Iron­men back to win­ning ways with win over New­port

Cynon Valley - - RUGBY UNION -

PRIN­CI­PAL­ITY PRE­MIER­SHIP EAST MERTHYR .................... 43 NEW­PORT .................... 33

MERTHYR got back to win­ning ways with a seven-try win over the black and am­bers of New­port.

This was an en­ter­tain­ing game of rugby with New­port play­ing a great part in a game that saw 12 tries scored.

Merthyr took the lead after both for­wards and backs com­bined well to­gether to put cen­tre Ar­ron Pinches in for the open­ing try, full back Matthew Jarvis con­verted to give Merthyr a 7-0 lead. New­port hit straight back when a clever kick ahead from out­side half Matt O’Brien saw the ball bounce up near the Merthyr posts and full back Geraint O’Driscoll drop onto to it, O’Brien con­verted and New­port had drawn level 7-7. Merthyr’s big­ger pack was caus­ing New­port prob­lems at the set piece and when ref­eree Craig Evans awarded a penalty in­side the New­port half, young out­side half Ben Jones pinned New­port deep in­side their 22. From the li­ne­out, the Merthyr pack drove New­port back­wards and after sev­eral pick-up and drives cap­tain Craig Locke forced his way over, Jarvis con­verted to give the Iron­men a 14-7 lead.

Merthyr then ex­tended their lead fur­ther when a fine sweep­ing move from their backs was fin­ished off by wing­man St­ef­fan Andrews who raced away to score in the corner, Jarvis just go­ing wide with the kick but Merthyr had ex­tended their lead 19-7.

Back came New­port once again as their backs, well mar­shalled by O’Brien, found a gap in the Merthyr de­fence which al­lowed cen­tre Tom Pas­coe to race away un­der the posts, O’Brien con­verted and New­port had closed the gap 19-14.

The Merthyr for­wards were once again be­gin­ning to take con­trol and a penalty near the New­port line was once again kicked into the corner. From the li­ne­out, the Merthyr pack once again drove New­port back­wards which al­lowed hooker Matthew Dwyer to crash over. Ex-Ospreys back row man Joe Bear­man was breaking tack­les and caus­ing New­port prob­lems with his barn­storm­ing runs, and it was he who ex­tended Merthyr’s lead fur­ther when a li­ne­out near the New­port line was won by young sec­ond row Ben Mur­phy and peeled around the front for him to dive over to ex­tend the lead 29-14.

The sec­ond half be­gan with both sides throw­ing the ball about in great style and it was New­port who re­sponded with a fine try from cen­tre Chay Smith which O’Brein con­verted to close the gap 29-21. How­ever, as the Merthyr pack once again be­gan to take con­trol a kick ahead and chase from right wing Kyle Evans just over the half way line saw Evans gather his kick and beat the New­port cover to score un­der the posts, Jarvis con­verted and Merthyr stretched the lead 36-21.

It was now all Merthyr as New­port seemed to struggle with the pace and strength of the Merthyr pack, and it was back row man Osian Davies who scored Merthyr’s sev­enth try as once again the New­port pack were un­der con­stant pres­sure near their own line which al­lowed Davies to use his strength to crash over, young out­side half Ben Jones con­vert­ing to ex­tend the lead 43-21. New­port then made sev­eral changes as the game reached the last quar­ter and this seemed to work as their backs once again be­gan to throw the ball around which saw Joe Cul­limore take a pass to race away to score.

To their credit New­port kept go­ing right to the fi­nal whis­tle and when re­place­ment wing Cur­tis Ayling caught the ball deep in­side his 22, he set off on a sweep­ing run to beat the Merthyr cover and race in for a fine in­di­vid­ual try, O’Brien con­verted to bring the game to a close with Merthyr run­ning out win­ners 43-33.

This was a great ad­vert for Pre­mier­ship rugby and both sides should be con­grat­u­lated on an en­ter­tain­ing and ex­cit­ing game of rugby.

For Merthyr, it was the pack that gained the up­per hand and Joe Bear­man, out­stand­ing all af­ter­noon and a thorn in the New­port side, was awarded man of the match. Be­hind the scrum young out­side half Ben Jones is be­gin­ning to set­tle and showed why he his highly rated by the Blues with a fine all-round per­for­mance. The Merthyr coaches will be happy with the re­sult, but know there is still a lot of work to be done if the team are go­ing de­fend the Pre­mier­ship ti­tle. Merthyr now travel to Ebbw Vale this Satur­day, kick-off 2.30pm.

Craig Lock scores a try for Merthyr against New­port

Ben Jones

Joe Bear­man scores a try

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