Porth Harlequins RFC | 1st Team 20 - 38 Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
16 April 2023 / Team News

Hall Scores 23 Points As Old Firm Gain Bonus Point Win

Well done to the Old Firm on scoring 4 tries to get a bonus point win in their first match for 6 weeks.

Considering this was the Old Firm’s first game throughout their inactivity, their fitness held up and they showed a determined edge in defence, especially late in the game, when Porth were trying to gain a consolation try.

Outside half Callum Hall scored 23 points, striking the ball sweetly out of hand to gain Mount plenty of ground and kicking some superb penalties from long range. And flanker Dai Richards was a real livewire around the field and his usual self in the lineout.

When Porth had chances in space, they showed they were a capable attacking side. They went in front after 5 minutes when a missed tackle in midfield by Mount saw the home centre show a turn of pace to get away and finish off by scoring under the posts. The try was converted to make it 7-0.

The Old Firm were level within a minute. From a scrum to Mount from the restart, the ball was moved to centre Hughes on the charge. He powered through, drew the full back and gave to fellow centre Steven Brittain who run in from 15 metres unopposed. Outside half Hall converted to make it 7-7.

A penalty shortly after by Hall made it 10-7 to Mount, and then a chip through was kicked on up to the home line. A lone defender was chased by two Mount attackers but gathered the ball and sprinted across the dead-ball area where he passed to a teammate who started a counter attack which ended a few passes later with a with a fine try for the hosts under the Mount posts, with the conversion putting Porth back in front 14-10 after just 14 minutes play.

Centre Hughes made another break but his pass in the Porth 22 with the line in sight was dropped as white line fever bit. The game was open and Porth got up to the Mount 22 for a 5 metre lineout, but a superb lineout take by Richards and a long clearance by Hall pinned them back.

A superb penalty by Hall from 49 metres reduced the Porth lead to 14-13 in the 22nd minute, and after a period of pressure in and around the Porth 22, Hall converted another penalty to put the Old Firm 16-14 in front after 32 minutes.

In being with the game, it didn’t last long as the home outside half kicked two penalties from 40 metres to go in front 20-16, which was a lead they held at half time.

Pressure at a ruck in the opening minute of the second half gained Mount a penalty which Hall put over with another superb kick to reduce the home team’s lead to 20-19.

A lineout on the Porth 10 metre line saw Mount move the ball into midfield where centre Hughes shrugged off his opposite number and link with Hall for the outside half to finish off by scoring a try under the posts, which he converted to put the Old Firm 26-20 up in the 47th minute.

The Mount forwards showed great determination in defence from a short throw to stop a burly home prop from being driven over from 10 metres out. Some of Hall’s kicking out of hand was superb, gaining plenty of ground and relieving the defence when Porth attacked.

After 65 minutes, from a ruck set up in the Porth 22, scrum half Ross Davies sent his pass out to No.8 Daniel Phillips who took the ball at speed and proved unstoppable from 15 metres out as he drove through tackles to score Mount’s third try of the afternoon. A superb conversion straight and high between the posts by Hall put Mount 33-20 up.

A well-placed kick out of hand by Hall into space in the Porth half had the home defence stretched. The Old Firm took play into the Porth 22, centre Hughes slipping a pass, and from a ruck close to the home line, scrum half Davies passed to the narrow side for wing Morgan James to score Mount’s 4th try of the game and gain a bonus point to make it 38-20 after 70 minutes.

The Old Firm were still not finished though as full back Robins was put away. The last five minutes saw the home side try hard to score a try but they were met by a determined Mount defence which would not budge.

Mount looked effective when kicking the ball into space and following up quickly, and it is something they should look to do more often to put the opposition defence under pressure.

With the top three being promoted at the end of the season, the five points gained was very helpful. Rumney lead the table on 63 points from 15 games played and seem certain to be promoted. Rhydyfelin are on 52 points and 2nd from 13 games, Treorchy have 48 and are in 3rd from 15 games, St Peter’s are in 4th on 47 points from 13, and Mount also have 47 points but are in 5th having played 14. It is virtually cup-tie rugby to finish the season. If the Old Firm can play full-on for 80 minutes, win their own ball, put the ball into space and kick the points on offer, they have a chance. Rhydyfelin, in 2nd place, are the Old Firm’s opponents this Saturday, 22 April, at Duffryn Pennar Park, kick off is 2:30pm.

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