Match report from the Aberystwyth RFC webiste
Gorseinon were the visitors to Plascrug for the first home match of 2017. It was a sunny winter’s day with a cold wind which grew in strength as the game went on. Aberystwyth kicked off into the wind but the game did not settle down straight away, with both sides testing each other out. The game burst into life after 10 minutes when Rod Richards made a 40 metre break from his own 22 and Gorseinon were pegged back in their own half by some powerful work from the pack.
Both sides were up very fast and throughout the game the tackling was of the highest standard and despite some good handling the defences did not relent. A clever chip from outside half Steffan Rees almost put in Connor Pitt for the first try but a cruel bounce took the ball away from him.
After some sustained pressure from the forwards, determined running from flanker Paul Stubbs and good support play created a chance for winger Llyr Thomas to show determination to cross over in the corner. Good work from the kick off created an opening for Gorseinon’s centre Tim Payne put the ball over the heads of the Aberystwyth backs. Good covering from scrum half Gryff Jones allowed him to minor the ball just in time.
On 25 minutes, an injury to Robbie Parry meant that he had to be replaced by Steffan Evans. Despite this, Aber continued to dominate and a 40 metre break from Gruff Jones gave Aber good field position. Good interplay from the forwards led to Paul Stubbs crashing over after a 10 metre run. The conversion was missed.
A bullocking run by prop Kevin Jones from his own 22 led to a penalty to Aber for holding but unfortunately he sustained an injury which resulted in him having to be replaced at half time by Owen Howells.
The start of the second half saw Gorseinon playing their best rugby of the game but Aber defended very well to keep their line intact. Aber gradually clawed their way into Gorseinon’s half where a delicate chip by outside half Steffan Rees was well gathered by centre Steff Rees, who raced to score wide out. After 25 minutes off the second half prop James Plumridge was forced off and the scrums became uncontested, which was a shame for Aber as they held the upper hand here.
With 5 minutes to go Gorseinon had to replace their second row Nicky Southgate after he clashed heads with his second row partner. Aberystwyth raised their game to further heights, desperate to get the fourth try and the bonus point. Strong work in the tackle by Paul Stubbs led to him earning a penalty close to the line, from which he battered his way across the line. Llyr Thomas converted with the final kick of the match. This had been an excellent all round performance from the team both in attack and defence, despite having a number of players unavailable before the game and losing a number during it. Any number of players could have been named as Aberystwyth’s man of the match and the visitors chose second row Arwel Lloyd for his industrious performance throughout the game.
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