Fixture

Ystalyfera RFC | 1st Team 20 - 13 Tata Steel (PT) RFC | 1st Team
Steffan Lloyd Castle
Conversion 1
Penalty 1
Ryan Lee James
Try 1
Josh Jarrett
Try 1
Bowdy Davies
Try 1

Match Report
26 November 2019 / Team News

Ystalyfera 20 – 13 TATA Steel

Ystalyfera played the first home fixture against a fellow bottom six opponent, knowing that wins against these sides would benefit our survival prospects greatly. TATA Steel in their case were looking to get their first away win of the season, having lost at Cross Keys 24-27. A home victory against Ystrad Rhondda 26-17 and a draw 16-16 versus Trebanos already in their ‘locker’.

Conditions were predictably wet and raining, with no significant breeze to effect play.

Ystalyfera kicked off towards the ‘School’ end, Outside Half Gareth James receiving a return kick which he put over the touchline in the away end. The first TATA run of the ball ended with a kick to Ystalyfera Wing Bowdy Davies, he back in the side after injury. Further kicks by both sides rotated play in midfield, until TATA made the first break by their backs into the home half. The Ystalyfera defensive line stood true and the game progressed in center-field, both sides looking for gaps. The ‘Fera pack were looking strong in the scrums, Hooker Owen Phillips making his 90 appearance for the club. Gradually play crept to the away 5m line, TATA getting a penalty. Running out of defence, ‘Fera Centre Jonathan Bayliss came close to an interception, the ball being dropped. Turnover scrums then saw Ystalyfera win a penalty after a dangerous tackle, and Full Back Steffan Castle converted in the 22nd minute: score 3 – 0. This lifted his career best for the club to 600 points, managed in 111 appearances for the club. From the re-start Gareth James cleared the lines with an excellent kick, unfortunately TATA Steel getting a penalty for offside. The visitors won an immediate second penalty, which the referee then chose to turn around back to Ystalyfera. The game progressed into the visitors 22 with a fine Steffan Castle line kick. TATA came back moving the ball well, and the game continued with both sides attempting to break into their opponent’s territory, only to be denied by good defence by both teams. The Ystalyfera scrums were the more effective, keeping an equal possession of the ball overall. A last chance effort in the first period saw TATA attack the ‘tunnel’ corner of the field, where Bowdy Davies cleared up and returned to midfield. Half time score 3 – 0.

Receiving the ball from the restart, Ystalyfera kicked long downfield, TATA in turn returning the ball. Steffan Castle attempted a short kick and chase, winning his side a scrum. Ystalyfera pushed hard and releasing the ball, Wing Bowdy Davies burst between the centres and sped forward to get the first Try. This was converted by Steffan Castle, in the 43rd minute: score 10 – 0. Ystalyfera attacked straight from the restart and immediately centre Josh Jarrett broke thru for the second Try in the 46th minute: score 15 – 0. This in his turn was his 40th Try in 124 games.

 Play resumed with a set of kicks between the sides, TATA developing an attack which won them a penalty. This was converted in the 50th minute by Wing Amir Walji score: 15 – 3.  Ystalyfera returned to the attack with substitute prop Scott Meakins driving forward. The visitors worked hard to redeem the score and winning line outs and penalties, recklessly given away by Ysatalyfera, pressed toward the home posts. A somewhat weak attack however was easily cleared by Ystalyfera. Quickly moving forward Ystalyfera, thanks to a penalty, took a catch and drive where Flanker and Captain Ryan Lee James powered over for the third ‘Fera Try in the 60th minute: score 20 – 3. TATA were certainly not giving up and they began to raise their game. This effort was quickly rewarded with a speedy run thru Try by Centre Morgan Williams in the 64th minute, this was converted by Full Back Liam Popham: score 20 – 10. With TATA Steel now back in the game, play increased in intensity, both teams giving their all. The referee was now most busy having to control proceedings. Both sides made outstanding efforts, both with the chance of an extra bonus point. This was managed by TATA in the 80+4th minute with a last kick penalty by Liam Popham giving a final score of 20 – 13 to Ystalyfera.     

With the win lifting Ystalyfera top of the bottom group of six, we know that making things difficult for our near challengers is within our capability. A third of the way through the season and having already played the top half dozen sides, the ‘Fera need to keep at it and with hope, be deservedly rewarded at the end of the season.

Penalty count was 9 against TATA Steel and 14 against Ystalyfera.

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