We were invited to play Abergavenny away in a Dragons ID match. There were matches taking place between Dragons region teams at U14, U15 & U16 and there were several Dragons selectors there checking out the talent on display. After heavy rain throughout the week, the weekend was glorious and the pitches at Abergavenny were in good condition.
The first half kicked off at a fast pace. The forwards battle was immense with strong rucking by both sides. Abergavenny had their big strong runners carrying the ball in hand, but Penallta were tackling well, especially Turk who was timing his tackles spot on. Penallta were finding it hard to spin the ball along their back line with Abergavenny stifling Penallta possession with their rush defence. Abergavenny were well drilled and it took a moment of magic from Chopper to break the deadlock. Chopper carried out a clever little chip over the rush defence and then retrieved his kick and went on to score. Penallta probably shaded the first half and the Half Time score was Abergavenny 0 Penallta 5 which was about right.
Penallta and Abergavenny both had big squads and both clubs made several changes half time to give all players a chance to shine in front of the observers. Abergavenny started the second half the stronger and spent the first 10 minutes in the Penallta 22. From an Abergavenny attack one of the Abergavenny centres slung a loose pass which was easily intercepted by Pat Lewis
who had a free run to the try line to score Penallta’s second try under the posts. Abergavenny responded quickly and were soon again in the Penallta 22. From a Penallta lineout, Abergavenny stole the ball and drove forward to score a well deserved try. Abergavenny continued to keep the pressure on Penallta for most of the second half. Abergavenny were solid on their scrum and took their lineout easily. Where as Penallta were struggling with their set pieces. However Penallta were good in the loose and solid with their tackling. Against the run of play, Penallta scored their third try. This time Penallta turned the ball over in their 22 and fed Pat Lewis
. With no one at home because Abergavenny were in attack mode, Pat sprinted down the left wing to score his second try under the posts. The final score was Abergavenny 5 Penallta 19 and the scoreline flattered Penallta.
We would like to thank Abergavenny RFC for playing us today. We would also like to thank the Abergavenny coaches, parents and supporters for making us feel so welcome. In my opinion today’s game was an excellent advertisement for U14’s Dragons region rugby.
For Abergavenny from a Penallta perspective their man of the match was their number 18 prop. A lot of the Abergavenny forwards had good games but their number 18 stood out with his non stop charging forward. This boy looks as good as any prop we have played against this season. Unfortunately big Joel Edwards is injured for us, otherwise we would have probably seen the two best props at this age group in the Dragons region go head to head.
Penallta’s Man of the Match was Owen Turk
. This was a game where Penallta struggled in the set piece and hence struggled to supply their back line with any quality ball. Hence the main reason we won today was due to our strong tackling and strong defence. Joe Thomas
and Aled Williams
where like a pair of Pit Bulls at the breakdowns and tackled well all match, but the true leader and top tackler on the pitch today was the Turk. Turk tackled anyone and everyone who crossed his path today and he was tackling Dan Lydiate style, tackling hard around the ankles and bowling players over. Well done Turk.
It’s been a great season boys hope you all enjoyed playing rugby as much as I have enjoyed watching you. We have travelled near and far. We have played the top sides in all 4 Welsh regions and held our own everywhere. It’s a short break now and then its U15’s rugby with the added spice of Dewar shield rugby. The experience Penallta have had this season travelling and playing the top sides in Wales will give all you players a good grounding and good preparation for next seasons Dewar Shield. It’s a shame our Penallta side is split in half for Dewar Shield rugby or we would be the side to beat at this age group.
As a rugby club Penallta finish the season this Saturday with the 2 youth teams in back to back cup finals at Blackwood RFC. The Youth Blues play New Tredegar in the District plate final and the Youth Golds play Blackwood in the district cup final. Lets all make an effort to get to Blackwood Saturday and put on the club colours.