20 September 2016 / Club News

Natyglo v Caerleon


I was a little worried Friday evening when great uncle Douglas offered me a glass of shandy, a bag of Twiglets and said he would take me up the Valley Saturday afternoon. But it was all okay as Wallter Hyman and Dai Bev were there to keep an eye on him. It was like a summer trip with your favourite uncles. The sun was, indeed, shiney and bright as we headed for the Tropic of Nantyglo. Hoozah!

Nantyglo had lost their first two games but this counts for nothing in this league. Caerleon were without M'Lud Rostron, Ginger Tom and Knobby Knobs who picked up a needles injury playing for the Helmets,mid week, against the Newport Police (a dishonourable draw by the way). Josh Povey got a start with Granty and Psyco Pat. Cwtchy and Connor in the row with Breaky, Gregg 'What O' Watkins and, wait for it, Matty Thomas on a P from Pooler!!! What a joy to see the Old Boy back in the Green and Black. Backs were Jo Mac, Morgan,Macey (cap) Pork Chop, Ellis Jones, Jon Burgess with the new father (but will always be the teenage Wolf boy) Huwie Wilkinson at 15.
Natyglo had some massive men in their pack, this was going to be tough going for the Caerleon eight. However, a bright and dynamic start to the game, with the sun burning my eyes, witnessed JB stepping around the midfield and causing alarms for Nant, they needed to foul him to stop him, a quick T&G by Huw, Strong runs by Old Fanny Feet and Achie Breakie took Caerleon right to the line, unfortunately, a pen was conceded, but the future looked bright. The next scoring opportunity fell to the home side after only five minutes (so you can tell the pace of the game). Pat's throw in went awry on the Caerleon 22 and with a three man overlap, the home side butchered a sure thing. Bit of a let off for the lads, but a wake-up call to the job at hand. Two minutes later Caerleon were attacking again, chip through by Morgan was gathered, but great follow play from Jo and Connor earned a turn over, Porkey broke his defenders tackle, Fed Ellis who showed immense strength to shove off a couple of would be tackles and score. Morgan added the two (with the aid of an upright) and Caerleon were on the board. 0-7. Nantyglo were straight back again, they butchered a second try but did take a 3 point penalty to cut the arrears. 3-7. Sixteen minutes in Breakie went for a charge off a rolling maul, Pork Chop broke his defender, again, but this time, from thirty metres out, he went all the way to try time land under the sticks. 3-14. Porkey was in the action again soon after, this time in defence, with the Nant backs on the rampage the Porkster pulled off a massive scything tackle that earned a huge round of applause from the Caerleon travellers (the lad must have had three weeterbix this morning). More attacking from Caerleon next, two outstanding driving mauls, text book pass and loop from Morgan put Ellis away to show his strength and speed, only to be well tackled just shy. WhatO slipped a fancy pass to Huw from a maul and he had a dart as well, it was all going off. Macey, Porkey, Huw and the back row were busy in defence with some classy tackling, this was an entertaining affair. Unfortunately Caerleon lost a ball in attack and were pegged back in their own half a quick throw in and Nant were under the sticks for a goal. 10-14. With three minutes of the half remaining Nantyglo had their tails up, Morgan did some great covering to stop one try but conceed a scrum five. Frantic defending kept the forwards out and the centre's pass into touch ended the attack. And that was that. Take a breath, and breath. 

Second half and Caerleon started well. Ellis went close again, following good work from the hard working pack. WhatO and Mat Thomas combined well, Morgan made some ground and Ellis continued his form breaking tackles for fun underarming a 
Pass to the supporting Huw to go under the sticks for Caerleon's third goal 10-21 Nant fought back but their attacks were thwarted numerous times by the majestic try scoring Huwie, he was having a blinder, in attack and defence, and appeared to be involved in everything.  Caerleon were now attacking the scrum, Pete Loder had replaced Pat and Shaun Griffiths was on for Josh. They eventually cleared their line and went on the attack. Three penalties inside the Caerleon 22 yielded nil poi as they chose two line outs and one dab and dash but strong defence kept the line intact. Eventually, following more superb defence, they took a three pointer to cut the deficit to 13 - 21 with twenty minutes left. The Davies twins replaced Breakie and  WhatO and Jo Powell was on for JB. Ellis strutted his funky stuff again, emerging from a ruck with players hanging off his back but unfortunately the ball was lost.  Mid field turn overs went both ways but Jorden (or Bailey) burst forward, fed Matty T, stepped out of a tackle and shrugged off another to run in twenty metres to score the bonus point try and bring the curtain down on a fine game and fine win for Cearleon RFC 13-28. Deep joy! 
Ellis had a stormer, Porky was superb but a group of my peers were wetting their pants at the all round perfomance of Huwie Wilkinson. A MOM contribution. Well done old boy! 

The Helmets smashed local rivals St. Julians at GLA and our juniors had a very successful Sunday by all accounts. Well done everyone'

Next week sees Caerleon entertain table topping and in form Rhydyfelin at God's Little Acre. We've not met this side since the Brewers cup final in 1981 at the old Cardiff arms park where my brother Nobby scored the only try. Hopefully, some of the x players from that team will be there to add to our great supporting crew. It's going to be a tough one to be sure, but our lads are up for it and head coach Smith, I'm sure, will have a trick or two up his sleeve. Good luck lads. 

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