27 September 2015 / Team News

Emlyn given Valleys lesson


Emlyn expectations of this trip to the fringes of the Rhondda Valley were not huge as the home side had built up an enviable home record over the past couple of seasons and had already recorded impressive victories in their campaign this season. The red and whites were handed a lesson in good old fashioned Valleys rugby with some powerful straight running and some excellent execution of the driving maul.

Orchestrated by their half backs Lewis and Withers, the powerful running of number eight Mathew Dixon and inside centre Lewis Egal gave Emlyn problems from the start. Beddau took the lead after just three minutes, when from a series of drives Emlyn were penalised under their posts allowing outside half Sam Withers to open their account with a relatively easy penalty goal.

Despite being under the cosh Emlyn did manage to win some ball and counter attacked well in the first quarter and full back Dan Davies opened the red and whites account with a penalty after a break by outside half Steffan Evans and a series of good drives by the Emlyn pack. Emlyn could have taken the lead shortly afterwards when from turnover ball Evans initiated a counter attack and winger Owen Francis was hauled down by a desperate Beddau defence inches from the line.

This galvanised the home side even more and they made effective use of the long throw at the lineout followed by a driving maul which Emlyn found difficult to stop. Under intense pressure on their own line the visitors conceded penalty after penalty until captain Alex Williams was given a yellow card for killing the ball at a ruck. Declining the kick at goal the home side opted for the scrum and from it powerful number eight Mathew Dixon picked up and drove over the line for a try converted by Withers.

Down to fourteen men Emlyn were forced to defend desperately on occasions and flanker Joel James proved to be inspirational with some thundering hits on Beddau players. The pressure was bound to tell in the end and five minutes later Dixon scored again when he picked up from a ruck and drove over the line with two men on his back for a try converted by Withers.

Emlyn refused to be subdued and looked to move the ball around the field at every opportunity to try and tire the heavier home forwards. Their hope of reducing the home side’s lead was in the game breaking up and becoming very loose, but the furthest the home side looked to move the ball wide was to their strong running inside centre Lewis Egal who caused problems all afternoon.

With half time approaching Withers extended Beddau’s lead with another penalty and Emlyn replied almost immediately. A good break by Steffan Evans saw full back Dan Davies appear on his shoulder to take what looked to be a scoring pass for a try under the posts. Surprisingly Davies seemed to hesitate and not back his pace to take him around the last defender and was brought down short of the line. Fortunately the Emlyn forward won the ensuing ruck and quick transfer of the ball saw left winger Owen Francis cross for a try converted by Davies to bring Emlyn rather fortunately within ten points of the home side at the break.

Emlyn could not have had a worse start to the second half. From the kick off the ball was gathered by the Emlyn forwards but the relieving kick was partially charged down by Beddau. Centre Egal was the first to react and picked up the bouncing ball to run through a couple of would be tacklers to score under the posts for Withers to add the extra points.

The next ten minutes proved to be something of a nightmare for the travelling Emlyn fans as Beddau ran in two more tries which on a normal day should not have been scored. In an attempt to stop the catch and driver from the lineout Emlyn stood off the maul on their twenty two, only to see the Beddau flanker Calum Thomas, who had caught the ball, turn around and run straight at the line to score a try. The second try of this period was an even worse one to concede when the diminutive outside half Withers ran through two would be tacklers and handed the ball on to Egal to score his second try which Withers converted.

Looking at conceding a cricket score the red and whites did show some character and came back at the home side spurning penalty kicks at goal as they went for tries. A series of forward drives led by Joel James and with fellow flanker Bedwyr Davies working hard to re-cycle the ball saw Emlyn camped on the home side’s line for a lengthy period of time. Beddau were determined that Emlyn were not going to score and defended with skill and at times ferocity. Emlyn found their attempts at setting up a driving maul brought down by the home forwards before it had moved. Replacement prop Emrys Davies and number eight Brynmor Jones were driven backwards metres when they attempted to pick and go.

When they did decide to move the ball wide the home defence was up very quickly on their opposite numbers and a pass was intercepted five metres from the Beddau line. Desperate Emlyn defending saw the interceptor tackled on the half way line but scrum half Carl Lewis was up in support to sprint in for their sixth try converted by Withers.

To their credit Emlyn did not throw in the towel and continued to attack the home line. Gareth Thomson came off the Emlyn bench and brought some encouragement with some forceful runs which had the home defenders back peddling.  Eventually scrum half Mike Jones squeezed over in the corner for an unconverted try to round off the scoring. Emlyn will be looking to bounce back next week, when the visitors to Dol Wiber will be the semi-professional side for North Wales RGC1404. 

There doesn't appear to be any tagged photos.

Upload and Tag Photos

You must be signed in to add comments