Kidwelly 5 Trebanos 31

Thursday 25th May 2017

WRU Championship Playoff (Second Leg)

"Job Done" As 'Banos Head To The Championship

(Photos by Ian Griffiths)

Trebanos took a slim advantage of seven points into this second leg tie at Parc Stephens, and when they took to the field, were met by the "faithful", who had travelled west in their hundreds.

Trebanos kicked off in what was, to date, the most important match in the history of this proud village club, and, unlike the previous encounter between these two sides, settled immediately and went onto the offensive, moving the ball through the backs, but faced with stern tackling couldn't make the all important breakthrough.  The first break came from livewire flanker Ben Williams, who took the ball in the centre and went straight through the smallest of gaps, only for his pass to the Rhod Williams Breaksupporting Dave Skone to go to ground on the home 22mtr line.  Trebanos continued to press and with their scrum looking pretty solid, the impressive Rhodri Williams picked up from the base of the scrum and galloped to some twenty mtrs from the try line, but was tackled from his right as he tried to pass to scrum half Nathan Jones on his left and the second chance of the evening was lost.  All the threat at this point in the game was from the Swansea Valley side who were playing all the rugby, with the home side just about doing enough to keep them out.  In the eighteenth minute Trebanos were down to fourteen men, when, after a disagreement amongst the forwards, referee Mr Richard Brace was advised Lineout Leading To Tryby his assistant that Ben Williams would benefit from 10min in the bin.  Trebanos more than held their own against their opponents during this sin bin period and only in the last minute did Kidwelly pose a serious threat to the Trebanos try line and that was relieved when Mr Brace penalised Kidwelly for not releasing Rhodri Williams in the tackle after he had somehow taken their ball.  With Ben Williams' return, Trebanos continued to press but were this time penalised by the efficient Mr Brace; the kick took play to the half way and, from the lineout, Kidwelly caught Trebanos napping and flanker Sion Jones made a bee line through the visitors' defence, but was well tackled by the alert Nathan Jones.  They recycled the ball and swept right for centre Shaun Pearce to go over in the corner to give his side a 5-0 lead on thirty nine minutes.

Trebanos didn't let this setback deter them and, from the kick off, pressed again, but Kidwelly scrambled the ball away and back into the 'Banos half where they were penalised again by Mr Brace.  Kris Jones put in a huge kick to Kris Jones Breakwithin 10mtrs of the Kidwelly line and the forwards drove the lineout infield; when the maul stopped Nathan sent the ball out to the backs where the initial thrust was only just stopped, but the ball was in the hands of the irrepressible Kris Jones who drifted through the cover for a good try which Luke Griffiths converted to give his side the lead 7-5 on the night in the 43 minute. Mr Brace then blew for half time.

Half Time: Kidwelly 5 Trebanos 7

Iwan Davies BreakTrebanos started the second period in the same mode as they had the first, playing a fast and fluid game which saw flanker Iwan Davies straighten the line and go through the first line of defence up to the full back and with support either side produced an extraordinary side step to leave him standing, grasping thin air; Iwan then went for the line and was hauled down after a 40mtr burst just 3mtrs form the line; 'Banos won quick ball and moved it left, but the scrambling defenders prevented a score, but in so doing carried the ball over their line.  Mr Brace awarded the put in to Trebanos and with a comfortable solid scrum, the ball was moved  right and found Luke Griffiths who straightened the line and burst through the tackle for a good team try which he also converted to extend the lead 5-14.

The pack had really warmed to their task and the ball carriers were looking for the ball and rarely lost it when going into contact, setting it back with regular precision.  The scrum was responsible for the next score, on seventeen minutes, the pack destroyed the Kidwelly scrum and as it folded after being driven backwards at a rate of knots, Mr Brace awarded 'Banos the penalty, and Luke stepped up and, after a brief conflab with "Twm", added the points from 35mtrs out to take the score to 5-17.

The turning point for me came when the Kidwelly coach changed four of his forwards at the same time, and at the ensuing lineout, 'Banos stole their ball; one could sense that the home side's heads were dipping, if not quite dropping.  Trebanos now looked and played with a confidence and freedom that saw them again dominate territory and possession and were pressing on the five mtr line when a general melee erupted after an initial disagreement, Luke Griffiths Penalty with both packs getting involved as frustration got to one of the home players; when the dust had settled, Mr Brace, after consulting with his assistant, gave the home side's hooker a straight red card for violent conduct.  At the next scrum, and after the substitution for the replacement hooker, Trebanos were driving their opponents towards the try line when their scrum collapsed completely; Mr Brace immediately awarded a penalty try, with Luke Griffiths adding the two points to take the score to 5-24 after thirty two minutes play.

Outstanding flanker Iwan Davies was given a yellow for a tackle on an attacker and, again with fourteen men, Trebanos defended comfortably and were looking for their fourth try when Kris Jones put away Luke Griffiths with a lovely pass; with a little room at last, Luke accelerated outside the cover and raced up to the full back and produced a lovely chip which bounced into the hands of a covering player inside the home 22mtr area, who was swallowed up by Shaun Lewis and the ball was somehow scrambled back, but then a Kidwelly player tried a similar chip, which was gathered by Sam Davies who, as he did the week before, sealed the victory with a late try for Luke to add the extra points to take the score to 5-31 on the night.

Mr Brace blew for full time shortly afterwards with no further score and Trebanos had won the play-offs with an aggregate score of 56-23.

There followed amazing scenes of celebration with both sides receiving a standing ovation from the supporters of both sides.

What an incredible achievement for a young coaching team, and a group of young men who have written their names, forever, into the history of a great little rugby club.

The club are also fortunate in having a Chairman, along with his officers and committee, who have had the drive to implement the changes that have seen the club progress steadily over the past seven years, augmented by the many volunteers who help tirelessly; thank you all for the tremendous effort and commitment that you have exhibited.

Full Time: Kidwelly 5 Trebanos 31

  Trebanos RFC
Luke Griffiths
Sam Davies
Lloyd Phillips
Steffan Lewis
Dave Skone
Kristian Jones
Nathan Jones
Aled Humphries
Rhys Thomas (Capt.)
Alun Dew
Rhys Morgan
Richard Davies
Iwan Davies
Rhodri Williams
Ben Williams
Chris Foreshaw (repl. Ben Williams, 70 mins)
Luke Turton (repl. Alun Dew, 75 mins)
Declan Bale (repl. Richard Davies, 70 mins)
Shaun Lewis (repl. Nathan Jones, 65 mins)
Llyr Davies (repl. Lloyd Phillips, 70 mins)
Referee: Mr. Richard Brace, Maesteg.

WRU Championship Playoff (East) Result:

Saturday 6th May: Rhydyfelin 42 Treorchy 24
Saturday 13th May: Treorchy 13 Rhydyfelin 10
Rhydyfelin win 52-37 on aggregate and are promoted, alongside Trebanos, to next season's WRU Championship. We look forward to welcoming them to Trebanos Park.