Fixture

Abergavenny RFC | 1st Team 15 - 37 Croesyceiliog RFC | 1st Team
Ryan Bates
1 Try
James Tucker
1 Try
Micki Thomas Witts
1 Try
Haydn Simons
3 Conversion
2 Penalty
2 Try

Match Report
16 April 2017 / Team News

Croesy close in on league title

Croesy secured a satisfactory 37 -15 bonus point victory over a dogged Abergavenny side without ever reaching top gear.

Given the outstanding performance against Ynysddu last weekend there were always going to be high expectations but in truth this was always going to be a different type of game against a side desperate to avoid relegation. Croesy had to make two late changes to the original line-up, Greg Stephens replacing Rob Stark at loose-head prop and Rhys Roberts being promoted from the bench to take the place of wing Steve Drummond.

The first ten minutes of the game were dominated by Croesy.  An early Croesy attack which was only foiled by Abergavenny being offside in their own 22. Haydn Simons converted the penalty. This was followed by a fine counter-attacking try started by some smart handling by flanker Luke Loder near the halfway line, followed by a storming run by centre David Davies who shrugged off the tackle of the Abergavenny full back, ex-Croesy youth player Josh Parr, before passing to wing James Tucker to score the try. The try was converted by outside-half Haydn Simons to secure an early 10-0 lead.

Abergavenny however managed to gain a foothold in the game as Croesy got on the wrong side of the referee conceding a number of penalties, not showing the same discipline in defence of the previous weekend. Abergavenny eventually gained their first points of the game through a long-range penalty goal from Josh Parr, who was forced to leave the field shortly after with a serious looking knee injury. The long stoppage disrupting the game.

Croesy eventually started to apply some consistent pressure with the pack outmuscling their Abergavenny counterparts at the scrum and in the contact area, the front row of Greg Stephens, Dan Goode and Craig Price being particular effective in that area, supported by the marauding back row of Luke Loder, Steve Thomas and Scott Copsey.  The pressure eventually telling on Abergavenny as they killed the ball in the ruck in front of their own posts. Haydn Simons kicked the penalty goal.

With 5 minutes to go to half-time Ryan Bates playing at fullback rather than his usual position of scrum half finished off a pre-planned backs move to score Croesy’s second try. Haydn Simons adding the conversion.

At 20 points to 3 Croesy were looking comfortable but Abergavenny were not in a mood to give up and themselves scored an unconverted try with the last play of the first half to reduce the gap to 12 points.

Any thoughts of an Abergavenny comeback though evaporated in the first 10 minutes of the second half with two quick Croesy tries that not only settled the match but allowed the coaches to make a number of replacements to rest players before the midweek league fixture at Talywain. The first try was scored by second row Micki Witts following smart work by Scott Copsey from an Abergavenny 22 metre restart, offloading to Micki Witts who galloped over from 25 metres. The try went unconverted. The second came from a break by Ryan Bates who completely wrong footed the Abergavenny defender with an inside pass to Haydn Simons who scored under the posts, before converting his own try.

At this point it appeared as if the floodgates could open but the number of changes understandably meant that the game became more scrappy as players got up to speed. Additionally, as Abergavenny lost one of their starting props through injury they opted for uncontested scrums without a suitable replacement. This nullified the Croesy scrum as an attacking platform. The loss of centre Sean Pattimore after being yellow-carded for a head high tackle also contributed to a long scoreless period.

Eventually however Croesy scored their fifth and final try of the game with an unconverted try by Haydn Simons to complete a personal tally of 22 points in the game and a man of the match performance.

Abergavenny had the final word with a converted try in the last move of the game.

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