Mountain Ash RFC | 1st Team 12 - 14 Aberdare RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
14 August 2022 / Team News

Nine Youth Players Make Debut For Old Firm

In blazing hot weather and a rock-hard ground at Duffryn Pennar Park, Mount and Aberdare played their first pre-season trial game. The game was played over three thirds, with 9 of last season’s successful Mount Youth side – No.8 Steffan Calderbank, who played second row in this game, centre Cole Nash, scrum half Ethan Davies, flanker Dafydd Kingston, centre Ethan Morris, full back Iestyn Robins, wing Arfon Davies, forward Rhys Pullman, and second row Ellis Veale – all making their senior debuts.

Aberdare had the better of the first third, with Mount not helping themselves by conceding far too many penalties which gave the visitors easy ground. In the first minute, a pick up at a scrum on the Aberdare 22 and chip through was quickly followed up by wing Arfon Davies who was just beaten to the touchdown. Aberdare looked better practised behind the scrum than Mount and a loop in midfield saw their outside half almost get away but his pass on the Mount 22 was wayward. A knock-on close to the Mount line allowed the Old Firm to clear, The visitors were dominating the ball and territory in the sweltering conditions, and they got the try they had been threatening when a high ball into the Mount 22 was regathered to be fed to their outside half who broke a tackle and scored near the posts. The conversion was easily put over to make it 7-0, and that was the score when the teams turned round.

Throughout the game, the Old Firm looked disjointed, with little structure to their play, which was understandable given this was the first trial game and the first senior game of rugby for a number of players.

A 50/22 kick over the Aberdare defence by centre Alex Hughes into the visitors’ 22 gave Mount the throw-in, and whether it was intentional or not, No.8 Jordan Burke caught the ball unopposed at the back of the lineout 15 metres out and broke away to drive over for a try. Outside half Callum Hall converted to make the score 7-7, which is how it stayed until the teams turned round again.

A high, hanging drop out by Mount outside half Hall was left to bounce by the Aberdare forwards and resulted in a penalty to Mount for offside when the ball was knocked forward. Hall fired the penalty into the corner and from a catch and drive, No.8 Jordan Burke scored his second try of the game wide out to make it 12-7.

The Old Firm seemed to be getting the upper hand. No.8 Burke run strongly up to the Aberdare 22 from a lineout catch on halfway. The ball was recycled and moved wide, but an interception in midfield by the Aberdare wing saw him run 75 metres unopposed to score under the posts for a try which was converted to put his side back in front 14-12.

The final 10 minutes saw Mount defend a drive over attempt by Aberdare from a 5 metre lineout and have a couple of chances of scoring themselves. An attack by Mount which took play up to the Aberdare line was cleared by the visitors after the ball was turned over a metre out. The kick downfield was run back by Mount’s Declan Conway, with the Aberdare defence stretched, but the Old Firm could not capitalise on it, leaving the visitors narrow winners.

This Saturday, 20 August, the Old Firm welcome Ystrad Rhondda to Duffryn Pennar Park, kick off 2:30pm.

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