Sunday, March 01, 2009

Rugby Notes

Ebbw Vale played far better than last week, but just went down to the evil empire Cardiff 13-15. Some very good performances, but the tendency to be turned over in the tackle is something they are going to have to work on.

The pack played well as a collective unit, but a couple of wayward lineout throws from Richard Wilkes cost us dearly. Rob Lewis looked bright and distributed well, Shaun Powell was busy again, but I feel that there should be room in the team for Andrew McLaughlan, and I’m not convinced that Aaron Bramwell’s best position is at full back.

Despite leading for most of the game, a couple of missed kicks, range rather than direction, meant that Ebbw failed to get more than a score clear, and it was almost inevitable that Cardiff would get the last minute try to win it.

A couple of bizarre incidents to report.

Firstly Lee Jarvis, Cardiff outside half and self-appointed second ref, kicks a penalty to touch from yards in front of the mark. The ref calls the play back. And then proceeds to give Jarvis a second go. As several people in the crowd pointed out, there’s no rule in rugby for a mulligan. So instead of an Ebbw scrum at midfield it’s a Cardiff lineout near our line, which eventually cost us 3 points.

Secondly, a solid tackle from Rob Lewis led to Cardiff’s scrum half being dumped on the ground. The ref, perfectly positioned plays on and eventually awards an Ebbw penalty for Cardiff holding on. The touch judge comes on and the penalty is awarded to Cardiff for a spear tackle, which it was not, and the ref didn’t think so either initially. Jamie Ringer points this out to the ref and is given a yellow card for dissent. This is in marked contrast to the endless backchat and challenge to decisions by Jarvis, the scrum half and numerous others in the Cardiff ranks whenever a call didn’t go their way. Inconsistent to put it mildly. As a wag on the bank pointed out when Jarvis was substituted “who’s going to ref the game now?”

Also a fight which consisted of an Ebbw guy being pinned to the floor for a minute of more, despite the attempted intervention of a touch judge, was deemed 50/50 and unworthy of a penalty. Curious.

The Ebbw Vale RFC website has a report on the game. The unnamed Wales on Sunday ‘reporter’ was watching a different game.

Next week we host Llandovery in the third of an unusual string of home games. We’re due a win and on this week’s form continues I reckon we’ve got a good chance.

Team: Aaron Bramwell, Andrew Bevan, Kris Owen (c), Shaum Powell, James Lewis, Andrew Williams, Rob Lewis; Anthony Lott, Matthew Williams, Marc Jones, Gavin Lucas, Nick Eaves, Jonathan Griffiths, Rhys Williams, Jamie Ringer

Scorers: try for substitute hooker Richard Wilkes, a conversion and two penalties for Aaron Bramwell.

My man of the match: Anthony ‘Vinny’ Lott for a great performance at prop, and for showing up out wide to sell wing Craig Morgan one of the best dummies of the season. A champagne moment.

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