11 October 2015 / Team News

Students beat Emlyn


A worrying aspect which is creeping into the game and very noticeable in the World Cup is the ever increasing influence referees seem to be having on matches, especially when they seem to apply what can only be described as their personal interpretation of the Laws of the Game. How such referees end up in charge of games at the top end of the game whether it be at International or club level is a great mystery.

Unfortunately for Emlyn on Saturday their game against Cardiff Met was controlled by such an individual in Mr. Shaun Brickell from Abertillery. Emlyn dominated their opponents at the scrum, continually driving the students off their own ball, and on Emlyn ball number eight Brynmor Jones controlled the ball as the pack employed a second shove. As the game progressed Mr. Brickell allowed the students front row to continually stand up and also wheel the scrum to nullify the Emlyn shove. His sole interest was telling Emlyn number eight Jones to ‘use the ball, use the ball’. One scrum in the second half became farcical when the Emlyn pack were driving forward, scrum partially wheeled, and the student’s scrum half was attempting to pick the ball up from Jones’ feet. When the whistle went everyone expected a penalty to Emlyn, instead the referee awarded a scrum to the home side, deciding that Emlyn should have used the ball!!

This aspect of play was not the only mystifying part of Mr. Brickell officiating. Ten points down after ten minutes Emlyn shoved the students off the ball at a scrum just inside the home team’s half. The ball was quickly transferred to flying winger Dan Davies who powered past one defender and looked to have scored an excellent try in the left hand corner. Mr. Brickell, from his position in the middle of the field on the twenty two metre line decided that there was a slight knock on by Davies as he slid over and awarded a scrum to the home side.  

Emlyn’s troubles worsened a few minutes later when an attack broke down deep in the Mets half, the ball was hacked downfield and some desperate Emlyn defending saw the ball fly hacked towards touch by an Emlyn defender. The ball rebounded off the legs of a Met player and into touch closer to the Emlyn line. A quick thinking student decided to take a quick throw in, some ten metres further forward than from where the ball crossed the line and centre Miles Moorhouse sauntered over for a try. With everyone expecting play to be called back for a line out referee Brickell, again some considerable distance behind the play, consulted with the students touch judge, equally a long way behind the play and awarded the try, which was then converted by outside half George Simpson.

Once again Emlyn did not help their cause by being very slow out of the blocks at the beginning of the game. A missed tackle by a forward in midfield allowed Cardiff Met to get behind the Emlyn defence and a long pass saw right winger Ashley Taylor cross for an unconverted try. They increased their lead on the ten minute mark when captain and loose head prop Will Norton drove over from a lineout.

Things looked pretty bleak for the red and whites when they went behind seventeen points to nil but they showed great character to battle their way back into the game. From a penalty awarded to them on the half way line Emlyn kicked to the corner. Second row Bleddyn Davies won the line out and after a series of drives by the pack led by flanker Joel James, prop Gethin Davies powered over for a try converted by Dan Davies.

Five minutes later a speculative kick ahead by the students was caught by Emlyn on their ten metre line. Excellent vision by number eight Jones saw him call for the ball out on the left wing and he gratefully accepted a long pass and proceeded to storm down the touchline. He slipped the ball inside to the supporting Dan Davies, who passed inside to his co-winger Llyr Jones who crossed for an excellent try converted by Davies.

The students were clearly rattled by this Emlyn comeback and began to take full advantage of the referee’s laxity at rucks by charging into them for all directions. Emlyn scrum half Mike Jones had a torrid time at the base of rucks with students flying over to either kill the ball or take him out. Once such incident during the first half led to an outbreak of fisticuffs as the student captain Norton came charging through swinging punches all aimed at the diminutive Emlyn outside half Dyfan Dafydd. Dafydd tried to protect himself against an opponent twice his size and the Emlyn pack dived in to his rescue.  When matters calmed down the referee sent Norton to the sin-bin and decided that Dafydd had to go as well. For some unexplained reason he then awarded the penalty to the students.

The first half had been played at a fast and furious pace with both sides looking to run the ball from everywhere. The Emlyn back row of number eight Jones and flankers Joel James and Callum Evans worked particularly hard. Jones put in some powerful runs, James carried the ball well and Callum Evans got through a tremendous amount in defence.

Emlyn started the second half with a great deal of determination and soon put the students’ line under a great deal of pressure. Some desperate defending by them saw centre Chay Smith binned for killing the ball under his posts. Davies converted the kick to bring the scores level. With the scores level the large band of travelling support began to think that the impossible might happen and despite everything Emlyn might record their second victory of the campaign.

It was not to be though as the students gained in confidence and with their back row allowed to be rampantly aggressive in the loose they scored three further tries through Moorhouse, left winger James Beal, and second row Alex Dombrandt, one converted by Moorhouse.

For Emlyn there were encouraging performances from second row Bleddyn Davies who won a lot of line out ball and worked hard in the loose, their back row, and outside half Dyfan Dafydd who looks as if he could be the answer to Emlyn’s problem position.

Next up for the red and whites is an historic home game against Pontypool. When the club was formed in 1977 Pontypool were one of the powerhouses of Welsh rugby and it is testament to the development of Emlyn as a club that they will be playing host to Pontypool this coming Saturday in what will be probably be a 1-30 p.m. kick off. 

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