Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 43 - 3 Ynysybwl RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
31 December 2023 / Team News

Mount End Year With 7 Try Win

Not many Mount supporters would have bet on a 40 point win at half time when the ‘bwl were leading 3-0. But, with the Old Firm playing with a deceptively stronger wind than what it felt, the visitors were subjected to constant pressure and attacking rugby in the second half to which they had no answer.

The ‘bwl had the first scoring chance after just 4 minutes play but couldn’t convert a 40 metre penalty. Mount hit back, and after taking play into the Ynysybwl 22 the ball was moved wide into space, where full back Callum Hall scooped the ball up to wing Iestyn Robins whose pass back inside 5 metres out was not accurate enough and it was spilled. This turned out to be Mount’s best chance of the half.

Luckily, the game was played in dry weather and although conditions were heavy due to the week’s constant rain, both sides tried to keep the ball in hand when they had the chance. The ’bwl were successful in the first half disrupting Mount ball and stopping forward drives, but Mount didn’t help themselves at times, being hesitant in attack and lacking direction.

A strong scrum from the ‘bwl after 32 minutes was rewarded with a penalty 30 metres out, which was converted to put the visitors 3-0 up. With time almost up, the strength of the wind was shown when full back Hall’s 38 metre penalty was held up in the wind, dropping just short.

Whatever Coaches Eynon and Keepin said at half time to the Mount team certainly worked because the Old Firm were a transformed outfit in the second half.

A lineout take by flanker Dai Richards was taken through several phases by the Old Firm which took play across the field and back. With the ‘bwl defence scattered, wing Morgan James joined the line and dummied the last defender to run in from 15 metres and score near the posts. Outside half Jayden Pugh converted to put Mount 7-3 up in the first few minutes of the half.

Minutes later, a lineout 15 metres out from the visitors’ line saw Pugh again in the action, this time putting in a lovely little chip over the defence for busy flanker Dai Richards to jump and take, and then pass to second row Jarrad Parfitt who sprinted in under the posts for Mount’s second try, Pugh converting to make it 14-3.

It was all Mount. Another attack from loose play saw centre Cole Nash make a break, the ball finding its way to wing Morgan James who beat the covering ‘bwl forward for pace to go outside him and sprint into the corner for the Old Firm’s third try in quick succession to make it 19-3.

The ‘bwl took play up to the Mount line, but from a lineout take by Dai Richards, full back Hall fired a huge kick 75 metres downfield. Centre Cole Nash’s following up at speed and pressure on the defender was exemplary, and it resulted in a miscued kick that missed touch. Ever-present flanker Richards took the ball and started another attack which nearly resulted in another try but the bounce of the ball from full back Hall’s well-placed chip out wide beat wing Morgan James with the ‘bwl defence scattered.

James did not have to wait long though to get his first 1st XV hat-trick as he started an attack near halfway and received a pass from Hall to score wide out and make it 24-3 after an hour’s play.

There was no respite for the ‘bwl. From the restart, a beautifully placed long diagonal kick by Hall gave Mount a 50/22 lineout from which they were held up over the ‘bwl line. From a scrum 10 metres out from the visitors’ line, flanker Richards charged down an attempted clearance, picked up and sauntered over from close-in for Mount’s fifth try, Hall’s making a good attempt with the conversion which hit a post, leaving the score at 29-3 after 68 minutes.

Some nice back play by Mount after 71 minutes where a loop in midfield and full back Hall joining the line put centre Nash into space and he showed his pace his run down the 5 metre channel and in under the posts for a well-deserved try which Pugh converted to make it 36-3.

The game ended with a seventh and final try with the last move of the game, the Old Firm attacking from halfway, putting the ball through the hands and showing good support play to put second row Steffan Calderbank over from 10 metres out, Pugh converted to make it 43-3, which gained Mount 5 League points to consolidate their position at the top of the table and put them in with a chance of getting into the top eight of the Silver Ball competition.

This was a good end to 2023 for the Old Firm. The game was the halfway point of the League season, with 10 more games still to play, which amount to 50 League points. That’s a lot of points to play for. Mount need to take one game at a time, give it their all, and not underestimate any opposition, whatever their position in the table.

This Saturday, the Old Firm travel to Rhiwbina for a Division 1 East Central game, kick off is 2:30pm.


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