DIVISION 3 WEST CENTRAL A
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