Neath Athletic RFC | 1st Team 7 - 36 Birchgrove RFC | 1st Team
Nicholas Fisher
3 Conversion
1 Try
Ryan Taylor
1 Try
Jamie Lee Rees
1 Try
Joshua Key
1 Try
Callum Llewellyn
1 Try
Lee Harris
1 Try

Match Report
14 January 2018 / Team News


Birchgrove continued their triumphant run with an eleventh bonus point win on the trot, this time taking the scalp of Neath Athletic 7. 36

A miserable day and a muddy pitch at Cwrt Herbert hardly set the scene for the try fest to follow from Birchgrove and early doors the home side showed some enterprise in breaking comfortably out of an away assault on their line to set up their own early scoring opportunities.

After these early pleasantries though it was the visitors who then took a stranglehold on the game with minimal response from what looked a deflated opposition.

The first score was to emanate from a strong Birchgrove set scrum 30 yards out from the home line. A routine Leigh Di’luilio and Liam Garland exchange looked like achieving nothing more innocuous than a reasonable territory advantage and recycle phase until prop Ryan Taylor arrived on the scene.

Having built up a useful head of steam on the way he collected the ball with purpose and intent and waltzed his way to the line with even what appeared to be a hint of a pirouette thrown in for good measure. 0 – 5

With the visiting scrum now dominant and support play from the loose trio of Josh Key, Tom Lewis and the effervescent Rob Green in evidence it was only a matter of time before the next score was to arrive. A number of forward sorties against the home line were valiantly repelled by the under siege home team resulting in a set scrum about five yards out. The disciplined Birchgrove eight made light work of driving the defence back and Josh Key had the easiest of tasks to add to his burgeoning try count by picking up and dropping over for try number two. Nick Fisher converted 0 – 12

Dominance continued and if anything the visiting side were a little guilty of over complicating things in midfield with deft handling exchanges between backs and forwards not always bringing the results that may have materialised on a sunny day in April but not on a mud patch in January.

Sanity prevailed however and the workman like centre partnership of Adam Percival and Jamie (Ricco) Rees with forthright straight running restored normal service. It was “Ricco” who was next over as he took advantage of yet another forward clean ball situation to get the white line in his sights and power over from , he says about 85 yards, sidestepping three defenders and leaving three others gasping for air as he glided past them. Yes you guessed it a 7.5 yard bullocking burst !!! Fisher again on Target 0 -19 going in to half time.

Birchgrove wasted no time going for the bonus try and were camped out on the home line immediately from kick off. Some neat exchanges involving backs and forwards again open up a passage to the home line. This time it was another member of the front row union who provided the points as Callum Llewellyn (I won’t go in to yardage again ! ) went over for the try which Nick Fisher converted 0 – 26

The next score brought a little confusion around the ground as a Nick Fisher speculative kick on was gleefully pursued by substitute Lee Harris who touched down with, I think, little expectation of being given the try due to the almost pedestrian response of the defence but to his surprise the referee when he eventually caught up with the play seemed quite happy to make the award so, take that, and 0 – 31

              The Athletic, at last seemed to be shaken in to action by these events and in a sterling effort to salvage some pride did set up some attacking moves from their slightly better operating scrum.  One such move allowed them to gain a rare foothold near the visitor’s line and a forward grapple resulted in a lone home player emerging from a maul with the line at his mercy. He was quick to take full advantage and register their first score of the day unchallenged a converted try 7 -31.

               With Birchgrove now ringing the changes and the game dead as a contest there was one final chapter to play out which really epitomised the day and spirit of the game. A loose ball in midfield was eagerly claimed on the floor by Rob Green aided by James Evans and Connor Gallivan, who had been a forward rock all day. The ball was moved quickly by the half backs into the hands of the now supporting forwards and some deft handling from Scott Beard allowed the advancing backs to gain momentum as they joined in the attack another subtle off load from Adam Percival saw Nick Fisher in sight of the line which he dutifully crossed but with two other players well able to support if necessary. Final Score 7 - 36

               Another great win and eleven bonus point victories in a row (must be a record!). Some may say the opposition was not great on the day but as the old cliché goes :-

               “ You can only play what is in front of you”

              and I think I will back the boys to pull out all the stops in the forthcoming run of difficult games starting with Pyle next week at home. Don’t miss it.

              Well done Lads.





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