Glamorgan Gazette - - Rugby Union -

ABER­CRAVE ................. 5 PORTH­CAWL .............. 26 FOL­LOW­ING the out­stand­ing win at Brid­gend Sports last week, it was back to league ac­tion for Porth­cawl at Aber­crave in search of another win on the road, de­spite a cou­ple of reg­u­lars miss­ing.

The home side were first into their stride with a se­ries of strong for­ward drives, how­ever the Seaweeds de­fence held firm.

Porth­cawl tried to play open rugby, how­ever wrong op­tions at times, al­lied to some poor fin­ish­ing frus­trated the vis­i­tors. Aber­crave’s di­rect for­ward play to­gether with the odd foray by a larger than av­er­age back­line, kept com­ing for­ward and after fully thirty min­utes had elapsed they notched the first score.

Huge prop Dan Evans prof­ited from a for­ward surge to crash over for an un­con­verted try for 5-nil but that proved to be the only score of an un­sat­is­fac­tory half for Porth­cawl.

Coach Rhys James’ half­time pep talk saw a great im­prove­ment, as their wel­ter of pos­ses­sion pro­vided the op­por­tu­ni­ties. With the lines-out, par­tic­u­larly, dom­i­nated by skip­per Richard Hnyda and Leon McNally, stand-in scrum-half Ben Thomas got things mov­ing, with Josh White and John Phillips, es­pe­cially, start­ing to dic­tate mat­ters, mov­ing the ball wide and sap­ping the en­ergy of the mon­ster home pack.

First points for Porth­cawl came from a driv­ing li­ne­out, with young sec­ond row Will Robin­son, who had a good match, get­ting the touch­down, con­verted by White for 5-7 and the lead that Porth­cawl were never to lose.

Even Porth­cawl’s pack had its mo­ments in the looser sec­ond half with some star­tling han­dling skills. Tight head Matt Cooke, who shines in ev­ery match re­cently, showed a great turn of pace to make the break, his deft pass to wing Jake Thomas tak­ing the move on. White used the re­cy­cled ruck ball smartly, feed­ing Phillips whose pass to Alex Davies was pure class, as he put his fel­low cen­tre through at the posts for a su­per try. White con­verted for 5-14.

Jamie Uren came on at prop for Tim Lunn, who’d done a de­cent shift for Porth­cawl at the scrum and he was into ac­tion im­me­di­ately with a cou­ple of good catches and drives, and Ethan Walsh came on for Lloyd Rosser on the right wing to get his game time.

Porth­cawl brought on Tom Butcher at No.8 and he was soon into mode, charg­ing at the home mid­field. At the third at­tempt, he set off on a fully 40 me­tre gal­lop, split­ting the de­fence be­fore hand­ing on to flanker Ben Asprea, then Cooke again, be­fore White’s sub­lime long pass set wing Thomas free to stride over at the corner. White’s su­perb con­ver­sion off the touch­line put the ic­ing on the cake and 5-21 the match was ef­fec­tively over.

Porth­cawl now played the ball from ev­ery­where in pur­suit of the bonus point try and as White was il­le­gally body-checked, the ref­eree played ad­van­tage for Porth­cawl. Asprea took the ball on be­fore it reached full back Jor­dan Fox who glee­fully dived over for the try wide out. White’s con­ver­sion struck the up­right.

On Satur­day wel­come old ri­vals Aber­avon Green Stars to South Road, 2-30 pm kick-off.


Tom Butcher makes a break

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