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30 April 2017 / Club News

Merthyr 34 Aberavon 23

MERTHYR BOOK SEMI FINAL PLACE AFTER BONUS POINT WIN OVER THE WIZARDS.

MERTHYR 34 ABERAVON 23

Merthyr sealed their place in the Premiership tier 1 play offs after a hard fought and exciting victory over at times dangerous Aberavon side. Aberavon’s backs looked dangerous from the kick off with both wingmen Wales sevens player Steff Andrews and Ospreys Jay Baker showing their pace early with dangerous early runs. It was Merthyr that opened the scoring following their first attack on Aberavon when a penalty near the line was quickly taken by scrum half Rhys Downes who found prop forward Garry Powell up in support to crash over near the posts, full back Matthew Jarvis converting to give the ironmen a 7-0 lead. However, this was short lived as Jarvis was then shown a yellow card by referee Adam Jones for an alleged high tackle on wing man Steff Andrews. With Jarvis off Aberavon took full advantage as a sweeping move 35 meters out was finished off by Andrews to close the gap 7-5. This seemed to give the Wizards the upper hand as from the restart they attacked once again with their dangerous backs showing great pace and when the attack was stopped inside the Merthyr 25 scrum half Flynn found number 8 Luke Joseph up in support who crashed over for the try to give Aberavon a 7-10 lead. Merthyr then began to put several good phases together with back row men Osian Davies, Phil Rees and Ed Siggery making good ground but little errors prevent any further score. Aberavon outside half Steff Williams extended Aberavon’s lead when Merthyr gave a penalty away at the scum. Leading 7-13 Aberavon looked dangerous in attack once again as they threw the ball around with crisp passing but it was Merthyr that took the lead back as the game was swaying back and fro when a line out close to the Aberavon line was won by skipper Craig Locke and as his forwards drove Aberavon back over their line it was prop Garry Powell who crashed over for his second try, Jarvis converted and Merthyr had retaken the lead 14-13. Back came Aberavon once again and a kick and chase from wing man Jay baker saw him win the race for the touchdown to give Aberavon the lead back 14-18. Back came Merthyr with good drives up field from second rows Lou Reed and captain Locke payed dividends as Aberavon gave away a penalty on the stroke of half time which Jarvis converted to bring the half time score 17-18. The second half was like the first with the dangerous Aberavon backs running the ball at every opportunity as they looked to extend their lead, but it was Jarvis who once again put Merthyr back in front with his second penalty from 40 meters. The Merthyr forwards then began to take control of the game as they began to drive the Aberavon backwards at the set piece with front row of Howe, Williams, and Powell dominant against their opposite numbers. Merthyr then turned down a kickable penalty and opted for the lineout near the Aberavon line. From the lineout, the Merthyr pack drove Aberavon backwards and hooker Rhys Williams crashed over, Jarvis converted and Merthyr were now in the driving seat as they led 27-18. To their credit Aberavon still moved the ball with wing man Jay Baker looking very dangerous with his pace and speed and it was only good defence and tackling from Jarvis and Martyn Thomas that kept him from scoring. Merthyr sealed their win when once again the pack drove down field once again and good carries from Nick White and Rees kept the pressure on Aberavon and this was rewarded when replacement prop Nathan Trevett showed great handling skills inside the Aberavon 25 as he raced over for Merthyr’s fourth and bonus point try, Jarvis converted and Merthyr now led 34-18.However Aberavon were not finished as they looked to get something from the game and this was rewarded when replacement second row Ian Moore crashed over near the line to give the visitors a losing bonus as the referee blew for full time. Both sides must be congratulated for a great advert for Premiership rugby as nearly 60 points were scored in a game that swayed back and fro several times. For Merthyr, it was the forwards well led by man of the match captain Craig Locke that held the upper hand in this top of the league clash, and the accurate goal kicking of full back Matthew Jarvis who finished the game with 14 points. Merthyr who have booked their semi-final place will know their opponents following next week’s games in tier 1. With 3 places taken by Merthyr, Aberavon, Bedwas, it will be a fight for the 4th spot in the Pontypridd v RGC 1404 game. Merthyr travel to Eugene Cross to play Gwent rivals Ebbw Vale who just missed out on a top place. The game being shown live on S4C and kick off is 3pm.   

MERTHYR: 15 M JARVIS, 14 M THOMAS, 13 H MILLARD, 12 A PINCHERS, 11 T GEE, 10 G DAVIES, 9 R DOWNES, 1 J HOWE, 2 R WILLIAMS, 3 G POWELL, 4 L REED, 5 C LOCKE(C) 6 E SIGGERY, 7 O DAVIES, 8 P REES, 16 N TREVETT, 17 R JAMES, 18 C TARRANT, 19 B MURPHY, 20 N WHITE, 21 J JAMES, 22 D BISHOP, 23 R CARTER.

Scorers, G POWELL 2T, R WILLIMAS 1T, N TRAVETT 17, M JARVIS 4 CONS, 2PENS

REFEREE: ADAM JONES(BRECON)          

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