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01 January 2018 / Club News

MERTHYR 43 CROSS KEYS 10

IRONMEN TO STRONG FOR CROSS KEYS

MERTHYR 43 CROSS KEYS 10

Reigning Premiership champions Merthyr began their defence of their title with a powerful performance over visitors Cross Keys as they ran in seven tries, a win that puts them top of this seasons premiership league. Merthyr opened the scoring after 2minutes when a lineout close to the Cross Keys line was drove backwards by the home pack which saw number 8 Phil Rees crash over for the first of his two tries, outside half Matthew Jarvis converting to give Merthyr a 7-0 early lead. Cross Keys struck back after Merthyr were penalised for handing offence which saw visiting outside half Josh Prosser make no mistake to close the gap 7-3. However, this was short lived as from the restart the Merthyr pack drove up field and after several good phases which saw Forwards and backs handle number 8 Phil Rees crossed for his second try. As the game began to settle it was once again the home forwards that began to take control with strong drives from back row men Nick White, Ed Siggery and try scorer Phil Rees. A piece of individual magic saw full back Kristian Phillips pick up a stray pass and chip the cross keys defence to collect his kick ahead to race in under the posts, Jarvis converted and Merthyr had stretched their lead, 19-3. The visitors fought back and were rewarded when some weak tackling from the home side allowed scrum half Owain Leonard to cross under the posts, Prosser converted to bring the first half to a close at 19-10. Any signs of a fight back from Cross Keys were soon quashed early in the second half, when a fine carry up field from home number 8 Phil Rees set the Merthyr backs and it was full back Kristian Phillips that raced away to cross for his second try and give Merthyr a bonus point, with Jarvis converting, to extend Merthyr’s lead 26-10. The Merthyr pack were now in full control well led by captain and second row Craig Locke and it was not long before the lead was stretched even further when a lineout near the Cross Keys line was driven backwards once again and this time it was hooker Richard Wilkes that had barged his way over, Jarvis converted to put Merthyr 33-10 ahead. Cross Keys continued to struggle against the constant pressure from the Merthyr pack as the home 8 drove them backwards at the set piece denying and clean possession. Once again it was the driving maul that caused keys problems as replacement prop Nathan Trevett crossed for the first of his two tries has he was driven over from short range. Cross Keys began to fade under the pace and pressure of the home side and it was prop Trevett that crossed for his second try of the afternoon as he latched onto a pass from the backs near the Keys line to bring the final score 43-10. This was once again a strong and powerful performance from the Merthyr pack which seems to be getting stronger each game and with combination of some good handling from the threequarters, the ironmen are in good shape to defend their premiership title but know that there is still a long way to go. This Saturday the Ironmen turn to their attentions to the WRU cup first round when they travel to Championship side Newcastle Emlyn kick off 2:30pm.

MERTHYR: 15 K PHILLIPS, 14 K EVANS, 13 T RILEY, 12 A PINCHES, 11 R CARTER, 10 M JARVIS, 9 R DOWNES, 1 L JONES, 2 R WILKES, 3 J REES, 4 B MURPHY, 5 C LOCKE(C) 6 N WHITE, 7 E SIGGERY, 8 P REES, 16 N TREVETT, 17 S EVANS, 18 S POCKSKAI, 19 L EVANS, 20 O DAVIES, 21 J JAMES, 22 G DACEY, 23 G DAVIES.

SCORERS, P REES 2T, K PHILLIPS 2T, N TREVETT 2T, R WILKES 1T, M JARVIS 4 CONS.

REFEREE: WAYNE EVANS(LLANELLI) 

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