If both teams win their remaining games then the sides will finish on the same points and same wins, however we have the superior points difference/ratio/tries scored/better record against opponent/points scored or whatever system is used to determine the champions!! Basically a win over Newport HSOB on 3rd May will see us lift the trophy
The Sarries have been dominant this season and have also made it into the final of the Welsh Cup at the Millennium stadium in two weeks time. A huge challenge was expected and everyone knew that only our A game would allow us to triumph. With regular back-row players Geraint Hobbs
and Captain Alex Herbert
out for the rest of the season and liam Mahoney unavailable the coaches had to re-organise up front, however they were also able to welcome back backs Luke Smalley
and Jordan Purcell from first team duty in recent weeks, with Smalley taking over the captaincy from Herbert.
Barg had a nightmare start and from their first attack the sarries strong running 12 powered through and put away his winger for a converted score after 2 minutes. Despite the poor start barg quickly recovered and within minutes were on the board when James Hallett
slotted through a penalty after Jake Smith
had won a penalty at the breaktime. Both teams looked to move the ball and the physicality was immense from both sides, particularly in the early exchanges. Purcell had a dazzling early run, while Jouxson was dynamic and carried effectively. After 15 minutes and from another turnover, James Hallett
adanced into the Sarries 22 and as the defence came forward he put in a neat grubber which bounced perfectly for Dai Evans to catch and dive over. Hallett added the extras superbly from the touchline to give barg a 10-7 lead.
Sarries were very sharp behind on the day and at times put barg under big pressure. From another longe-range breakout from their powerful 12 they won a penalty 30 yards out and their 10 put it over to level the scores at 10 each midway through the half. With the game evenly poised it was barg who responded and the remainder of the half belonged to us. The pack were dominant at the scrum, with the front-row of Nicky Thomas
, Craig Owen
and Ben Thomas
once again destructive. This enabled barg to put pressure on the sarries attack and the back-row trio of Jake Smith
, Luke Morgan
and usual Second-row James Richards were superb at the breakdown. Steffan Jeremiah
and Jouxson were working well in the second-row as the pack totally outplayed the visiting eight. After a period of pressure barg once again regained the lead when strong running fullback Liam Matthews powered over out on the left. Luke Morgan
went close soon after when he made one of his trademark runs, while the outstanding Jake Smith
continued to win turnovers at the breakdown. 5 minutes before the break the home support got even more excited when after a series of phases centre Josh Davies crossed for a try to give the home side a 20-10 lead at the interval. Barg were well in control and it was fair to say that the sarries were under huge pressure and relieved to see the half-time whistle.
Barg expected a wounded animal after the break and knew that the sarries would be determined not to go down without a fight. The sarries did fly into us but our players were so up for the game and soaked up whatever the sarries threw at them. Minutes into the half and after yet more great work at the breakdown from Jake Smith
barg were presented with a penalty around 35m out and again Hallett slotted it through to give his side a 13 point cushion.
With the game going from end to end and a great spectacle for the big crowd both sids started to fatigue and both made mistakes. Barg continued to pressure the sarries up front and just as in the first half dominated the set-piece. From this pressure the home side were rewarded with an attacking 5m scrum and from it the impressive James Richards picked up and showed great strength and determination to squeeze over at te corner for an unconverted try to make it 28-10. Sarries hit back with a penalty moments later to reduce the barg lead to 15 which offered them hope. Barg then lost centre Josh Davies who was feeling unwell and he was replaced by Geraint Edwards who himself was returning from injury. The young centre wasted little time getting into the game and showed good hands and some excellent defensive work as once again he showed his potential. James Richards, Stefan Jeremiah all picked up knocks but battled on as the depleted squad was starting to get stretched. Barg were unlucky not to add to their tally at this point when after a clearance kick was charged down and grounded by Smith the ref adjudged it to have been a knock-on and not a charge-down which was very unlucky on the hard-working flanker who deserved a score for his efforts.
From another powerful scrum the ball was taken against the head and the ball was worked to flying win Sion Jones
who flew down the left and was just stopped short. Barg continued to pressure from here and went through several phases before number 8 James Richards claimed his second of the day to send the home support wils. Craig Wilson
who had replaced the exhausted James Hallett
at 9 then landed the conversion from the touchline to take the score to 35-13.
With 15 minutes left the sarries did start to find holes in the home defence and at times barg were scrambling. From a fine back movement the sarries winger went over in the corner which took it to 35-18. Ross Matthews
and Lewis Hudd replaced the injured duo of Stef Jeremiah and Jordan Purcell as the home side had to battle hard to keep out a determined sarries effort. The boys were tired but their enthusiasm and commitment throughout was fantastic. With 6 minutes to go sarries went in for another fine score which saw them split the home defence from a set move and finish wide out on the right to make it 35-23.
Barg were very tired by now and in fairness were looking for the final whistle. With time running out the home side saw out the game and kept possession superbly well and went from ruck to ruck and in total control, cleverly marshalled by Craig Wilson
. The ref blew for full-time and te barg players rightly celebrated a great win.
The win now outs us in a great position and if we can now keep our focus and get the win over Newport HSOB we will win the Dragons A league, and also progress to the play-offs that will determine the overall Welsh Youth A-League champions.
Every player gave their all and the performance was a real team effort showing huge character, commitment and bags of enthusiasm. There were many top notch performances and too many to single out butthe man of the match was without doubt new boy Jake Smith
who stepped in for the injured skipper Herbert and was fantastic in all areas of play. Well dome to everyone however, and keep up the good work.