Gwent rugby round-up

First published in Latest Rugby

ST JULIAN'S HSOB travelled to Star rfc for the first time looking to continue their good form after their 59-10 win over Whiteheads.

They found a Star side determined not to let them have an easy day.

Two contrasting styles of rugby saw Saints running style matched against Star's mauling power game.

A break from scrum half and captain Kyle Price opened the scoring only for Star to drive a maul over wide out for an un-converted try.

The next score came from a flowing backs and forward move with Price again the scorer.

Back came Star again to their credit after good scrambling defence and clearance kick to cross Saints’ line again.

After good efforts by both sides the half ended with Saints 17-15 in front The second half saw battle resume with a fine defensive display by both sides but with the referee’s whistle now dominating the play, both sides found it difficult to maintain pressure.

Ben Sims, on as a replacement for Neil Young, was prominent at both ends with a match winning tackle and unlucky not to score after a 40m run.

New signing Tom Kayes showed great promise with his work rate in a defence that shut out Star to give them a hard fought victory 17-15.

Newbridge United kicked off their second league game at home against visitors Sea View on a sunny September afternoon and it wasn’t long before veteran out side half Kris Moses put the first points on the board with a fine penalty kick.

Evergreen scrum half sparky made several breaks from the base of the scrum that was crying for a supporting player to finish off but unfortunately no one was with him. Another penalty kick from Moses and try from stand out player Ryan Morgan saw United go 13-0 up after 20 minutes.

Inspirational centre Mark Johnston showed his class when he danced through three players to finish under the posts. Sea View came back with a score of their own before halftime after full back Turner suffered an ugly injury to his knee.

Interaction between forwards and backs saw winger Byron Hale score in the second half but Utd faded during the last quarter and allowed Sea View back in the game. The final whistle saw Moses named man of the match in a 26-14 victory. They face league leaders Whitchurch on Saturday.

Hafodyrynys 25 Cilfynydd 38 – Hafod have yet to win in Division Four East but it’s not for the want of trying as the players are giving everything and are just not having the rub of the green. This latest game was prime example as the opposition scored at least two debatable tries while Hafod had one which was disallowed.

If they keep playing like this then a win is surely just around the corner.

Cilfynydd started off like a train and were 14 points up in no time which took the home team by surprise.

By half-time the visitors had built up a 24-7 lead, Hafod scoring a penalty try, converted by Jeremy Parsons.

In the second half Hafod scored an early try through Steven Davies, again converted by Parsons who then kicked a penalty to bring the scores to within seven points Then a controversial decision allowed the opposition to widen the gap again.

The Cilfynydd outside half kicked the ball deep which clearly went over the dead ball , but a five-metre scrum was given as the home side full back knocked on although he was over the dead ball line.

The visitors went on to score a converted try which was quickly followed by another one after a mistake by the hosts.

Hafod though finished the stronger and a Chris Wall try was converted by Parsons.

Another Wall try was disallowed which could have his side a losing bonus point.

Cilfynydd were the better side but the scoreline did flatter them somewhat.

Hafod will take heart from the way they are playing and hope things turn their way when they face Monmouth away on the weekend (kick-off 2.30pm).

Llanhilleth welcomed Brynithel to the Park expecting a hard game against their fellow villagers and the large crowd were not disappointed.

From the off both teams tore into one another with play going from end to end.

Llan gradually got on top with their front row of Mark White, Scott Pitt and Darren Crimmins giving their opponents a very hard time.

Brynithel conceded a couple of penalties which young Llan outside half Kyle Sterry slotted over for a six-point lead.

Not to be out done, the visitors reduced the score with a penalty of their own.

More penalties were exchanged and with about ten minutes to go the scores were level at 9-9.

At this point Brynithel looked the likelier team to win as they were now on top, giving the Llan defence plenty to think about.

The Llan back row were working tirelessly with Phil Leonard as well as the Brynithel No 8 being the stand out forwards.

Brynithel pounded the Llan line and looked likely to score when the Llan scrum half Dan O’Brien stole the ball and the backs broke up field for centre Nathan Harris to score in the corner against the run of play.

This galvanised Brynithel who then scored a fine try of their own to again level the scores.

With time fast running out, Brynithel put Llan under pressure.

But with seconds remaining and Llan deep in their own half, they again broke out for outstanding wing Alex Davies to get a fine try and secure his side a victory by 19-14.

On the day Brynithel looked the better team but couldn’t take their chances. Next up for Llan is Bettws away.

Trinant entertained RTB Ebbw Vale and the home side started well.

A good tackle by Lee Pidgeon put pressure on RTs and from the resulting five-metre scrum, outside half Jamie Lyons fed centre Kevin Rees on the switch to score a great try under the posts.

