Birchgrove RFC | 1st Team 14 - 13 Waunarlwydd RFC | 1st Team
Steffan Castle
Conversion 2
Try 1
Liam Richards
Try 1

Match Report
27 March 2022 / Team News


For the final home game of the Season Waunarlwydd were the visitors to Parc Bedw today on a fine day for  Rugby with Birch looking to bounce back from their narrow defeat at Ammanford last time out and the visitors looking to arrest a poor run of form..

The early exchanges were shared equally with both packs of forwards testing each other and defences holding the occasional back sorties keeping the game evenly between the respective 22’s.

A Simon Hawkins led attack carried on by Leigh Di’iulio and Adam Rowlands was the first sign of home attacking intent but the visiting defence were well up to meeting the threat .From the breakdown Waunarlwydd had the first scoring opportunity but the penalty attempt was miscued with a little help from a deceptive diagonal wind.

But it was the visiting team who were enjoying slight forward advantage and looking a little livelier around the field and on the half hour they took the lead with a successful penalty 0- 3.. Birchgrove tried to bounce back and forward driving from Cox, Richards and Co and probing kicks from Rowlands were being met with stubborn resistance.

It was not a surprise therefore when after some aggressive forward activity Waunarlwydd thought they had got over the line only for the Referee to cancel out the score on a technicality. The visitors didn’t have to wait long for their reward though as they did manage to get over the line on the stroke of half time with a legitimate try and conversion and a 0 – 10 half time lead.

Birchgrove with that wind now just in their favour and as always were not prepared to roll over and soon set about the business of reducing the visiting lead .Hooker  Rob Green had to leave the field with a facial injury and “Eternal Warrior” Darren Poland was introduced with immediate good effect as more forward rushes into visiting territory became apparent.

From one of these although it looked like the advantage had been lost some Waun indiscipline saw their penalty reversed and Birch regain the advantage.  From the ensuing forward pressure Liam Richards dropped (sorry stormed) over for a try, his second in successive games and with the conversion from Steff Castle this was looking a good game to win.

Waun had different ideas though and once again started to impose both possessional and territorial advantage over the home side but I am sure they would agree their less than clinical execution was hampering their cause. They did earn a second penalty though which put them back in the driving seat at 7 -13.

So many times this season we have seen the Birchgrove side face up to adversity, could we expect it again ?  Well the answer soon came and with a vengeance!.  With the clock ticking a foothold was established on the visitors line and with the equivalent of drinking in the last chance saloon forward pressure was now favouring Birch . A succession of scrum penalties were won and the pack backed themselves to win some decent ball. Hawkins at the base of the scrum was keen to get the backs involved and support from the marauding forwards with Tom Wright and Jack Perkins joining the party was not short in coming as the attack on the away line built momentum Rowlands, Percival, Jarret and Macnamara   all testing the away defence.

An attacking line out was the only reward however and you thought maybe the chance had gone but Tom Downing rose majestically to embrace the ball , out to Hawkins and the attack was on the move. The ever alert Steff Castle was the end recipient and over he went in the corner for a last gasp try setting himself the difficult target of a touch line conversion to “Knick “ the game . Could he do it ?  Well we have seen it before and hope we will see a bit more of it next season, his low trajectory trademark kick sailed between the post and elation followed as a memorable 14 -13  win ,albeit ugly ,was  celebrated.

Last scheduled game at Glynneath is next week’s adventure kick off 2.30 get there and support the lads.


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