12.2.2005 Match Reports
Despite wet and windy conditions the Rhondda U12s tried manfully to move the ball at every opportunity. Their attempts to play an open, expansive game meant that Caerphilly's defence was continually stretched across field, first one way and then the other.
RHONDDA U12 v CAERPHILLY & DISTRICT U12
16th January 2005
Rhondda's reward for this enterprise was two excellent tries.
The first followed a cracking break from hooker Jack Dando (Porth County). He went to floor, the back row cleared out and the ball zipped along the three-quarter line with pin-point accuracy for wing Sam Christopher (Tonyrefail) to dot down.
The second try was similar to the first, except that it was scored out wide on the other side of the field. Several forwards drove the ball on before prop Bradley Thayer (Ferndale) passed out. Again sure passing of the slippery ball released full back Hywel Nathaniel (Cymer) who waltzed over unopposed.
Key to Rhondda's style of play were open side Calum Thomas (Tonyrefail) and No 8 Will Griff John (Ferndale) whose support of the ball carriers and work at the tackle situation was top class.
Behind the scrum the three-quarters defence was solid with wings Ryan Evans and Sam Christopher (both Tonyrefail) showing up powerfully when these two sides last played in October, Rhondda were made to defend for long periods but such is the improvement in this team that the home line was rarely threatened.
Final Score: Rhondda 10, Caerphilly & District 0
RHONDDA U13 v CAERPHILLY & DISTRICT U13
16th January 2005
Again this game was played in driving rain but the Rhondda U13s adapted to the conditions superbly.
The pick-and-drive game of the forwards proved a match winner and something Caerphilly found difficult to cope with. These tactics allied to a blitz-style defence meant the dangerous Caerphilly back three had very little ball or space to move.
The Rhondda U13s have certainly re-grouped as a squad over the last couple of games and are starting to hit top form.
Lock Jack Gibbon (Tonypandy) was into everything whether smashing his way forward over the game line or involved in passing movements amongst the threequarters. He was ably supported by burly props Owen Davies (Cymer) and Leon Morris (Treorchy) who is back to his best after a serious injury.
Blindside flanker Karl Williams (Tonyrefail) was another to show up well in the forward drives and he finished off a superb piece of forward play which covered 40 metres.
Blockbusting centres James Sheperd (Cymer) and Jake Thomas (Treorchy) set great targets for their pack and both deserved their tries.
When Caerphilly did threaten Rhondda's tackling was all engulfing and two tackles in particular from outside half Adam Lewis (Cymer) and full back Daniel Walding (Treochy) gave a lift to the whole team.
James Shepard (1)
Final score: Rhondda 22, Caerphilly & District 7
Many thanks to Ferndale RFC for their excellent hospitality and support of Rhondda Junior Rugby.
AFAN NEDD v PONTYPRIDD
16th January 2005
A cold, wet and windy morning at Tonna saw Afan Nedd host the Pontypridd squad and supporters.
It was Afan Nedd that were out of the blocks with a point to prove from their defeat at Pontypridd earlier in the season.
They took the lead after some good attacking play scoring in the Pontypridd's right hand corner. The Try was unconverted.
It was Afan Nedd that got the second score following a good break by their scrum half, who then passed to the second row forward to score under the posts. The Try was unconverted.
With ten minutes of the first half remaining, it looked like Ponty would go into half time without a reply.
That was until the Pontypridd right wing, Scott Burrows, picked up a loose clearance from the Afan defence, and with blistering pace was able to score in the corner. The Try was unconverted.
This gave the Ponty side some confidence and with only a couple of minutes before the break, flanker Nathan King ripped a ball from the maul on the half way line, and with a wingers pace, raced in under the posts to bring the Ponty side back to within two points. The Try was unconverted.
Changes by the Pontypridd coaches at half time paid dividends in the second half. Playing with confidence and direction, it wasn't long before the Ponty back line were able to conjure up a move from a ruck just inside the Afan half. Quick and good hands saw the ball reach Tomos Preece in the centre, who drew a dummy and raced in to score Pontypridd's third try under the posts. Tomos converted his own try.
Fitness and skill started to take its toll and from the forwards driving into the Afan 22m, it was the second row, Jordan Sieniawski who scored the last try of the morning. The Try was unconverted.
Final Score: Afan Nedd 12, Pontypridd 22
AFAN NEDD U14 v PONTYPRIDD U14
16th January 2005
Ponty opted to play 1st half into strong wind and driving rain. Despite the conditions Ponty dominated play and scored first. From third phase with good hands to 2nd Row, Tom Payne who was out on the wing, and with a lovely hand off finished strong in the corner, Josh Jones missed the conversion, hitting the cross bar.
Afan Nedd were only in Ponty 22 once in the first half, which resulted in a try in the corner, with some suspicion of crossing the line, try given, conversion missed. 5.5 Half Time.
Start of second half, the wind and rain dropped and the game was a lot more even. Ponty struggled with set piece, with both Hookers out with injuries, and main line out jumper off on holidays, stand in Hookers, Greg Morgan and Simon Bains. Considering neither had played this position before, they put up a good display and showed a lot of character.
Afan Nedd then scored with a forward push over, conversion
missed Ponty then came back with a high kick into Afan's 22 from
Josh Jones No10, with wing Josh Daniels catching the ball and off
loading to centre Curtis Evans who then ran over a lovely try into
the corner converted by Josh Jones.
From the far touch line, Ponty were now dominating play, and 6 or 7 passes later Left Wing Josh Daniels finished off with a lovely try, conversion missed. Ponty had the game in the bag, but in the dying seconds of the game an Afan player picked up the ball from a blatant off side position, passed it out which resulted in a try. The try was then converted just before the full time whistle.
Final Score: Afan Nedd 17, Pontypridd 17