Ystrad Rhondda RFC | 1st Team 29 - 12 Ystalyfera RFC | 1st Team
Liam Greening
Try 1
Ryan Howells
Try 1
Rhys Truelove
Conversion 3
Penalty 1
Mason Roderick
Try 1
Jarrad Llewellyn
Try 1
Scott Meakins
1 Try
Steffan Lloyd Castle
1 Conversion
Bowdy Davies
1 Try

Match Report
10 September 2019 / Team News

Ystrad Rhondda 29 – 12 Ystalyfera

Ystalyfera began their campaign in the WRU National Championship with a challenging fixture away at last season’s 2nd placed side Ystrad Rhondda. Conditions were good with only a slight breeze and sunshine with occasional clouds.

‘Fera kicked off starting with the first scrum and winning the first penalty of the season. This longish attempt was made by centre Jonathan Bayliss which fell short. A set of kicks for position then ensued between the sides, Ystalyfera ended up with a line out on half way. Both sides Attempted to run the ball, but seemingly early season jitters saw frequent dropping of the ball. Ystalyfera moved into the home half, only for scrum-half Ban William-Jones to give away a penalty in the 8th minute. Ystrad Rhondda launched an attack into the ‘Fera 22, winning a penalty and going for a 5m line out. The ‘Fera defended well with full back Steffan Castle clearing the ball into the home half of the field. Ystrad Rhondda in turn brought the ball forward and in the 15th minute ‘Fera prop Scott Meakins intercepted and broke thru. Racing forward with no opposition he scored the first Try. This was not converted: score 0 – 5. From the re-start Ystrad Rhondda made a big effort to redeem the ball and working forward broke thru the middle, Ystalyfera fell out of shape and the home centre Ryan Howells tore across the line in the 20th minute, getting the equalising Try. This was converted by Outside-half Rhys Truelove lifting the score to 7 – 5. Ystalyfera gave away a scrum from the re-start, but a big push by the forwards won a fresh put in. With great vigour the ‘Fera forwards moved the game into the home 22, releasing the ball to wing Bowdy Davies who was tackled by the Rhondda defence. Play moved to and fro between the sides, both looking for a breakthrough. A long kick by Ystalyfera generated a 22m drop out by Ystrad Rhondda, this was responded with a ‘Fera attack, Rhondda getting a scrum. The supporters of both sides were now as the players, fully immersed in the contest and eager to succeed. Forward drives and scrums by both sides made a hot contest in midfield. After a scrum penalty Steffan Castle attempted to convert a penalty and hit the Rhondda upright. The home side came forward with the ball and a breakthrough by hooker Liam Wiggins created a gap for Rhondda flanker Mason Roderick to run in the second home Try in the 38th minute, again converted by Rhys Truelove. A set of kicks between the sides ended the first half 14 – 5.

The second period was started by the home side, who gave away a scrum after some loose passing, the ball having been returned by Ystalyfera. An avoidable penalty was given away by Ystalyfera in the 45th minute, which Truelove kicked over stretching the lead to 17 – 5. The ‘Fera forwards led by Captain Owain Morgan, now began moving play into the Ystrad Rhondda half, with purposeful short advances which their opponents were kept busy to oppose. At a given opportunity, ‘Fera outside-half Gareth James kicked a neat advancing ball to wing Luc Caines as Ystalyfera increased pressure on the home side. Penalties won were transferred into 5m line outs and Ystrad Rhondda had to concentrate hard to prevent the ‘Fera attacks. The game was parked in the home half with any kicks being returned by the Ystalyfera defence. A big push by the ‘Fera forwards in the 60th minute saw a determined effort over the home try-line by No8 Steffan “saus” Jones, being disallowed by the referee. Substituted players on both sides continued the hard contest, any relief on the Rhondda side being countered by the determination of the ‘Fera side. In the 74th minute fast movement of the ball out to wing Bowdy Davies saw him beat two defenders and run in a deserved Try, which was well converted by Steffan Castle narrowing the score to 17 – 12.  The restart following a return kick, saw Ystrad Rhondda advance centre-field. ‘Fera tackles were put in but the home side were not looking to slow their attack and moved the ball quickly. Calls for forward passes were ignored and in the 77th minute Rhondda full back Liam Greening run in the third home Try, the score now  22 – 12. An immediate Scott Meakins penalty after the re-start saw Ystrad Rhondda come forward again only to knock on. Ystalyfera won the ball but coming out the wrong way allowed home flanker Jarrad Llewellyn to kick ahead and race past the Ystalyfera defence. A further boot forward gave the chance to score the 4th bonus Try, in the 83rd minute. This was converted giving a final score of 29 – 12 to Ystrad Rhondda.

For the first match of the season this was a very well-played, hard contest between two very good sides. Ystrad Rhondda took their chances when they came and Ystalyfera showed their tenacity in working hard to recover their lead, being somewhat unlucky in the end. The home side won the bonus point in added on time, finalising an excellent game.   



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