Pontarddulais 12 Trebanos 48

Saturday 23rd January 2010

'Banos advance to last 16 of Swalec Bowl

(report by Roy Bowen)

Trebanos visited Division 4 West side Pontardulais to play the second round of the Welsh Rugby Union Bowl (for Division 4, 5 and 6 sides).

Facing a strong winter sun, Trebanos were subjected to an onslaught of high kicks by Paul Rees, Bont’s experienced outside half, but Cerith Edwards, the Trebanos fullback, was in fine form catching kicks and instigating counter attacks into the opposition’s half. Nic Damjanovic the Trebanos outside half kicked to both corners, pressurising the Pontardulais defence and keeping the Bont pinned in their 22 metre area. Trebanos were awarded a penalty some 10 minutes into the game, which Damjanovic converted.

Pontardulais attacked the Trebanos line through their forwards with Aled Thomas and Jonathan Hire leading from the front, during this foray Trebanos were penalised for offside and from wide out Paul Rees made no mistake to level the score. Gradually through the first half Trebanos exerted pressure and gained territorial advantage over the Bont. Trebanos were scrummaging strongly and Chris ‘Buster’ Harris playing in his 17th season for Trebanos gave Iestyn Davies a torrid afternoon.

Trebanos were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, which Damjanovic kicked. From the ensuing kick off Jonathan Lloyd, the Pontardulais centre, led a charge down the middle of the field which eventually led to Trebanos straying offside and Paul Rees slotted over another penalty. Malcolm Whiteman was unlucky not to score for Trebanos when he hacked on from a dropped pass and was only beaten to the touch down by the dead ball line.

The referee did not allow the game to flow and, during this half, penalties were abundant with Nic Damjanovic kicking another two penalties for Trebanos and Paul Rees the same for Pontardulais. By half time the score was 12 - 12, however the referee Mr Peter Evans, Brynamman, had lost patience with the players, with Malcolm Whiteman, Trebanos, Craig Brown and Johnathan Lloyd, Pontardulais, all sin binned for 10 minutes.

Trebanos made a change at half time subbing hooker Dai Davies for Rhys Thomas. The second half kicked off without a full compliment of players and soon it was clear that Trebanos had changed their tactics, moving the ball wide and attacking the opposition on the flanks. From a scrummage in the middle of the field some slick passing between the Trebanos backs led to Scott Barrett powering over for a try near the posts and Damjanovic converting.

The Pontardulais forwards worked hard to gain possession and Paul Rees at outside half kicked superbly keeping Trebanos in their own half. As the second half progressed Trebanos' backs displayed their skills and pace and attacked the opposition at every opportunity. Soon a movement involving Rhodri Thomas, Scott Barrett and Cerith Edwards led to Andrew Penhale scoring under the posts (his 84th try in three seasons) and Damjanovic converted.

Pontardulais had no answer to the movement and pace of Trebanos and after 60 minutes Trebanos made more changes bringing on Ross Jones at full back, Rhodri Davies at back row and Bradley Owens at second row. With his first touch of the ball Rhodri Davies scored a try; picking up the ball in the loose and shrugging off tackles, he sprinted 20 metres to score a try out wide. Damjanovic failed with the conversion.

Young wing Jordan Hopkins, who had caused problems to the Bont's defence throughout the game, now came looking for work; receiving a pass in an infield position he beat two players to score a superb try. Damjanovic kicked the conversion. Hopkins was at it again when he received a pass from captain Rhodri Thomas to beat his man on the touchline and run in for a try in the corner; the conversion failed. A superb break by Ross Jones from deep inside his own 22 eventually sent Andrew Penhale along the touchline to score again in the corner.

This was a team performance by Trebanos with every player contributing and they deserved their 48 –12 win.