Crumlin V Rhymney
24th September 2016.
“Discipline……..discipline cost us” was the summation of the new incoming backs coach Kris “Molar” Moses at the final whistle.
In a game where the lead changed hands more times than a new £5 note, it was the team that kept the discipline errors in check who went on to win.
The Rhymney team arrived to the Kayfield off the back of disappointing defeat last week to Aberbargoed, whilst the Crumlin side, having only played one game since the end of last season, were keen to protect their 100% record. An “in club wedding” and the dreaded Saturday afternoon overtime shift, forced a number of changes to the team who performed so well in the victory over Rogerstone 3 weeks prior.
With the field freshly mowed and the stand supporting a fresh lick of paint the scene was set for an afternoon of running rugby given the near perfect conditions.
Both sides appeared to take a little time to settle, with no real domination of early possession or territory. The odd dropped pass and ruck infringement gave the referee the perfect invitation to make sure both sides were aware of exactly who was “in charge………”
It took 10 minutes before the first score was recorded. After some nice ball movement in mid field by the Rhymney backs, the team broke down the left side making progress towards the 22, only to be thwarted by some scrambled Crumlin defence. The penalty was given after Crumlin was judged to be slowing the ball down and it was the Rhymney 12 (Liam Davies) who stepped up to slot over the kick.
There was an immediate response from the Crumlin pack to recover the ball from the restart. The ball was recaptured by the hard working Rory Allen and skipper Rhys Davies (running at 8), for the Rhymney back line to be judged offside as the play broke down from the Crumlin attack. Jason Sheppard stepped up to slot over the 3 points from in front of the posts.
Sheppard and Davies exchanged another penalty each before the first try was scored.
A cross field kick by Sheppard saw the ball roll into touch just outside the 22. Call it a rush of blood or spirited back play (I can’t work out which), but the Rhymney full back, who took the quick line out, wasn’t making any friends with his team mates as the advancing Crumlin chase promptly snuffed out any thoughts of a break out. The ball was turned over quickly by Lloyd Bryant (the Crumlin 7) before some quick interplay and slick passing allowed Gavin Spencer to curl around and cross the line for his first try in 3 seasons.
11-6 to the home team after 20 minutes.
Again the game settled. The referee did his best to keep things moving, but no one appeared to be able to get on top with a constant stream of scrum, line out, infringement, scrum……. You get the picture………
It was the visitors who believed there was more rugby left in the half and set about to ensure they were in front at the break.
A great angle from the visiting outside centre split the Crumlin back line as he glided through to set up the 2v1 with the ever present Liam Davies to take the pop pass to dab down.
Time for another try before the break and with possession from the home team being given away to cheaply, the visitors crossed the whitewash again to go into the break 16-11 in front.
Crumlin 11-16 Rhymney.
The second half started with Crumlin facing the breeze but the inspirational talk and a drop of magic water rallied the boys to get back on equal terms.
It was almost an identical move to the first Rhymney try, this time executed by Crumlin as both centres combined, following a reverse angle run completed at pace for Mr Focussed, Ben Booton, to score the 5 just to the right of the posts. Sheppard added the 2.
The scoring moved on for both teams, and it was debutant scrum half Ashley Giles who continued with his feisty performance, to score a typical snipers try after a period where the Crumlin pack were getting on top.
The game was flick flacking between 22s with the outstanding player on the field Liam Davies for Rhymney being at the heart of all things positive.
Errors and ill-discipline started creeping into the home side’s game and the referee, who was consistently red hot on the off-side rule for both teams, pulled out the yellow to bin the Crumlin wing. The visitors pressed the advantage of the extra man with sustained pressure and points to creep back into the lead.
Unfortunately, due to a technical breakdown (my pen ran out of ink……), the detail of the remaining scoring is a little sketchy……..
The changes were being wrung and with 15 minutes left to play, and the game poised at 31-26 in favour of the black and amber, the referee interjected again with a second yellow card for a member of the Crumlin back line.
The visitors started to edge it and with the possession being gifted to them, it was not long before they were back in front, and in front they were to stay. They had worked out the areas of best attack and pressed the advantage.
The Crumlin defence seemed to have no answer and it was a moment of running genius that resulted in a fantastic individual try from the Rhymney winger. A total of 3 tries were leaked in the last 10 minutes before the spirited visiting team ran out convincing 48-31 victors. Whilst there were no complaints from the Crumlin support, it was a cruel and somewhat undeserved result to be denied the losing bonus point.
This was by no means a disaster for the home team, but more of a wake up call. It was a realistic picture given the pre-season preparation, the availability of squad members and a showing to define the work which needs to be done.
There are definitely positives to take from this. The opportunity for players to show in different positions and prove their flexibility should not be missed. The Crumlin pack again showed periods of dominance and there is nothing like a real time scrummaging session to work on technique. The 3 strikes against the head and the controlled drives of some aplomb should not be taken lightly.
A few players to note included Ashley Giles running at 9, Cory Allen in the boiler house and the back row of Davies and Bryant working well.
There is a buzz around the team. There is a buzz around the club. The coaches are looking ahead and with players training with a smile on their face, there will be good things to come of that there is no doubt. On a day when Jeremy Corbin gets re-confirmed as the labour party leader (other political parties are available) he is famously quoted as saying “heads and hearts are connected”.
This connection must be made in the upcoming performances.
Final score Crumlin 31 Rhymney 48
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