Fixture

Ystalyfera RFC | 1st Team 20 - 19 Maesteg RFC | 1st Team
Ryan Lee James
Try 1
Steffan Jones
Try 1
Gareth James
Conversion 2
Penalty 2

Match Report
02 October 2017 / Team News

Ystalyfera 20 – 19 Maesteg

Ystalyfera played at home in very wet conditions on the 30th September. Water having to be brushed of the field in the changing room corner before the game could commence.

The ‘Fera kicked off uphill towards the School end. A series of searching kicks began the contest, both sides testing their relative defences. Events then settled in the Maesteg 22, and following a set of scrums Ystalyfera were awarded a penalty for offside, outside half Gareth James opening the scoring: 3 – 0. Two minutes later and Maesteg obliged again, Gareth lifting the score to: 6 – 0. Maesteg forwards then began to work harder, and ‘Fera required a further penalty to stop an away attack. In the 13th minute Ystalyfera forwards drove for the Maesteg tryline, and with a solid scrum pushed over for the first Try, scored by No8 and Captain Steffan Jones. Gareth Jamo dutifully converted - score: 13 – 0. Slowing their momentum, Ystalyfera then allowed the Maesteg forwards to keep close possession of the ball in the wet conditions. A catch and drive from the first lineout in the home ‘red zone’ saw Maesteg Lock Ross Powell score their opening Try. Ystalyfera strove to rectify, and a breakthrough by wing Luc Caines was stopped by an ankle tap, when a score looked inevitable. Ystalyfera continued to press but a break from a scrum was stopped for a penalty. The poor conditions were certainly dictating play for both sides, the ball being very slippery. The game slowly crept into the ‘Fera half and Maesteg took an opportunity in the 35th minute, to plough into the home defensive line. Prop Declan Powell crashed thru for the second Maesteg Try. This was converted by outside half Tadgh McGukin, score 13 – 12. The visitors were now feeling on fire and continued pressure up front earned them a third Try in the 40+5 minute by flanker Ryan Turner. A second conversion by McGukin, giving Maesteg a half time lead 13 – 19.

Maesteg kicked off the second half and play moved into the Garage corner. Ystalyfera forced events into midfield and a set of kicks by both sides led to a series of lineouts in midfield. The ‘Fera picked their game up, seeking gaps in the visiting defence line. A Maesteg front row forward then had to leave the field and passive scrums were introduced. Maesteg continued to handle their game well in the conditions, only for an opportunity for the fourth bonus Try being lost when their centre dropped the ball. Ystalyfera worked hard to keep Maesteg out. A fast break by scrum half Nathan Cornelius up the left wing, was cut inside and across the field, only for the ball to fall out of the opposite touchline. The ‘Fera, urged by the home support, now put in a big effort and pressed into the changing room corner. A full on drive for the line was rewarded when Ryan ‘Rhino’ James crashed himself over for the second Ystalyfera Try, the relentless Gareth James kicking the conversion  under pressure, to restore the ‘Fera lead 20 – 19 in the 70th minute. Maesteg now attempted to open play up, but Ystalyfera kept all the action at the Swansea end using the boot. Further chances arose to extend the lead and play ended with no further score.

Both sides played very well and never gave up in dismal wet conditions. Both sought to win the game and the final result could have gone either way.

Ystalyfera gave away 6 penalties:

1 over the top, 1 for illegal hands, 3 not releasing a player after a tackle and 1 high tackle.

Maesteg gave away 11 penalties;

7 offside, 2 illegal hands and 2 holding a tackled player.

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