Lyons converted to give his side a 7-0 lead after ten minutes. Trinant continued to press the opposition and went close to scoring another try after a good run by Pidgeon.

But they were called back for a forward pass another good attack saw centre Ryan Jones tackled just short of the line.

After this RTs came more into the game and after 25 minutes the visitors levelled with a score under the posts.

Trinant lost lock Adam Rogers to the sin bin for coming in at the side of a ruck.

This allowed the visitors an attacking opportunity.

After already getting the better in the scrums, from a five-metre scrum RTs drove Trinant back to score and lead by 14-7 on the half hour.

Trinant started the second half well but with the loss of scrum half Thomas Burkatt and changes in the pack another five-metre scrum saw the RTs wing come off his wing to take an inside pass which saw him and score a fine try.

This score gave his side a 19-7 lead on the hour.

The loss of flanker Lee Jones after 65 minutes didn’t help matters and Trinant were forced to play players out of position.

In the last ten minutes RTs ran in a further three tries to really rub salt into the opposition’s wounds as they lost 40-7.

On Saturday the Troggs travel to the in-form team in the league Nantyglo.

With an ever increasing injury list it’s going to be difficult for the side.

Captain Mike Haines has a broken bone in his foot while Scott Rees is out as is Thomas Burkat (hamstring), Lee Jones, and Sam Creel (knee ligaments).

Gwernyfed 30 Croesyceiliog 28 – If ever there was a case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, this match was a classic example for Croesyceiliog.

At 4.10pm on Saturday afternoon the Croesy players and supporters were all left scratching their heads as they left the pitch at Gwernyfed.

The one thought on most people’s minds was, “how did we lose this game?”

The game produced seven tries with Gwernyfed outscoring Croesy 4-3 but this neither reflected the amount of possession nor the territorial domination of Croesy plus the number of chances missed that would have resulted in victory for the Cockerels.

In large patches the team played very well and some of the handling was excellent but in a game where the lead changed hands on at least seven occasions, Croesy could not secure victory.

Gwernyfed took advantage of their limited opportunities with a dominant lineout that earned them two tries and a penalty try from moves near Croesy’s line.

Croesyceiliog’s tries were scored by Matthew Entwistle, Ryan Bates and Spencer Cutland, with Entwistle kicking two conversions and three penalties.

Croesyceiliog Youth continued their excellent start to the season, defeating a plucky Fleur-de-Lys side 50-0.

ON Sunday, a battling Croesyceiliog Ladies went one better than their male counterparts by beating Gwernyfed 20-0 in their third match of the season.

They went into the game looking to maintain their unbeaten record against a newly promoted side.

Croesyceiliog knew this wouldn’t be easy after coming up against Gwernyfed in a toughly fought cup fixture last season in which they just won 10-0.

They also wanted to restore the club’s pride after the men’s team suffered their narrow defeat the day before.

The first half proved frustrating for Croesyceiliog, failing to capitalise on possession after being camped in Gwernyfed’s half for most of the first 25 minutes.

They also went over their try line twice but failed to secure tries.

Croesyceiliog’s frustration became apparent in both their play and lack of indiscipline which saw Charlotte Kembrey sin binned with 15 minutes left in the first half.

But they regrouped and finally made the breakthrough they were looking for when Kate Wilmott-Smith, making her debut at fly half, made a powerful run through Gwernyfed’s defence to open the scoring with an unconverted try.

Croesyceiliog continued to dominate but again their efforts went unrewarded as Danielle Gagne was denied a try after being held up, the half ending with them just 5-0 up.

The start of the second half saw the home side come out strong, looking to equalise.

But it was the turn of the Croesyceiliog defence to shine and pressure from their scrum allowed No 8 Gagne to pick up from the back, draw the defence and pop the ball to centre Nicola Smith who found some space and outpaced both the opposition wing and full back to score and increase their lead to 10-0.

This try seemed to settle Croesyceiliog although Gwernyfed continued to press only to be repulsed by great tackling to keep a clean sheet.

Great forward work allowed Croesyceiliog to go through the phases and keep possession.

A turnover at a ruck then allowed scrum half Kerry Jenkins to dive just under the posts for their third try.

Croesyceiliog’s determination and strength both in attack and defence proved too much for the newcomers to the league as Wilmott-Smith went over for her second try of the match to seal a seal a 20-0 win to extend their unbeaten run.

The woman of the match award went to Gagne for her excellent work at the breakdown and the hard yards gained around the park.

The team is looking for new players of all abilities and ages.

If you are interested in joining, just head to one of their training sessions which take place on Mondays and Thursdays, between 7pm and 8pm, at the Woodland Sports & Social Club in Croesyceiliog.

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