"When the teams in 3rd and 4th place meet, you can expect a nervous, tight affair with the game turning on a missed tackle here, a spark of brilliance there, a penalty kick sailing over - or wide. Not so at Eugene Cross Park on Saturday, when 3rd placed Ebbw Vale handed out a real drubbing, 57-3, to a very disappointing Blackwood side, scoring 9 tries in the process.
"Producing some of their best rugby of the season, and with the pack dominating every aspect of the forward battle, Ebbw's backs clicked, playing with a precision and pace that the visitors could not counter. The first try came after 5 minutes. Blackwood's forwards conceded two scrummage penalties in their 22 and scrum half Gareth James took a quick tap for Wes Cunliffe to cross wide out. It was soon 12 - 0 as Tom Ashmead on the other wing left defenders for dead, running in from over half way. At this stage, Blackwood were still competing well and, with more accurate kicking, might have drawn level. As it was, only a Gareth Price penalty found the mark and Ebbw ended the half 19-3 up, the pack having won a penalty try after a succession of offences by the Blackwood eight earned the ire of referee Phil Harrhy.
"The floodgates showed every sign of bulging when Charlie Simpson crossed for the bonus point and they burst wide open as Nicky Coughlin, Simpson, Cunliffe, Dai Jones and Ashmead snaffled touchdowns - the final one after a superb tackle, steal and pass by Dan Dearden. Mention should be made of Dorian Jones's excellent kicking and general play and it was great to see the superb work - both destructive and constructive - of open side Ronnie Kynes. Charlie Simpson was named as Man of the Match, although it could easily have gone to any number of others in what was a superb performance by every Steelman."
All this report misses out on was an enormous "99"-type bust up just before half-time and an inept refereeing performance. Ronnie Kynes, pictured was my MotM. Next up, a chance for revenge when Ebbw travel to Merthyr, scene of the crime where Ebbw snatched defeat from the jaws of victory last year.
Charlie Simpson, Wes Cunliffe, Tristan Davies, Dan Dearden, Tom Ashmead; Dorian Jones, Gareth James; Ross Jones, Mathew Williams, Jonathan Williams; Damien Hudd (capt), Ashley Sweet; Nicky Coughlin, Ronnie Kynes, Ethan Matthews. Bench: Dan Goode, Ben Parry, Alex Williams, Dai Jones, Dan Haymond.