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11 March 2018 / Club News

MERTHYR 18 NEWPORT 19

IRONMEN LOSE THEIR 100% RECORD TO THE BLACK AND AMBERS.

MERTHYR 18 NEWPORT 19

Merthyr lost their 100% premiership record to the black and ambers of Newport RFC thanks to an 85th-minute penalty from visiting outside half and captain Matt O’Brian. Newport got off to the better start and soon had the ironmen under early pressure and a neat chip ahead from O’Brian inside the Merthyr 25 caught the home defence flat footed and centre Tom Pascoe scooped up the kick to dart over under the posts, O’Brian converted to give Newport a 0-7 lead. Merthyr had several chances to kick at goal from penalties, but captain Craig Locke opted for the touch line and the catch and drive. Even this for a while did not function as Newport spoiled any good ball and Merthyr were guilty of not securing clean possession. Merthyr then began to put several good forward phases together as they put Newport under pressure. A penalty 5 meters out was turned down and the kick was pinned into the corner. From the lineout the pack drove towards the Newport line but knocked the ball on at the last pass. It was now all Merthyr as they kept the pressure on Newport looking for the all important try but once again over eagerness and poor passing in mid-field once again let Newport off. A fine break up field from centre Arron Pincers who was tackled inside the Newport 25 and as Newport scrambled back they gave away a penalty. Once again Merthyr opted for the corner. Captain Locke taking the lineout and being driven forward by his pack with hooker Rhys Williams crashing over for the try, full back Matthew Jarvis converted to tie the scores 7-7. This seemed to settle Merthyr as they began to come more into the game with the home scrum putting Newport under pressure and the dangerous Kyle Evans causing Newport problems with his jinking runs. However, it was O’Brian who was causing the Merthyr defence problems with his jinking runs and clever touch kicking. He slotted Newport ahead just before half time after Merthyr gave away a penalty at a maul. This was not the last play of the half however as Merthyr charged up field and a clever angled kick by Gareth Davies found Kyle Evans in space and as he raced after the kick he bundled his opposite wing into touch 5 meters out. From the line out once again, Locke took the clean catch and his forwards once again drove him forward and hooker Rhys Williams crashed over for his second try, Jarvis just going wide with the conversion, but Merthyr went in 12-10 ahead. As the second half began the game began to open up with Newport opting to run everything at Merthyr to keep the ball away from the home pack. The Merthyr back row of Osian Davies, Phil Rees and Nick White were beginning to win the 50-50 balls but good defence from Newport keeping the danger out. Both kickers then exchanged penalties as the game reached the last quarter with Merthyr holding onto a 15-13 lead. Merthyr then should have made the game safe when a three to one overlap was created 30 meters out but the Newport tackler stopping the move with a last gasp tackle. To their credit Newport kept battling away at Merthyr with their backs running everything and this rewarded on 71 minutes when O’Brian kick his side ahead 15-16 with a 30-meter penalty. With time running out Merthyr threw everything at Newport looking for the winning score and when they gave away penalty 40 meters out up stepped replacement outside half Richard Powell to stroke it over and it looked as if Merthyr had snatched the game back 18-16. Back game Newport deep into injury time as they threw everything at Merthyr looking for any score as their forwards went through several phases and then Merthyr gifted Newport the win when they conceded a penalty 30 meters out. Up stepped man of the match, O’Brian who made no mistake with the kick to give Newport a last gasp 18-19 win. It was a disappointing performance form the current champions but credit to Newport who never gave up right up to the 85th minute. Merthyr this weekend face their first West Wales side as they play Llanelli at home kick off 12 due to the Wales v France international, before they play Pontypool at home on the following Tuesday night(20th), in the quarter final of the WRU Cup kick off 7:15pm.

MERTHYR: 15 M JARVIS, 14 K EVANS,13 T RILEY,12 A PINCHES,11 K PHILLIPS,10 G DAVIES, 9 G DAVIES, 1 N TREVETT,2 R WILLIAMS, 3 J REES, 4 B SIER, 5 C LOCKE(C) 6 N WHITE, 7 O DAVIES, 8 P REES. 16 R JAMES, 17 R WILKES, 18 S POCKSKAI, 19 J DAVIES, 20 E SIGGERY, 21 R POWELL, 22 R CARTER.

SCORERS, R WILLIAMS 2TRIES, M JARVIS 1C 1P, R POWELL 1P

REFEREEl ROB PRICE(ANDOVER).              

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