09 September 2018 / Club News

Match Report - Crumlin v Pontllanfraith 8th September 2018

Everyone agreed, “Rugby is an easy game………….” and sure enough it is, when played with the ball in hand, by a team with an eye for a break and with finishers in the side with pace to burn. That’s how it panned out today for Crumlin against a visiting Pontllanfraith side.

Before kick off, both sides were without their full complement of selectable players due to injuries and travel plans, but it took nothing away from the eagerly awaited local derby.

The home side set out their stall straight from the off when a deep kick from the visiting side was cleanly taken and secured. The following passage of play saw the young half back pairing of Steele “Snake Hips” Jones and Ethan Chess combine with some slick passing and running at pace to break the first line of defence. The move combined some intelligent interplay and strong running and despite Pont’s best efforts, the covering defence was all too easily breached. The home side dabbed down for the opening try by Craig Hamer.


The game settled for a while whilst the visiting side set about building some phases despite being behind in the territorial battle. The larger Pontllanfraith pack had a clear advantage at scrum time which saw the home side being driven back, at speed. Securing their own ball, the visiting number 8 showed flashes of determined strong running off the back of the scrum to give his team a bit of go forward. Unfortunately for Pont, it was the more organised/athletic trio of, Messrs Walton, Wall and Davies (the home side back row), who seemed to marshal the attack. Forcing the running player to become isolated guaranteed the turnover as the visitors struggled to effectively support.

It was another unforced error which led to the second try. The handling of the Pont line again left a little bit to be desired and a spilled ball was pounced on. With the ball secured, the home team once again set off running from deep. With gaps in front of them and miss-matches littered around the field they went 60 yards for Jake Farmer to dab down.


The injuries started to rack up for the visitors forcing additional unsettlement. The addition of “less pacey" players was not going to help.

Despite the clear advantage at scrum time, the lineout was a completely different story. Pressure was applied to every throw and the rewards were reaped with Garrod Fry. He took far more than his share of the opposition’s ball and easily secured his own. Crisp, clean off the top ball getting the back line moving was the order of the day.

The home side pressured again, showing time after time they were prepared to run and break. Safe in the knowledge of securing the ball after any halted phase and applying pressure, the referee awarded a penalty, straight in front of the sticks, 15 yards out.

“Kick it” the supporters screamed, but there were other ideas. Tap and go, spin it wide and keep the pressure on…….. This time, it was sound, organised defence from Pont (which kept the scoreline down) and a penalty of their own allowed them to clear.

With the minutes rolling on and the half time whistle approaching with the speed of a shunting locomotive, there was time again for another well worked try from the home side with Ethan Chess converting his own effort.

19-0 at half time.

Clear instructions from the abundance of Pontllanfraith coaches (I think there were 4 at the last count) requested their team keep the ball. Playing to the forward strength seemed to work as they trundled down field, pressing their driving scrum advantage. Efforts resulted in an early try to lift the spirits of the travelling support.

Unfortunately, this was a little short lived. The home team settled, reverted back to the winning formula of the first half of moving quick ball from the ever tiring defence. Clean lineout ball, a quick scrum heel, rapid service and willingness to run from deep paid dividends.

There were still points to come. The home team, crossed again for a brace from replacement full back Adam Gibbs before the visitors came away with a late consolation try of their own.

Final score 31-12


From a Crumlin perspective, a very enjoyable game to watch. Plenty of takeaways and encouraging signs of hopefully things to come. The desire to open things up, confidence in the turn over and a few finishers in the side all bode well for the season ahead.

Performances of note. Steele Jones showed he is quickly growing into a senior member of the team and linked admirably between the backs and forwards. Luke Wall running out of position at blind side accounted for himself very well and a mature performance from young Ethan Chess who also impressed.

MVP for the day was Kyle Walton who was ever present at the breakdown and looked good with ball in hand.


Home in the cup next week to RTB.

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