Trebanos 17 Skewen 5

Saturday 16th December 2017

WRU National Championship

'Banos Avenge Early Season Loss In Bruising Encounter

The Park was deemed playable after a late pitch inspection on a frosty Saturday morning and, considering the recent poor weather, looked in remarkable condition for the visit of old rivals Skewen, who had been victorious back in September in the reverse fixture.

Skewen kicked off playing down the valley and looked to put the home side under early pressure, by keeping the ball close to their pack who were looking adept at slipping the ball to a supporting player at the tackle area, and were consistently crossing the advantage line. The home team looked strangely subdued and out of sorts during the first quarter of the match and seemed to be lacking their usual poise and assurance in attack.  The visitors were playing with a physical edge that was being met by the usual determined 'Banos response and the home players weren't taking a backward step.  This spirit was epitomised by Morgan Evans refusing to be intimidated by the visiting openside flanker at a set scrum and Morgan won a penalty on the halfway line as a result of his persistence, which saw Matthew Edwards' kick fall tantalisingly under the cross bar.

Skewen then set up a period of pressure deep inside the home half and when they moved the ball left, their large centre drew the defence with the help of a decoy runner and slipped the ball to the looping outside half who threw out a miss pass for the left winger to dive over in the corner for a very well worked try, the conversion attempt failing, Skewen with a 0-5 lead after 29 min.

Returning skipper Rhys Thomas used the break under the posts to point out a few things that needed addressing and the team responded from the kick off, playing with pace for the first time in the match, taking the game into Skewen territory with a combination of forward drives and surges by centre Steff Lewis; outside half Kris Jones then produced a delightful chip over the onrushing defenders, which saw the ball bounce awkwardly under the posts for Steff Lewis to dive onto it to claim the first of the home side's points, there was yet another coming together as players from both sides exchanged season's greetings and as soon as Mr Davies calmed things down, Matthew Edwards slotted over his easiest points of the game so far, for 'Banos to take the lead 7-5 on 32 min.

Trebanos kept up the pressure as their forwards started to edge the tackle area as well as the set pieces and the next period of play would have pleased the coaches with forwards and backs combining to score an excellent team try, the forwards forming a rolling maul from a penalty that was kicked to touch on the visiting 10mtr line; the maul initially made good yards to the left and when that was stopped, immediately rolled right, constantly changing the angle of the maul, which was eventually stopped inside the visitors 22mtr line; Morgan Evans whipped the ball out to his backs, the ball quickly reaching full back Luke Griffiths who used his pace to send Sam Davies flying over in the corner, Matthew Edwards adding the extra points with a magnificent kick which did justice to the try, to increase the lead to 14-5 on 37min.

This was a bruising encounter which then saw Morgan Evans receive extensive treatment for an accidental injury as he was trying to stop an attack by the visiting forwards and the half finished in the 46th min due to Morgan's injury.

Half Time: Trebanos 14 Skewen 5

The second half started as the first had ended with Trebanos playing with much more purpose and intent, indeed the scrum was now in total control, with the visiting tight head prop being driven back at a rate of knots, and was fortunate that Mr Davies thought that he must have slipped and lost his footing (at several scrums) before coming to the side where he was able to witness the prop's travails and then penalising him for his efforts.  Sean Hopkins replaced flanker Jack Perkins, with Rhodri Williams moving to the flank and Sean packing down at No8.  The game was hotly contested by both teams and emotions boiled over on the hour, resulting in Sam Davies and a Skewen flanker being sent to cool their heels for 10 min.  Perpetual-motion prop, Alun Dew was replaced by Neil Elworthy.  Matthew Edwards increased the lead when the visitors were penalised some 35mtr out at a retreating scrum, Matthew made the penalty look far simpler than it was to take the score to 17-5 on 69min.

Shaun Lewis replaced scrum half Morgan Evans and Lloyd Phillips gave way to Lewis Humphries, who played at outside half with Kris Jones moving across to centre.  Skewen then enjoyed a period of possession in the 'Banos half which they must have found frustrating as they were unable to break through a watertight defence.  Full back Luke Griffiths didn't flinch when faced with a charging Skewen forward and stood firm in the tackle whenever an attacker managed to slip away from the watchful first line of defence. Rhys Thomas, making a welcome return to the field, showed that he had lost none of his determination or sharpness to snap up the slightest half chance, when he somehow got to the loose ball before a visiting player who was favourite to make it his, the ball was cleared and Skewen's chance had gone (welcome back Twm).

Rhodri Williams was replaced by Bryn ap Llwyd, and the home side comfortably saw out the remaining time before Mr Davies blew for full-time, for Trebanos to continue to reap the rewards for the massive amount of work put in by the players and coaches, that has taken the club on this amazing journey.  I would like to wish everyone involved with Trebanos Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda; a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Full Time: Trebanos 17 Skewen 5

  Trebanos RFC
Luke Griffiths
Matthew Edwards
Lloyd Phillips
Steffan Lewis
Sam Davies
Kristian Jones
Morgan Evans
Tyler Murvai
Rhys Thomas (Capt.)
Alun Dew
Ed Couzens
Richard Davies
Ben Williams
Rhodri Williams
Jack Perkins
Neil Elworthy (repl. Alun Dew, 60 mins)
Connor Walters
Sean Hopkins (repl. Jack Perkins, 54 mins)
Bryn ap Llwyd (repl. Rhodri Williams, 70 mins)
Shaun Lewis (repl. Morgan Evans, 69 mins)
Lewis Humphries (repl. Lloyd Phillips, 69 mins)
Referee: Mr. Wayne Davies, Llanelli.

Today's other WRU National Championship Results:

Glynneath 3 Pontypool 24
Narberth 54 Beddau 15
Newbridge 10 Bedlinog 6
Newcastle Emlyn 22 Cardiff Met 22
Rhydyfelin 5 Tata Steel 19