Iron­men made to fight for win by a stub­born Neath

Cynon Valley - - RUGBYUNION -

NEATH .......................... 10 MERTHYR .................... 26

AL­THOUGH these teams are at the op­po­site ends of the league ta­ble the Iron­men found Neath a hard side to break down and didn’t make it easy for them­selves with silly er­rors.

The Iron­men’s start was poor as from the kick off the ball didn’t go 10 me­ters and Neath were awarded a scrum. From the scrum the Neath backs were brought into ac­tion and showed how dan­ger­ous they were go­ing to be. Af­ter sev­eral phases the Neath pack cre­ated an over­lap for their backs and some good pass­ing found full back Ed How­ley in space to race over for the open­ing score, and as he con­verted his try Neath had taken a 7-0 lead.

Merthyr grad­u­ally be­gan to get into the game with some for­ward drives from lock Ben Mur­phy, No 8 and cap­tain Nick White well sup­ported by Ed Sig­gery. A fine li­ne­out take deep in­side the Neath half form Ben Sier set up the Merthyr backs and a fine chip ahead from out­side half Richard Pow­ell caught the home de­fence flat footed and when the ball was re­cy­cled from a ruck back row man Lee Evans was on hand to take an in­side pass to get the Iron­men’s first try, Pow­ell just go­ing wide with the kick.

This seemed to set­tle the Iron­men as the pack be­gan to take the game to Neath, how­ever it was Neath that ex­tended their score af­ter Merthyr were caught off­side and full back Ed How­ley made no mis­take with a well taken penalty from 40 me­ters.

Lead­ing 10-5 gave the home side re­newed con­fi­dence and only good de­fence from the Merthyr backs kept them from ex­tend­ing the lead fur­ther. Just be­fore half-time a fine run from wing­man Richard Carter cre­ated panic in the Neath de­fence and fine in­ter-pass­ing form cen­tre Gavin Dacey set up full back Josh Martin to touch down wide out to tie the scores at 10-10, how­ever Pow­ell con­verted from the touch­line to give the Iron­men a 10-12 half-time lead.

Neath started the se­cond half on the at­tack and a fine break from re­place­ment scrum half Ru­bin Mor­gan-Wil­liams was only stopped by a fine tackle from full back Martin.

The con­di­tions be­come heavy go­ing as the rain be­gan to fall and it was the Merthyr pack that be­gan to take con­trol with fine drives from young prop Ben War­ren, and hooker Matthew Dwyer to set up cap­tain Nick White to gal­lop over un­der the posts, Pow­ell con­verted, and Merthyr had stretched their lead 10-19.

Merthyr then be­gan to throw ev­ery­thing at Neath look­ing for that all-im­por­tant fourth try and bonus point.

A penalty in­side the Neath 22 was kicked deep into touch. From the li­ne­out the Merthyr pack drove to­wards the Neath line and af­ter sev­eral at­tempts, pre­place­ment se­cond row Craig Locke crashed over for the al­limpor­tant try, full back Martin con­vert­ing from the touch­line to give Merthyr a win­ning score 1026.

This was a hard-fought win and credit to Neath who al­though los­ing put the Iron­men un­der pres­sure on sev­eral oc­ca­sions. For the Iron­men it was good to see the young squad mem­bers given an op­por­tu­nity to play Premier­ship rugby. Young prop Ben War­ren, se­cond rows Ben Sier and Ben Mur­phy, scrum half Adam Hoskins, and full back Josh Martin all played their part in this all-im­por­tant league win which keeps the Iron­men top of the Premier­ship.

Merthyr try-scorer Josh Martin

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.