April 06, 2014, 12:06:27 PM by HonSec
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A SEVEN TRY WIN FOR PENLAN AWAY AT TAIBACH
Penlan proved too much for Taibach > picture from Colin Rush
Penlan travelled to Taibach for their away fixture at The Plough on Saturday. Luckily the rain eased off shortly after the start although conditions for both teams were muddy and distinctly greasy underfoot. Both sides had their problems with player absences which saw Taibach having to include three of their youth players. Although the Port Talbot side were keen to redress their 27 – 13 loss at penlan back in November, it was always going to be a uphill task despite the Penlan shortages.
Referee Mr. Justin Evans from Aberdare got the game under way on time and well managed the flowing game which led to a good display of rugby with no discipline problems. Taibach took the kick off and were the first to put points on the board from a penalty kick at four minutes safely slotted by their outside-half Mike McSweeney.
From early on it was evident that Penlan were dominant up front both at the scrum and lineout. At 10 minutes Penlan secured the ball from their lineout on the Taibach 22 and set up the push back straight towards the goal line. Taibach managed to wrestle the ball free and looked like bursting through until penlan flanker Rob Green literally snatched the ball directly from a defender’s hands, turned back and left Taibach stunned as he sprinted over the line at the corner for a fine try. Outside half Steven Davies made short work of a difficult conversion kick to give Penlan the 3 – 7 lead.
Rob Green scores Penlan’s first try > picture from Mike Evans
Penlan had settled down and were playing well and at 15 minutes the backs showed that they were also playing the part with some great passing at pace which got the ball swiftly across field to reach full-back Jack Harris on the wing who made a fast weaving sprint to leave defenders behind as he safely landed the ball.
Jack Harris in full flight for his try > picture from Colin Hill
For a time Taibach managed to hold Penlan back but the visitor’s upper hand surfaced again at just before 30 minutes when they won ball again at their lineout on the 22 and with constant ruck and maul pushed Taibach clear back over their line to allow flanker Robert Di’Lulio to securely land a try.
Rob Di’Lulio safely grounds the ball > picture from Mike Evans
Just before the half time whistle Penlan were continuing the pressure with their scrum on the Taibach 5 metre line. A great push by Penlan pressed the defenders back over their line until Ian Scrine at No. 8 peeled off to dodge over for a great try and gain his teams 4 try bonus point.
Stalwart Ian Scrine lands Penlan’s fourth try > picture from Mike Evans
At half time with the score at 3 – 24 for Penlan, both teams scrapped off some of the mud and rallied for more of the same. In the second half Penlan continued the pressure with Rob Green scoring his second try after a determined charge saw Rob Di’Lulio make a fast and accurate off-load to Rob who dived over the line.
Rob Green leaves leaves defender at the post > picture from Mike Evans
Steven Davies made his third safe conversion to extend the Penlan lead to 3 – 31.
The safe boot of Steven Davies extends the lead > picture from Colin Rush
To their credit Taibach never dropped their heads and managed to turn the action back in Penlan territory for a while. At about 20 minutes their backs showed some fine passing at pace to out manoeuvre Penlan after constant pressure which led to youth player left-wing Nathan Waters sprinting free over the Penlan whitewash and score a try in his debut senior game and move the score to 8 – 31.
Jack Harris at full-back for Penlan always looked threatening, just waiting for half a chance to make his move. At the 30 minutes mark Penlan won ball near the halfway line which saw Steven Davies make a swift great across field kick towards the wing. It was safely secured by Jack Harris who promptly sprinted clear up the wing to cross and land near the corner.
Jack Harris safely lands his second try > picture from Mike Evans
Penlan still had plenty more to give and sustained the pressure on the home side right up to the final whistle. In the final moments with Penlan again pressing for the line, Ian Scrine made a quick pass to second row Robbie Watkins who charged free to land a fine seventh try for Penlan at the posts. Steven Davies made his fourth safe conversion kick to leave Penlan the emphatic winners at 8 – 43 as referee Mr. Evans blew the final whistle.
Robbie Watkins heads for the posts > picture from Colin Rush
Robbie Watkins lands a fine last try for Penlan > picture from Mike Evans
It was a great display and win for Penlan which advances them just one point behind third table place Maesteg Celtic and 5 behind second place Brynamman but with a game in hand on both.
It was a true team game with all players showing great commitment to play their part but centre Stephen Davey impressed spectators with his constant work throughout the game that saw him repeatedly win ball for his side and deprive Taibach of possession when he tackled with tenacity and accuracy. His work deservedly earned him the Penlan Man of the Match award.
Thanks to Colin Rush and Mike Evans for their fine photographs, some of which are above. All Colin’s have been uploaded to our gallery page and Mike will be adding his in due course to his website www.mike322.com
Next week Penlan are away again, this time to Pontycymmer, who Penlan beat 19 – 3 at home in their first meeting. Yet another side who will be looking for revenge.
All results in Division 3 South West are currently reported as :-
Brynamman 16 Ystalyfera 20
Glyncorrwg 7 Neath Athletic 6
Maesteg 13 Morriston 10
Pencoed 40 Bryncoch 12
Resolven 16 Pontycymmer 17
Taibach 8 Penlan 43