WRU Championship

Newcastle Emlyn 0  Trebanos 14

The elements proved to be the eventual winner in this match between two sides who love to run the ball but a succession of penalties conceded by Alex Williams and his men was a huge factor in this defeat.

The heavy underfoot conditions, along with the constant rain and a biting easterly wind, meant that conditions were not conducive for running rugby but to their credit both sides tried to play running rugby.

Playing with the wind in the first half Emlyn could not have got off to a worst start when they conceded a penalty this one of eleven penalties in one half of rugby whereas the opposition only conceded one penalty in the opening forty minutes. such a high penalty count against them the home side, spent most of the first half on the defensive but to their credit, they did defend very well except for two lapses. These proved to be costly as the visitors capitalised to score two converted tries, these proving to be the only scores of the match.

The first try came on the half hour mark, originating from yet another penalty conceded by the home side, allowing Trebanos to kick to touch five metres out from the home line. Not for the first time the home forwards managed to halt the drive from the line out but two rucks later visiting scrum half Morgan Evans managed to sneak through the smallest of gaps on the edge of a ruck to dive over for a try converted by full back Mathew Edwards.

This actually acted as a spur for the home side and they pressurised the visitors from the restart and were awarded their first penalty of the match but unfortunately Ashley Sutton’s effort from thirty five metres was just wide of the posts. As half time approached the home side were awarded a scrum just inside their own half. The scrum wheeled and the ball shot out on the Emlyn side and for some inexplicable reason scrum half Mike Jones, instead of gathering the ball and setting up a ruck, flicked a pass behind his back unfortunately straight into the hands of Trebanos winger Sam Davies. Davies needed no second invitation and sped away to score by the posts for Edwards to convert and give the visitors an unexpected half time lead.

The second half, playing into the wind and rain, looked bleak for Emlyn and the visitors, unlike the home side, used the elements to pin the home team back in their half. Despite the valiant efforts of the home second rows Bleddyn Davies and Dylan Davies, Emlyn found the visitors defensive line difficult to breach. Momentum did swing slightly towards the home side when around the fifty minute mark Emrys Davies, Elliot Rees and Alex Williams came on as replacements and they all gave the home side a lot more attacking power.

The visitors were not in the mood to surrender their lead and every time the red and whites managed to reach the half way line, by going through a series of rucks, they eventually lost possession and found themselves booted back into their twenty two metre area. For Emlyn centre Teifion Davies often managed to beat the first defender but was unable to accelerate out of the mud to capitalise on his breaks.

Eventually a powerful run by number eight Rees broke through their defence and only desperate tackling by them halted an almost certain Emlyn score. With time running out the hosts attacked incessantly, looking for the try and conversion that would at least bring them a consolation losing bonus point. Winger Dafydd Evans almost managed to squeeze in in the corner but was enveloped by three tacklers, one of whom was penalised and yellow carded for killing the ball. Centre Teifion Davies was brought down inches from the line and a series of forward drives were all halted within five metres of the Trebanos line as the visitors were quite prepared to concede a penalty to deny Emlyn the try. It was almost fitting that the game ended with yet another series of drives by the forwards halted short of the visitors line and yet another crunching tackle by the Trebanos defence saw the ball knocked forward under their posts.

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