 metres out, but once again Mount were penalised and the ball booted into touch by the visitors to leave both teams sharing the points.

Mount’s next game is on Saturday 28 December when they visit Treorchy, kick off is 2:30pm.

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