15 October 2018 / Club News

Six tries from the ironmen against the Welsh All Blacks



 Everyone was surprised after Storm Callum had hit South Wales on Friday that this game would game ahead but credit to the Neath RFC ground staff as it was perfect playing conditions. It was hard to believe that Neath are bottom of the Premiership table as at times made the ironmen work hard for their bonus point win. Neath started the more positive side as they put early pressure on, but after weathering the early pressure Merthyr scored with their first visit to the Neath Half, following a fine break from centre Adam Thomas who found last seasons top Premiership try scorer Kyle Evans in space who raced in for the opening score, full back Matthew Jarvis converted to give the ironmen a 0-7 lead. The Welsh all blacks hit back immediately after putting Merthyr under pressure and this was rewarded when outside half Callum Hall slotted over a penalty for an offence at a ruck. A fine break from centre Teri Gee set up his partner Adam Thomas who raced away for what looked like a try, but referee Stephen Allsop adjudged a forward pass and pulled play back. The game then began to open up as both sides tried to run the ball under slippery conditions and an unforced error from a scrum deep inside the Neath 25 was pounced on by Merthyr scrum half Justin James to touch down for Merthyr’s 2nd try, but Jarvis’ conversion attempt came back off the posts. Merthyr were now starting to take control with good ball control from Phil Rees, Hemi Barnes, and Jack Perkins, but Neath were still making the reigning champions work hard, a penalty inside the Neath 25 was turned down with the kick for touch and catch and drive from the lineout resulting in captain Craig Locke driving over after several attempts at the try line, again Jarvis hitting the posts with the conversion. Merthyr nearly got a 4th just before half time with Gee making a inside break inside the Neath 25 but his pass to Evans going to ground. On the stroke of Half Time Referee Allsop lost patients with several collapsed scrums on the half way line and yellow carded both Neath’s Ryan Thomas and Merthyr’s Sam Hobbs. It was Neath that applied early pressure at the start of the second half as they took the game to Merthyr and this was rewarded with Hall kicking his second penalty to close the gap 6-17. Merthyr then got their bonus point from a driving lineout deep inside the Neath 25 which saw the Merthyr 8 drive Neath back over their own line with back row man Jack Perkins crashing over. This seemed to give the ironmen confidence as a kick and chase from replacement scrum half Adam Hoskins saw him win the foot race for the try to extend the lead further 6-27. Credit to Neath they kept plugging away at Merthyr looking for a score but good defence keeping them out. On the stroke of full time a sweeping move from Neath backs near the Merthyr was halted just short and when the ball was spilled wing man Jay Baker picked up the ball to race 95 meters clear too beat the Neath covering defence to score the Ironmen’s 6th try, Jarvis converted to bring the final score 6-34. Although Neath worked hard during the game and put pressure on the ironmen, Merthyr were always in control of this game and may be a little disappointed they missed several other scoring chances. For the ironmen the forwards well led by captain Craig Locke laid the platform for the win with back Rowman Jack Perkins having a fine game and being awarded man of the Match. Behind the scrum Justin James looked very sharp and outside half Josh Martin linked well with his threequarters. The win keeps the ironmen in second place in the league table 3 points behind current leaders Ebbw Vale. This Saturday the ironmen welcome the All Whites of Swansea to wern sports park for a 2:30pm kick off. MERTHYR:15 M JARVIS,14 K EVANS,13 T GEE, 12 A THOMAS,11 J BAKER,10 J MARTIN, 9 J JAMES, 1 S HOBBS,2 M DWYER,3 L JONES,4 K SMITH,5 C LOCKE©, 6 H BARNES,7 J PERKINS,8 P REES, 16 R WILLIAMS,17 N TREVETT, 18 B WARREN,19 P MCBRIDE,20 J THOMAS, 21 A HOSKINS,22 J WILLIAMS,23 G DACEY.

Scorers, K Evans 1t, J James 1t, C Locke 1t, J Perkins 1t, A Hoskins 1t, J Baker 1t, M Jarvis 2cons.

REFEREE Stephen Allsop (Caldicot)                                     

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