04 September 2016 / Club News

Opening your account at Blaenavon away.

It goes without saying that opening your league account away is pretty tough. When you find out it's at one of the toughest rugby grounds in the world at Blaenavon, you might raise an eyebrow. And when the Met Office predicts one of the "best" days of the year for weather in the area as monsoon, even the pluckiest of die hard supporters might be put off.

That said, neither the hosts or Matthew Tucker's Penallta were put off. The opening part of the game was a frenetic cacophony which matched the weather, with both sides trying to gain the territorial advantage. Leading to an error which Captain elect Ross Morgan pounced on to open the scoring.

With skills levels at a premium territory was always going to be the key. The difference in the first half was that Penallta were able to capitalize on the territory gained with 2 penalties from the boot of Lloyd Rowlands, leading at the half 11 - 0. 

I can only imagine what the Blaenavon coaches said at half time but, they came out fired up and with all guns blazing. Only for their scrum half to throw a wild punch and see red, leaving Blaenavon with their backs against the wall. Not long thereafter, our own David Attenborough wannabe Rhys Fitzgerald managed to overstep the mark and receive a yellow to even the figures.

During the first half hour of the second half it was only Penallta's resolute defense which stood firm after wave and wave of Blaenavon forward play kept battering the line. Scrum half Zac Cusack and prop Matthew Davies were massive nuisances at the breakdown and Corey Tucker and Marc Jones played up at the line out as well, but the yellow card made a difference  up front as Blaenavon clawed back 8 points.

Despite the 8 points and resolute defending for half an hour the Penallta pack did not relent and number 8 Geraint Capel stole 40 yards of territory with the help of Gypsy and the forwards and the ball spilled unceremoniously to Jon Wright. What happened next was the high point of the game.

Mercurial Jonny kicked the ball crossfield which Elliott Keep expertly fielded, drew 2 players and put Ryan Davies in to a clear field to score. Matthew Brewer coolly converted and apologies if you heard it but I couldn't help throw out a massive woohoo. The Penallta faithful, as I, were worrying about a late Blaenavon forward onslaught.

The last 10 minutes were all Blaenavons, but with Penalltas noses in front they were able to see out the game. With Matthew and Ross as coach and captain respectively recording played 1 won 1 everyone headed back to the club with a sigh of relief. Not only with the win but after suffering the Met Offices predictions with the weather.

After a great sing song on the bus, our thoughts turned to Nantyglo at home next week.

Most boringly Rob Jones.

(Martyn Rowe is away.)

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