1st XV - Report
Shotton Steel 28 Rhosllanerchrugog 22
SHOTTON Steel survived their toughest test of the campaign so far to beat Rhosllanerchrugog and maintain their 100% record.
Both sides grabbed try bonus points in a match that delivered some great attacking play that would not have looked out of place at a higher level.
Straight from the start it was clear both sides had come to attack and this was the pattern for much of the game as the teams looked to get on the front foot at every opportunity.
It was Rhos who came out of the blocks fastest and after some good early territory No8 Dewi Richards was able to pick up from the base of the scrum and power over.
This seemed to kick the hosts into action and they came back with a quick response.
After some good phases deep in Rhos territory Shotton were able to create an overlap for winger John Ketland to go over, Steve Ellson converting.
Steel continued to press but a misunderstanding in midfield allowed in Rhos fly-half Gerallt Ireland under the sticks.
The see-saw battle continued and having secured good lineout ball through Mike Howells at the back of the line, fly-half Ellson chipped through for Daniel Lynskey to race onto and cross under the posts and maintain his excellent recent form.
Shotton had been getting the better of things at scrum time, with lineouts being well contested, but it was Rhos who took a grip of the game as the first half went on. Man of the match Richards took a quick tap and crossed from five metres before Ireland bagged his second of the game - securing the visitor’s try bonus point before the break.
Just as it seemed Rhos would take a healthy lead in at the break, Ketland cut a brilliant line to cross under the posts after a good platform had been set in the scrum. This left the visitors one point clear at the break at 22-21.
The second half was a much tighter affair with both sides still pressing but defences looking more steady than in the first period.
Shotton had to face ten minutes down to fourteen men due to a sin binning but were resolute during this period and the scoreline did not change.
After a lengthy spell of pressure, Shotton’s breakthrough came just five minutes from the end, as a After a break from Ketland, the forwards were able to clear quick ball resulting in Lynskey crossfield kick enabled Ellson to touch down. The fly-half then added the extras to clinch the win.
Steel now travel to the only other unbeaten side in Division Three when they meet Llangollen next weekend.
Club captain Mark Higgins said: “Great credit to Rhos they came here to attack and probably deserved more out of the game than they got in the end.
“Defences were clearly not on top, especially in the first half, and that is something we need to have a look at.”
“On the positive side though, we have beaten a team that were second in the division and got a bonus point so we are delighted with that and look forward to another huge game next weekend.”