NEWPORT SARACENS 0pts
OLD PENARTHIANS RFC 1st XV 57
THE weather was crisp and dry for the Old Penarthians Rugby Club 1st XV away fixture with Newport Saracens in Division 5SE and the sunshine was evident in the manner of Saturday's victory for the visitors.
The Saracens may not be the best team in the division but the comprehensive manner of the win showed the abilities in the Old Penarthians' team as they scored nine unanswered tries, six of which were converted.
The scoring started as early as the eighth minute when a line out won by Alun Haines was released to the threequarters and Lloyd Davey ran a cut back line off outside half Jon Crimp to power over from 20 metres. Saracens were resilient for the next 15 minutes but another sweeping threequarter move saw Romain Mathieu send Richie Moir away for a try wide out.
On 30 minutes a forward steal by Dale Norris saw Joel deClaire pass to Gareth Clancey who again gave quick ball to the backs and it was again Moir on the end of the move who scored. But it was not all back play as the forwards were definitely the main component of the fourth try when line out possession from Danny Godfrey saw a controlled maul from which Tom Sidford broke free. He went to ground with support from Lee Brennan and Craig Mohring before deClaire ran into space to give Mark Smart the opportunity to score unopposed from 10 metres.
With one of the tries converted by Crimp, it gave a half-time score of 22-0.
The first 15 minutes of the second half were, however, a fractious affair, with Saracens dominating the territory without looking as if they would score. It took a break from 75 metres after more line out possession allowed a pass from Gareth Moorcraft to release Elliot Clarke on the long run to the try line to score.
A further break three minutes later saw Clarke again running from his own half but his earlier efforts left him treading water as he approached the line and, when his release would have seen a try by Mathieu, he was illegally tackled and a penalty try was awarded, much to the dismay of Godfrey who thought he had scored when he collected the bouncing ball.
Having seen the backs looking tired, the forwards then dominated some close-range efforts that resulted in a five metres scrummage from which a strong drive saw No 8 Smart drop on the ball over the line to score his second try.
More line out possession from Haines saw Norris carry strongly into midfield where he was tackled. Clancey was quick to pass to Crimp who cleverly kicked across field to three waiting team mates. The first one there was substitute James Williams who ran in to score.
The team were really enjoying their freedom at this stage and, with three minutes remaining, another break from within their own half saw Moir round off a good day at the office with his third try. Crimp again converted for a full set of second-half kicks.
Next Saturday the 1st XV host Machen in a rearranged league fixture and it is hoped that the new found confidence will continue. The game is scheduled for a 2.30pm kick off.