Skewen RFC | 1st Team 15 - 30 Ystalyfera RFC | 1st Team
Paul Davies
1 Try
Luc Caines
1 Try
Josh Jarrett
1 Try
Gareth James
1 Conversion
1 Drop Goal
1 Penalty

Match Report
22 January 2019 / Team News

Skewen 15 – 30 Ystalyfera

The first Ystalyfera League fixture of the season versus Skewen, newly relegated from the Championship, was away in patchy sunshine with no wind or rain on a soft surface.  

The ‘Fera kicked off towards the Clubhouse end, Skewen making a positive start, with quick, neat passing. This allowed Lloyd Phillips to run in the first Try in the 2nd minute, Anthony Proseli converting: score 7 – 0. From the re-start, Ystalyfera worked their way into the home 22, getting a penalty. This generated a 5m line-out but a knock on ensued, Skewen in turn getting a penalty to clear their lines. The game progressed with Ystalyfera working hard and Skewen contesting for every ball, ‘Fera wing Josh Jarrett gaining a close opportunity when chasing a smart line kick. The Ystalyfera forwards upped their efforts, and following a sustained attack in the Skewen 22, with pressing drives and scrums, the referee awarded a Penalty Try in the 15th minute. This equalled the score, motivating Skewen to attack again. A penalty for a high tackle in the 20th minute restored the Skewen lead 10 – 7. A period of kicking for position now took place between the full backs, until the Ystalyfera threequarters attempted to penetrate the home defence more directly. This resulted in a kick thru by Skewen into the Ystalyfera 22 where from the back of a scrum, quick ball out the line allowed wing Kieran Whiteman to touch down the second home Try: score 15 – 7. Play returned to midfield where possession changed sides, until ‘Fera outside half Gareth James saw an opportunity to convert a well taken Drop Goal in the 28th minute, narrowing the lead to 15 – 10. Back in the Skewen 22, strong play by the Ystalyfera forwards gained some momentum, and a chance for ‘Fera wing Luc Caines to sprint at the home try-line appeared to be stopped, but twisting in the tackle saw him dab the ball over for a well taken Try in the 30th minute. Both teams were not giving an inch and play continued with both sides looking for breaks, the defences were tackling admirably and the contest continued until half time: score 15 – 15.  

Skewen made the first attack in the second period, the ball being lost out on the wing. A penalty awarded for a scrum offence was missed, the ball going dead and the referee awarding a scrum to Ystalyfera. Events progressed into the home 22, and a well executed catch and drive advanced play into the Skewen 5m. A push over scrum attempt was disallowed, but further pressure from the determined ‘Fera pack saw veteran lock Paul Davies power over for the third visitors Try in the 55th minute. Gareth James converted score 15 – 22. Ystalyfera now displayed why they are top of the League and began to take control in all areas of the field. Skewen were not getting much of the ball and in the 65th minute, Gareth James put in a superb line kick which Josh Jarrett was able to advance up the line and score the 4th bonus point Try: score 15 – 27. The Skewen scrums were now falling apart under the relentless pressure from the Ystalyfera pack. Quick spurts by the ‘Fera backs kept the home defence constantly occupied, and a penalty by Gareth James in the 74th minute stretched the lead to 15 – 30. Skewen did not give up, but the Ystalyfera tackling was enough to break every effort put in by the home side up to the final whistle. 

In front of a fairly large crowd, both teams put in a commendable effort and Skewen were able to match Ystalyfera up to half time. The second period was fully controlled by the ‘Fera however and they finished worthy winners to increase their lead at the top of the table. Ystalyfera Lock Paul Davies earned congratulations for equalling his season Try count of 6 this early in January, last managed ten years ago in 2008-09 and in 2001-02 before that.

The penalty counts were 13 for Ystalyfera and 9 for Skewen.


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