Seasiders continue winning run
1:02pm Tuesday 15th October 2013 in Sport
PENARTH RFC 1st XV 27
THE Seasiders’ run of form continues and, although there was little to commend in the way they arrived at their third successive away win, the fact remains that they’ve now risen to a healthy fourth place. And, if they ever get their act together, someone’s going to take a real pasting.
Let’s be clear, Tylorstown are a pale reflection of the team they were three years ago when they went up to Division 2 E with Penarth, and offered little apart from technique and commitment around the breakdown.
The visitors, on the other hand, enjoyed their usual domination up front, but struggled badly to exploit this; winning comfortably, but without what would have been an entirely justifiable bonus point. As early as the seventh minute, the Seasiders went into the lead as they drove a five metres scrum over for a Mike Clare try, but the Tigers exerted pressure from the restart and pulled back three points from a penalty.
The next 20 minutes belonged chiefly to Penarth, but a catalogue of errors only led to the hosts reducing the arrears with a further penalty. With five minutes remaining to half-time and little to show for the wind advantage, Mike Hurley converted a 30 metres penalty in front of the posts and you began to wonder if the visitors would ever exploit a clear superiority without messing it up whenever they got close to the line.
The answer came as they drove yet another five metres scrum and, although control was again lost, this time it was due to an illegal intervention by the home scrum-half, who departed with a yellow card. The resulting scrum was also driven, and again control was lost, but Richard Ball scooped up the loose ball and fed Joe Page who scored in the corner.
At the start of the second half, the Seasiders destroyed the home scrum at will, but failed to gain any advantage at all through predictable back play and a mounting error count. Sixteen minutes into the half, they finally gained a kickable penalty, which Hurley converted to ease the visitors into a more comfortable 6-20 lead, but then they finally managed to put the game to bed with the move of the game.
This was the briefest of glimpses of the short-passing game they’ve teased us with before and is clearly the way they want to play. With the ball passing through, perhaps, a dozen pairs of hands, play surged from one touchline to the other and, finally, James Docherty put James Crothers in at the corner, with the on-the-spot referee instantly awarding the try despite the bizarre protestations of the late-arriving Tylorstown touch judge.
The hosts came back strongly in the remaining four minutes, claiming a late consolation try, but there is much work to be done on the training field to convert the coaches’ clear vision into something which looks more convincing than this good Penarth team playing badly.
PENARTH: James Candy, Ben Donovan, Mike Hurley, Michael Gubb, James Crothers, James Thatcher (Nathan Smith), Rhys Morgan (Owain George), David Morgan (James Docherty), Joe Page, Sean O’Sullivan, Richard Ball (Ben James), Stuart Clarke, Geraint Blake, Mike Clare, Matt Sutton.
* League Division 3 South-East - Saturday, October 19 - PENARTH v Porth Harlequins (The Athletic Field, Lavernock Road; kick-off 2.30pm)