Tata Steel 27 Trebanos 33

Saturday 22nd December 2018

WRU National Championship

Rivals Produce A Festive Cracker Of a Game

Trebanos made the short journey to Margam for this return fixture looking for the double against their local rivals on a cold but dry December afternoon, accompanied by their usual supporters who were having an afternoon off from the seasonal retail therapy.

Trebanos received the kick off and set about moving up field from their 22 through the pack and a minute later Lewis Humphries, on his first touch, spotted a gap in the dog-legged onrushing Tata players and was off on a searing diagonal break; he left not only the opposition, but also his support as his outside backs were blocked off by opponents; Lewis went as far as the home 10mtr line before putting in a delicate little chip, which was covered as the home side fell on the ball inside the home 22 mtr area, and the threat was scrambled away.  With both sets of supporters applauding the attacking intent of the 'Banos outside half, this game had started at a cracking pace, with the home side trying to play an open game to match that of the visitors, via the home half backs who were keen to keep the ball in hand.  Tom Dew picked up from last week's game plan and attacked whenever he could and another fine sidestepping run saw him make 40 mtrs before being tackled, the ball was quickly recycled and moved across to the right wing, where Josh Ferryman provided his captain "Twm" Thomas with an inside pass for "Twm" to dive over some six mtrs from the corner flag for the game's opening try; Kris Jones added the extra points with an excellent kick against a tricky wind for a 0-7 score after just 9min play.

The home side responded by running the ball back at Trebanos and Callum Bricknell matched Lewis's early break with one of his own which split the 'Banos defence and moved play from deep inside the home 22 to deep into the visitors' 22 but determined cover defence eased the threat, but Mr Hardy adjudged that Trebanos had not released the player at the tackle and up stepped Callum Bricknell to cut the lead to 3-7 on 14min.

Tata kept up the pressure on the visitors, helped by Trebanos choosing the wrong options to clear the ball when inside their 22mtr area and were rewarded when flanker  Scott Malone crossed in the right hand corner, converted by Callum Bricknell to take the lead 8-7 on 22min.

Trebanos contributed to their woes by again not putting boot to ball and when they attempted to do just that, the ball was charged down by flanker Malone (who was doing a "Courtney Lawes" impersonation), re-gathered the ball, fed supporting centre Jack Brooks who went over for an unconverted try to increase the home side's lead to 15-7 on 26min.

The game ebbed and flowed between the 22mtr lines, with the visitors making ground through their backs down the left and then switching the ball right for full back Tom Dew to go over in the corner on 34min to cut the deficit to 15-12.

Four minutes later the forwards and backs combined to set up field position inside the home half, for centre Kris Jones to break through and when tackled offloaded to scrum half Rob Jones to go over at the posts, Kris adding the conversion to take the lead 15-19.  There were no further scores and Mr Hardy blew for half time dead on 40 min.

Half Time: Tata Steel 15 Trebanos 19

Trebanos started the second half as they finished the first, with the pack marching the Tata scrum back some 15mtr before Mr Hardy blew for a penalty, where 'Banos elected to go to the corner.  Tata managed to defend the lineout and pushed Trebanos back, but the visitors ran the ball back at them and when a defender just about stopped a scoring pass by palming the ball back towards his goal line, the ball bouncing under the posts; it was pounced upon by alert Josh Ferryman to claim the try, again converted by Kris Jones to increase the lead to 15-26 on 45min.

Trebanos continued to control the play without adding to the score, although play was halted for some time in order that tight-head prop Neil Elworthy, who was proving to be a handful, along with the other tight forwards, to receive treatment.  When play restarted, Tata were awarded a penalty which was kicked to the corner, 'Banos stole the ball and the threat was initially cleared, but Trebanos repeated the errors of the first half in that they either took the wrong options or made handling errors and allowed Tata to build momentum.  The home side needed no second invitation as they attempted to cut the lead, with scrum half Steffan Davies keeping the Trebanos back row on red alert with his darting runs.  Trebanos made two changes on the hour with Chris Forshaw and Trystan Edwards replacing Neil Elworthy and Tom Dew who had both failed to run off injuries.  Two minutes later, Tata's efforts were rewarded when centre Morgan Williams went over under the posts and with the conversion Trebanos' lead was cut to 22-26 on 62min.

Trebanos weathered the storm and again looked to be in control when "speedster" Ed Couzens popped up out on the right wing  and used his acceleration to burst through a would be tackler to go over in the corner, with Kris Jones putting over a superb kick from the corner, the score was 22-33 with 74min on the clock.

This cracker of a game was far from over as Tata came back at Trebanos with renewed vigour and their efforts brought them the score that gave them a bonus point for four tries, with right wing Stef Stone going over wide out and bringing the score to 27-33 on 78min.

The 'Banos players seemed to pick up on their supporters' tensions, and errors appeared frequently, with Mr Hardy penalising them for a variety of reasons in the short time that was left to play, each penalty leading to more frustration and increasing the pressure.  It was a massive relief to all of the Trebanos contingent to see "Twm" Thomas, who had once again led his players with such commitment and "skill", drop the ball as he attempted to kick it dead to end the game, leading Mr. Hardy to blow up for a knock on, signalling the end of an exciting and pulsating game, which was a credit to both teams and a great advertisement for the game of rugby football. A thank you also to Mr Hardy, who was always up with the play and was in the right place to help make the game a real Christmas Cracker.

Full Time: Tata Steel 27 Trebanos 33

  Trebanos RFC
Tom Dew
Josh Ferriman
Kristian Jones
Steffan Lewis
Dave Skone
Lewis Humphries
Robert Jones
Alun Dew
Rhys Thomas (Capt.)
Neil Elworthy
Rhys Morgan
Ed Couzens
Jacob Blackmore
Sean Hopkins
Rhydian George
Chris Forshaw (repl. Neil Elworthy, 60 mins)
George Jawad
Evan Budge
Morgan Evans
Trystan Edwards (repl. Tom Dew, 60 mins)
Referee: Mr. Jon Hardy, Llanelli.

Today's other WRU National Championship Results:

Beddau 21 Maesteg Quins 0
Narberth 32 Newcastle Emlyn 13
Newbridge 0 Pontypool 52
Rhydyfelin v Bedlinog, Postponed
Ystrad Rhondda v Cardiff Met, Postponed