We played English County Champions, Preston Grasshoppers at home today. We have played numerous English sides over the years and we always have good intense, hard games. The English sides always have good numbers and they also tend to have some big strong runners sprinkled throughout the team. We had checked out Preston Grasshoppers on their website and we knew they don’t lose many games at this age group, so we expected a difficult encounter and we certainly got one. The weather was dry and clear and conditions were good.
Penallta kicked off and started on fire. Considering this is the end of the season, Penallta were looking fresh and it was not long before Joe Thomas
was weaving through the tackles and diving over the try line to score first. Penallta then added to their lead when Pat Lewis
ran the angle and scored. Preston then showed their talents when their number 19 sidestepped his way to the try line to score. Pat Lewis
then showed Preston his electric pace to score Penallta’s third try and incase anyone missed it, Pat then scored another try which was like watching an action replay of his previous try. Then came the try of the match when Tom Phillips side stepped and dummied his way from his own half to the try line to score Penallta fifth try. Preston had their fair share of possession and scored their second try on the right wing just before half time. Penallta converted one of their try’s and so did Preston, making the half time score Penallta 29 Preston 12.
Preston kicked off the second half and kicked the ball straight to big Ben Lewis
who had just come on as a second half sub. Ben caught the ball and went on a very strong, impressive run straight to the try line, bulldozing straight through the Preston defence. Penallta scored their seventh try when the ball was passed through the hand to Chopper who finished off with a try. Pat again showed his acceleration to burst clear and score Penallta’s eighth try. Penallta were now playing exhibition rugby with the backs and forwards intermingling in open play. From one such passage of play James Powell
scored in the left corner. Preston did have good phases of play in the second half but every time they got into the Penallta 22, the Penallta tackling was very good and held out. The Final Score was Penallta 51 Preston 12.
We would like to thank Preston Grasshoppers RFC for travelling to play us today. We would also like to thank all the coaches, parents and supporters who travelled. We hope you felt welcome and hope you had a good day at Penallta RFC. In my opinion the scoreline flattered Penallta, the game was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests. From a Penallta perspective the Preston man of the match was the Preston number 10. The Preston number 19 and number 14 caught your eye, but the Preston number 10 controlled the game for them with his quick passing and quick running.
Penallta’s Man of the Match was big Ben “The Bulldozer” Lewis. There were loads of good performers today. James Powell
and Joe Thomas
played well in the pack today, with their strong direct running, strong support running and good off loading in the tackles. In the backs Pat Lewis
stood out with his four try’s and Tom Phillips stood out with his quality solo try. However the top man today was Ben The Bulldozer. It was hard to believe this was only Ben’s second game ever of club rugby, to catch the ball off the kick off and run straight through a quality Preston side to score, was worth man of match on its own merit. To add to Ben’s performance he put in some strong tackles and powerful runs throughout the second half. Well done Ben.
Gareth Lewis wants to have an end of season rugby get together for a few Dragons U14’s teams next Saturday at Abergavenny, for district selectors to look at players. Penallta U14’s are invited, so keep an eye out on the website for more details.