Brecon Youth 27 - 25 Tonyrefail Youth
BRECON Youth returned to league action on Saturday, taking on visitor’s Tonyrefail.
The early stages of the game saw table leaders Brecon settle into a comfortable rhythm, and a pattern of play that put their guests under considerable pressure. The early possession and territorial advantages saw Tonyrefail committing offences as they sought to stem the tide, and this became manifest in early scoring opportunities from the kicking tee, and home full back Dafydd Edwards took advantage of this by landing two early penalties.
There were a couple of glimpses of elements in the Brecon game that would come back to hinder the development of a free flowing game as mistakes were made at kickoff time, and also at the breakdown, that hinted at a lack of focus and discipline in the hosts’ game. This allowed Tonyrefail to start pressing in terms of enjoying periods of time in the Brecon half although, ironically, a piece of visiting indiscipline saw one of their players receive a yellow card, providing the home team with an opportunity to relieve the pressure. This they did to great effect as they established themselves in the visiting 22 and, having secured the put in at a resulting scrum, No 8 and skipper, Will Prosser broke from the base and ran hard at the visiting back line, and, following some impressively quick hands, a numerical advantage was established that saw Tudor Roderick continue his prolific season by plunging over for the first try.
Again the home coaching team would have expected their charges to consolidate their position and press home that supremacy. What followed however proved to be very frustrating Brecon lost focus gave away some needless penalties as well as losing a player themselves following an indiscretion at the breakdown. Tonyrefail were certainly inspired at this point and used the platform of their driving line out to claim their first score, going into half time believing they were very much in the game.
The second period panned out to be a highly exciting period for the neutral, although the home team supporters were left on tenterhooks as they watched their team put together some impressive phases of play, interspersed with the aforementioned lack of structure and discipline. The visiting Tonyrefail team were well organised and based their game around a strong pack and some effective ball carriers. Brecon were capable of stretching this team when they hit their normal high tempo game, although they seemed intent on occasions in trying to take the visitors on up front. When they managed to put some pace and width on the game, the potential for further scores was obvious. From a visiting penalty, full back Edwards took a quick tap-and-go and, after he made some good yardage, the ball was effectively recycled to release elusive winger Sammy Hellard who crossed for a well worked score. A further impressive period of play saw the three quarters commit the defence, before releasing the looping fly half Gareth Price, who outflanked the defence for a popular try.
Following several substitutions including Huwie Thomas, Brecon added some further points with the boot and should have gained a controlling influence on the game, although it remained the case that some frustrating mistakes and penalties allowed Tonyrefail to keep within touching distance. This visitors rallied impressively to press the home defence and some desperate home tackling saw a defender slip too high in a tackle to give the referee no option other than to award a penalty try. The resulting conversion tied the scores at 24-24 with enough time only for the kick off and one phase of play.
This prompted Brecon into their most impressive and disciplined phase as they secured the ball from the kick off through some committed counter rucking. Their attempts to work an overlap out wide were thwarted by the visiting defence creeping up offside, and the referee raised his arm to indicate a penalty to the home team that, if converted, would secure the spoils with the last kick of the game.
The impressive Thomas calmly stepped up to stroke the ball over from some 30 metres, and the home team then welcomed the final whistle indicating a three point victory, keeping them firmly at the top of the league.