Monday, November 05, 2007

Rugby Notes

Another fine win for Ebbw Vale on the weekend, 16-12 at Pontypridd. I say “at Pontypridd” because it’s still an away game for me even though its only less than half a mile walk to Sardis Road.

The pack dominated again but failed to convert lots of early pressure into points. Mental mistakes are still killing us, keeping Ponty and their fans interested. A yellow card for a high tackle by Nio Aiono just before half time helped let Ponty back into the game. Ponty’s Nathan Strong was outstanding in the loose, but Ebbw pack made life difficult and Neil Edwards gave yet another lineout masterclass.

The backs suffered from being switched around, and a few new combinations failed to click. Both wings (Williams and Bevan) were substituted and the reshaped backline defended superbly late on to keep a surging Ponty out.

Ebbw didn’t play well, but came away with the win. No easy achievement down at Sardis Road.

The Western Mail’s report is here and the Wales on Sunday’s here. A less objective view is on the Ebbw Vale RFC site here. As a result Ebbw stay second, and look forward to a trip to the Evil Empire Newport next Saturday.

Scorers: Tries for Bryan Shelbourne and Will Thomas, two penalties for Simon Hunt.

Highlight: Yet again the pack was excellent. As Ponty tried to disrupt the scrum by wheeling, Ebbw’s loosehead Alistair Lyons would have nothing of it. Instead of being pulled around, he simply stood up with his hands in the air when the Ponty tighthead was going backwards.

Lowlight: A couple of lapses of concentration and/or commitment led to Ebbw conceding tries. Need to ‘switch on’ for the full 80 minutes.

Man of the Match: Will Thomas (pictured, from Graham's site), excellent in the tight and showing up everywhere on the field, including on the wing to nab his try.

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