03 October 2016 / Club News

Senghenydd v Caerleon


Torrential rain all morning turned into bright sunshine as I rolled up to the gates of Senghenydd RFC in the Wallymobile. I'd never been here before, and the view from the stand was quite amazing, from the base of the Valley I was looking up at lush green fields of white sheep, lines of browning golden braken topped of with dozens of oak trees just showing the changing colours of autum and, of course, the rows of terraced cottages that typify this neck of the woods. Brings a tear to the eye, much like the list of forwards not available through injury and personal circumstances. No Nobby, Breakie, Duley, Gregg Watkins (all back row) Couchy, Bailey, Herbie or Josh Povey. So the pack went like this. M'Lud Rostron, Wade Langley, Granty, Lloyd West, Connor, Dai Rositer, Jordan Davies and Pete Loder at number eight. The backs were a little more stable. Rhys Long, Morgan , Macey, Pork Chop, Jon Burgess, Joe Powell and Tom at fifteen. Only two forward subs in Pat and Evan Macey joined by Huw, Ben Snell and Jack Davies.

A finding out start to the game as both teams indulged in aerial ping pong, perhaps Caerleon having more territorial advantage. The first real attack came when JB broke the line and fed Andy Grant who found himself on the touch line. He linked well with Connor who got a wiggle on and earned a penalty. Morgan was off target. But this gave the team a boost to start playing and opening up. Sneggie did intercept an attack that I thought was going to lead to a try, but the guy was offside. A few phases of play and Caerleon were laying siege to the Saints line. Various forwards had a go for glory along with Rhys, a scrum was earned. On the second one the ball went right along the line and Burgie was in for an unconverted try wide out. 0-5 after fifteen minutes. From defence, Joe put Caerleon back in the 22 to continue the pressure. After twenty minutes try scoring JB was replaced by Jack Davies due to a recurring groin problem. The Saints now came to the party and were attacking hard, but the Caerleon defence was up to the task. Mist clearances attempts kept the home team on the attack. On 30 minutes, Saints scored a penalty following a scrumage problem and three minutes later, after good Caerleon defence was let down by penalties, a soft try was conceded when a forward just tapped a penalty to himself (play had been stopped for an injury) and just barged his way over' it wasn't converted because it was out wide but the home team were now in front 8-5. Caerleon went on the attack, a pen for lazzy running went right and a Porkey break and, potential, scoring pass went into touch but the ref was playing advantage. This penalty hit the upright, in the ensuing melee Saints got a yellow and Morgan secured three points. 8 all two minutes of the half remaining (or so I thought). More than two minutes of pressure from the Saints and with Knobby Knobs screaming for his mates to get lower in the tackle area they indeed scored a try due to poor tackling, a pity as the defence had been good up to then. Still more action (Refs watch on the blink me thinks) Caerleon put out a cracking attack from a looping move by Morgan and line break by Tom who almost made the line, instead, from the ruck Porkey picked up a puzzling yellow, they cleared the line and finally the ref blew up. 13-8 at the halfway. 

At the half, Ben Snell replaced influential captain Macey who was struggling to shake of a tight hammy. This could be key. He was soon into the game, however, when following a turn over he broke out of defence and very nearly went all the way. Stunning start. Caerleon with their tails up attacked again, Jordan chipped through but a promising position was penalised for not letting the man up. Cearleon kept up the pressure, Westie, having a great game, nicked a lineout against the head and Ben was off again making headway, fed Tom inside who fed Morgan who got behind the defence, a slipped ball to Connor who made 20 metres, showing superb pace, not quite making the line but a quick ruck and Joe waltzed over for a converted try after fifteen minutes of the restart. 13-15. Senghenydd went on an all out attack. Caerleon defended manfully as the Saints laid siege. Penalties and line outs were repelled over again, but finally one penalty too many saw Wade, the hooker, (really hope that's his name) get a yellow, he, like Westie, was having a cracking game to. Still Caerleon defend, Morgan and Tom cleared the decks after superb turnovers. Tom gathers an attacking chip over the top under the posts and sets off to return it, but runs into a large lad. Said, large lad, then goes through Tom's pockets, nicks his car keys and small change, o yeh, and the ball and goes under the sticks unchallenged for a painful seven points, the lead with ten minutes remaining and the rain starting to fall. Crucial, 20-15. Huw replaced Rhys at scrum half. Porkey broke away for what looked like a score and the traveling support were incensed as the inconsistent ref brought him back. Seven minutes on the clock, Caerleon kick a penalty into the 22, win the ball and set up a great platform to attack the line. Several phases involving backs and forwards going at it hammer and tongs culminated in Wade piling over to score. Morgan stepped up to kick, what was potentially, the winning points but pushed it across the face. 20-20 ,two points were on the card and personally I'd have taken that, just a pity over the two soft tries. With minutes left Caerleon put something of a rousing finale together, Champaign rugby where the whole team was involved, this was interesting, metres were made, tackles were broken and Jack stepped inside to head for the line, he was shut down but made the ball available and that man Porkey Pork Chop was there to crash over to surely win the game for the Green and Blacks? Morgan slotted a more difficult conversion than the previous attempt and there was a seven point lead and bonus point to boot, incredible. But wait, I don't believe it, The Saints were on the attack in the 22 again, Caerleon once again defending, they spread the ball wide, centre passed behind wing into touch and that was that. Few!! 

What a rollercoaster of a game. 12 points in the final seven minutes and a bonus point, who'd have thunked it? Wade and Westie, I thought, were brilliant on their starting de-buts, Ben Snell looked first class on his and the team performed excellently as a group ( coaches may disagree but as a supporter I got my fivers worth) A big shout to the front row who did the full 80, especially the two stalwarts of Mr's Rostrom and Grant, not a backwards step and did a shift for the team in the injury/unavailability circumstances. 

Well done lads, great effort. ( Tom, did you get your keys back)? 

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