Fixture

Penallta RFC | Under 14s 58 - 7 Llantwit Major RFC | Under 14s
Harvey Jones
1 Conversion
Kelyn Joseph
1 Try

Match Report
09 December 2019 / Team News

U14s show great spirit away to Penallta

With only 12-players registered and 2 of those suffering with long term injuries, the 10-available players of the battling U14 Tigers travelled away to the Rhymney Valley this week to face the 25-strong squad of Penallta RFC.

It’s been a common theme this season that although faced with limited numbers, opposition teams have been very accommodating in trying to give our boys a game.  That was the case this time with Penallta looking to give some of their least experienced players some game time.  To make sure that all their players were involved, the Penallta coaches agreed to loan 3-players to the Tigers.  In all honesty this tends not to work very well, but to their credit the players who reversed their shirts and faced up against their own team mates were great and contributed fully to an enjoyable game.

Filling in for the usual but injured number 10 James Wharfe,  winger Harvey Jones stood up to kick off in dramatically changeable weather conditions.  Playing with the strong wind in the first half and with Penallta fielding their least experienced team the Tigers dominated territory and possession for long periods, but were held out by a determined home defence.  Multiple breakaways, including 2 by mobile prop Rob Dixon looked certain to break the Penallta line only to be stopped by great scramble defence and some brutal tackles. 

The Tigers also defended strongly, but the very impressive back line of the home team were able to make the most of every opportunity to keep the scoreboard ticking over, building a commanding half time lead.  This is not an unusual situation for the Tigers this season, but before the game the boys were told to ignore the scoreboard and just focus on some key aspects.  For this game it was about supporting players with the ball, so with this in mind the Tigers finally received a kick off to start the second half.

With 3 new Penallta players, including one giant who in the first half had demonstrated some unexpected running skills, the Tigers also had to adjust with the centre position (normally held by the injured Dylan Dimmick) being occupied by out of position Rob Dixon.  By this stage, Penallta had resorted to their more experienced players and with the Tigers tiring on the heavy pitch it was not a surprise that they continued to build on their lead.  The home teams number 12 especially stood out with some barnstorming runs and clever kicks.

The hallmark of the Tigers this season has been their willingness to stick at it and keep working, and with conditions alternating constantly between sunshine and driving rain, the frozen travelling support were eventually rewarded with a try for their team.  Created by some direct running into the heart of the home defence, captain Kelyn Joseph managed to break away and force his way over the line.  In tricky conditions, the conversion was added by Harvey Jones.

Penallta were eventually the runaway winners on the scoreboard and showed what is possible with good squad numbers.  Congratulations to them and our gratitude for being such accommodating hosts.

It’s well documented that the Tigers are not blessed with the same level of player resources, but what they lack in numbers they make up in spirit.   Scrum half, Tom Jones who was rewarded with Man of the Match for his all round contribution to the game, said before the match that he simply enjoyed playing with the team.  That’s hopefully something all the boys would say, so long may it continue.

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