Gowerton 24 Trebanos 10

Friday 12th February 2010

(match report by Roy Bowen)

Dannie Craven, the former President of South Africa RFU, once stated that ''Rugby starts and ends with scrummaging''. He would have been pleased with that statement if he'd watched Gowerton v Trebanos. This match became a contest between a slick Trebanos side wanting to move the ball and a big Gowerton pack playing 9 man rugby and slowing the game down at every opportunity, thereby denying any continuity into the game.

From the kick off Gowerton gained possesion and kicked to the corners. From the ensuing lineout their forwards drove upfield but resolute tackling by Trebanos foiled a concerted attack. From an ensuing lineout Nic Damjanovic kicked Trebanos into an attacking positon on the Gowerton 25 yard line. Luke Davies won the ball for Trebanos and only good defensive work stopped a promising back row move.

Banfield,the experienced Gowerton outside half, continued to kick his forwards upfield. There were fierce exchanges between both forwards and backs. Trebanos came back strongly and showed their intent with some delightful backplay. Martin Morris, Jordan Hopkins and Andrew Penhale all displayed their skills and pace and would have scored barring for some terrific tackling by fullback Kevin Howell and no7 Long.

Trebanos were now feeling the weight and bulk of the Gowerton pack and started to struggle in the scrummages, this would eventually become crucial to the outcome of the game. From a kick into the Gowerton corner Jordan Hopkins charged down the kick and beat the remaining defenders to score in the corner; the conversion failed.

Gowerton were sticking to their game plan and proceeded with the forward dominated plan driving the game upfield, scrum half Bushnell kicking into the corner where the ball was knocked on and as scrum awarded to Gowerton. The Gowerton forwards drove on over the line for No 8 Cherry to score, Banfield added the points from the conversion.

From the kick off Trebanos won possession in midfield on the half way line and some dazzling interpassing between Rhodri Thomas, Nic Damjanovic, Jordan Hopkins saw Andrew Penhale receive the ball; with a side step and a turn of pace he scored a fine try in the corner. The conversion faied.

The second half kicked off and soon Gowerton were at it again driving upfield through their forwards but some quality defensive work kept them at bay. Trebanos were being driven off the ball in the scrummages and worked tirelessly to defend from these set pieces. Trebanos attacked the Gowerton 25 yard line, but Howell caught the ball and punted down into the Trebanos corner where it was knocked back over the dead ball line and a scrum awarded to Gowerton. After resetting the scrum twice the referee lost patience with Trebanos and awarded Gowerton a penalty try. Banfield kicked the conversion.

The game descended somewhat into a shambles mid way through the second half, Gowerton players being continually injured after every play and their physio spent more time on the pitch than the players. Trebanos backs continued to delight both sets of supporters but were being starved of possession and the Gowerton train trundled on relentlessly. Needless to say, eventually they were awarded a scrum on the Trebanos 5 yard line and again pushed Trebanos over the try line for No 8 Cherry to score again. The conversion was kicked and Banfield added a penalty later.

Unfortunately young Rhodri Davies (who had tackled magnificently throughout the game) suffered a serious injury to his leg and ankle during this game and we hope he makes a speedy recovery. 

Young Kris Jones (his first season in senior rugby) was outstanding and was my man of the match.

Trebanos Team:
J Hopkins; A Penhale, G Hopkins, R Thomas (Capt), M Morris; N Damjanovic, K Jones; C Harris, D Davies, J Harding; S Thomas, R Davies; A Hussain, L Davies, R Williams. Replacements used: R Thomas, C Balfe.