Seasiders' friendly errors as victory slips out of reach

  Posted: 01.11.21 at 10:30 by Peter Weston - Penarth RFC

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St.Alban’s (17) 27 Penarth (11) 18

Mid-way though the four-week hiatus between the Bowl and the new league season was ideal timing for both sides in this deeply strange run-out friendly. The morning rain had made little difference to the excellent Tremorfa Park playing surface and running rugby was set to be the order of the day.

However, two aspects of forward play were established from the off: the Seasiders pack were to dominate the tight without gaining any advantage, while the line-out was a total disaster area.

But make no mistake, Penarth were in it to win it and never let up in their efforts. They pinned the ‘Buns in their own 22 for much of the first quarter, taking an early lead through an Andy Richards penalty and then extending that lead as Alex Shore made the key line-break for a move finished by captain Rhys Morgan in the corner.

The thing with the scrum was that despite shunting the home eight backwards on a regular basis, it was always too late to stop St.Albans getting the ball away and the hosts were to score three of their five tries from this sort of first-phase possession. The first of these arrived after 26 minutes and another four minutes later turned the game around from 0-8 to 12-8, a lead that was never again to change hands.

With half-time approaching, the Seasiders pulled three points back with another Richards penalty, but their domination of proceedings was always interrupted by the mis-firing line-out. The ‘Buns eased ahead again as a swift move on the blindside of a retreating scrum and a grubber to the corner brought the third try and a lead of 17-11 at the break.

The second half began poorly for Penarth as another first-phase move, this time from a line-out, saw the home full-back coming in at angle for the far corner and brushing off several tackles on the way. 22-11.

The rest of the game arguably belonged to the Seasiders and it was only a series of critical handling errors and increasingly bizarre interventions by the referee that stopped them running away with it.

Captain Rhys Morgan finishes a flowing move for the first try.

Despite all the territory, possession and pressure, the only reward
came on the hour as Richie Bowen forced his way over from short range. With lead reduced to only four points, a Penarth win seemed the likeliest outcome, but the error count argued against that and with four minutes remaining, St.Albans added a fifth try to put the game
firmly out of the Seasiders’ reach.

Rhys Morgan ©, George Kynaston, Andy Richards, Ben Wellington Jim Crothers, James Candy (Kevin Maddox), Ellis Shewring, Harry Wood (Geraint Williams), Tom Griffiths (Mason Good), Alan Doyle, Alex Shore, Ben Heywood (Cam Sultana), Josh Barden, Miles Jones, Richie Bowen
Scorers: Rhys Morgan T, Richie Bowen T, Andy Richards 2P, 1C

Specsavers National League 3 East Central A
Saturday 13th November 2021
PENARTH v Old Illtydians
Athletic Field, Lavernock Road, CF64 3QH
Kick-off 2.30pm

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