Ystalyfera RFC | 1st Team 17 - 38 Neath RFC | 1st Team
Luc Caines
Try 1
Daniel John White
Try 1
Steffan Castle
Conversion 1
Jonathan Andrew Williams
Try 1
Steven Michael James Rees Evans
2 Try
Richard Paul Smith
2 Try
Aled Jones
1 Try
Daniel Guarneri
1 Try
Iwan Evans
2 Conversion
Geraint Llewellyn
2 Conversion

Match Report
06 August 2017 / Team News

Ystalyfera 17 - 38 Neath

The first friendly of the new season at Ynysydarren saw the visit of the Welsh All Blacks Neath. The pitch was soft and the rain kept away, a notable number of spectators being present despite the unsure weather conditions.

Neath kicked off toward the school end, and they pressed to get an early score. Fast ball play saw them spread the ball across the full width of the field, but Ystalyfera were wide awake. After gaining possession the ‘Fera steadily worked their way back down the field, some sharp play allowing winger Luc Caines a chance in the Tunnel corner in the 14th minute, only to be denied by a knock-on. Four minutes later and quick passing in midfield caught the Ystalyfera defence cold and centre Richard Smith crossed over for the first Neath Try. This was converted by outside half Iwan Evans – score: 0 – 7. Ystalyfera come back and steady forward play in the Neath half work the game into the visitors 22. A deft chip over the Neath back line in the 28th minute by Luc Caines sees him run thru and score the first ‘Fera Try of the new season. Luc finished top Try scorer last season despite a severe injury, and a complete recovery is much welcomed. Neath take the restart up into the Garage corner and just five minutes later a drive and neat pass to winger Aled Jones sees their second Try – score: 5 – 12. Lifted by this Neath begin to move the ball skilfully, seeking to find gaps in the home defence, but Ystalyfera stand true. The half ends with the ‘Fera themselves making an effective attack which Neath manage to defend effectively.  

After a number of substitutions by both sides, Ystalyfera start the second period with some shakey ball handling, but they soon settle and the contest reconciles in midfield. In the 48th minute a long pass from the base of a scrum is fielded by Neath full back Mike Evans who runs in the 3rd Neath Try. This is converted by Iwan Evans – score: 5 – 19. Ystalyfera continue to play hard versus their Premiership rivals only for the All Blacks to run thru a gap in the home defence in the 53rd minute. This was by Daniel Guarneri – score: 5 – 24. The game was now quite open and five minutes later a fast break up the wing by Luc Caines, is supported well by ‘Fera prop Jonathan Williams. He cuts inside and forces himself over for the second home Try. This was converted by full back Steffan Castle – score: 12 – 24. The Ystalyfera scrum is now showing its strength and Neath were required to work hard to contain the home pack. In the 67th minute Neath break away from a ‘Fera attack and full back Mike Evans gets his second Try, this converted by substitute Geraint Llewellyn score: 12 – 31. End to end stuff now with stamina on show by both sides. Taken to the garage corner from the restart the Ystalyfera forwards apply great pressure and are rewarded in the 72nd minute with a push over Try grounded by substitute prop Dan White – score: 17 – 31. At the end Ystalyfera attempt to break out of defence again but this time Neath were resolute, centre Richard Smith getting the last Try of the game, converted by Geraint Llewellyn – final score: 17 – 38.   

This was an excellent friendly opener to the new season for both sides. Played at a fast pace with emphasis on open running rugby, it was most entertaining for the supporters and an appetiser for the forthcoming competitions ahead.  .

Penalty counts were 7 for Ystalyfera and 10 against;     1 for high tackle, 3 in scrum, 3 hands in ruck, 1 holding the ball on floor and 2 offside.


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