Tondu RFC | 1st Team 23 - 40 Ystalyfera RFC | 1st Team
Steffan Lloyd Castle
5 Conversion
Jonathan Bayliss
1 Try
Luc Caines
2 Try
Bowdy Davies
2 Try
Ryan Lee James
1 Try

Match Report
09 January 2019 / Team News

Tondu 23 – 40 Ystalyfera

The Ystalyfera return league fixture at Tondu was played in dry but cold conditions on a soft pitch.  

‘Fera kicked off toward the changing room end, and the Tondu backs returned the ball. Ystalyfera backs then set up play up in the home half. Another Tondu kick from defence saw the ball fielded by ‘Fera full back Steffan Castle, he in turn attempted a kick and chase but the ball fell in front of the Tondu backs who this time run at pace. Good smooth passing turned the visitors back line and flanker Rhys Samuel was able to open the scoring for Tondu with the first Try in the 3rd minute. Centre Josh Tatchell converted: score 7 – 0. Play returned into the Tondu half and the first Ystalyfera attack earned a 22m line out. The first scrum was pushed strongly by the Ystalyfera pack but the referee awarded a Tondu penalty for lifting. A further penalty gave Tondu a line out in the ‘Fera half, and a confident attack was cleared well by Steffan Castle and ‘Fera outside half Taylor Phillips. The match settled on half way with a feisty contest for the ball, both sides wanting possession. In the 12th minute a risk by Tondu saw ‘Fera centre Jonathan Bayliss make an interception, he tore thru the home defenders to power over under the posts for the first Ystalyfera Try. This was converted by Steffan Castle: score 7 – 7. Ystalyfera now upped the pace of the game and began to test the home side in the middle of the field. In the 20th minute off the back of a scrum, ‘Fera broke thru and good passing allowed ‘Fera centre Ryan James to race under the posts for the second ‘Fera Try. This was again converted by Steffan Castle gaving Ystalyfera the lead: score 7 – 14. The game was developing at a fast pace, both sides wanting to run with the ball. Following a penalty on half way for Tondu in the 25th minute, Josh Tatchell made an excellent kick to narrow the lead: score 10 – 14. Ystalyfera were now beginning to gain control of the game with hard tackles and the effectiveness of the scrum. In the 28th minute a charge by the ‘Fera forwards and quick delivery moved the ball out to the left, ‘Fera wing Bowdy Davies made a short kick over his opposite number and recovered the ball to run in an impressive Try. Another Steff Castle conversion lifted the score: 10 – 21. From the restart Tondu took the chance to launch an attack and a penalty on the ‘Fera 22m line was kicked over by Tatchell: score 13 – 21. Further penalties after the restart kept Tondu in the ‘Fera 22, and after applying some pressure with catch and drive line outs, Tondu scored a second Try in the left hand corner by No8 Adam Harris in the 40th minute. Josh Tatchell converted leaving a close half time score: 20 – 21.

The second period began with a set of kicks by both sides, ending with a Tondu forward pass in the ‘Fera half. Ystalyfera worked hard with the ball but another penalty followed by an extra 10m allowed Josh Tatchell a third penalty in the 44th minute: score 23 – 21. Tondu gained confidence from this and began to make inroads into the visitors half. Ystalyfera not a side to avoid a challenge worked harder. The ‘Fera pack pressed into the Tondu right hand corner and a catch and drive line out saw a surge for the home try-line. From a 5m scrum the ball popped out to ‘Fera wing Luc Caines who scored the fourth bonus point Try. This was the fourth conversion for Steff Castle returning the lead to Ystalyfera in the 54th minute: score 23 – 28. The relentless power of the Ystalyfera scrum was now beginning to drain the Tondu forwards, more ball coming the visitors way. A disallowed push over Try in the 57th minute was followed by continued pressure, and Tondu were at full stretch to keep Ystalyfera at bay. A ‘Fera penalty attempt by Steff Castle in the 61st minute was narrowly missed, and Tondu handling errors gave an opportunity for Bowdy Davies to gather the ball and speed thru for his second Try: score 23 – 33. The action continued with stern confrontation up front, Ystalyfera scrums being most impressive. In the 73rd minute after moving the ball out along the whole back line, wing Luc Caines was able to get his second and the sixth ‘Fera Try of the game. Well converted by Steffan Castle the final score was: 23 – 40.

Tondu played this game with very little error. Sound early forward play and a good set of running backs gave hope of success but Ystalyfera recognised all the threats, and adjusted their game accordingly. This is the making of a good side and nobody watching could disagree. With Glynneath losing at home to Bonymaen the ‘Fera increased the lead at the top to 5 points.

The penalty counts were a remarkable 5 for Ystalyfera and 14 for Tondu.


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