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17 February 2019 / Club News

Merthyr 47 Neath 5

WILLIAMS CRASHES OVER FOR THREE TRIES TO KEEP CHAMPIONS ON TOP.

MERTHYR 47 NEATH 5 (Saturday 16th February 19(Wern Sports complex).

With both Cardiff and Pontypridd winning on Friday night it was important that Merthyr got maximum points from this top of the league versus bottom league encounter. Everyone expected a comfortable and bonus point win over struggling Neath. Merthyr had to thank hooker Rhys Williams who ended up with a tally of three tries. Merthyr started the game on the attack, with Neath spending the first quarter defending deep inside their own half after wave after wave of attacks from the ironmen  it was only a matter of time before Merthyr took the lead and this came thanks to a strong home scrum near the Neath line, with scrum-half Adam Hoskins grabbing the pushover, full back Matthew Jarvis, hitting the post with the conversion. Credit to Neath, this didn’t seem to dishearten them as they came straight back up the field and with there first attack found a gap in the home defence with Wingman Matthew Billet touching down to draw the scores level at 5-5. However, this was short lived as Merthyr drove back up field and a penalty deep inside the Neath 25 was kicked into touch. From the attacking lineout won by skipper Craig Locke, the home forwards drove over the line with Hooker Williams touching down for the first of his three tries, Jarvis slotting over the extras to give Merthyr a 12-5 lead. Things got worse for the visitors as just before half time they were reduced to 13 men when yellow cards were issued to Prop Ben Uphill, and centre Kieron Williams but Merthyr were guilty of squandering a string of scoring chances with poor ball handling and failing to spread the ball wide. After the stuttering first half performance, whatever was said by the coaches at half time, seemed to work as Merthyr stepped on the gas with hooker Williams crashing over for two tries early in the second half from forward drives and with Jarvis converting both, the home side had raced away 26-5. As Neath began to fade, Merthyr kept up the pressure and a sweeping move from the home backs was finished off by wingman Tom James, Jarvis converting to give Merthyr a 33-5 lead. With the game won Merthyr made several changes which saw young Prop Liam Owen making his ironmen debut, and ex ospreys wingman Jay Baker coming onto the wing. It didn’t take Baker a short time to get into the action as he raced away for two late tries with Jarvis converting both to seal a bonus point win for the champions that keeps them 5 points clear at the top of the league table. Credit to the Visitors although well beaten in the second half they still played their part in an entertaining game, and never gave up the fight. For Merthyr, it was the power of the pack that took control in the second half with Hooker Williams getting his 3 tries and Baker grabbing 2 late touchdowns. Full back Matthew Jarvis was in splendid form with the boot kicking six superb conversions from the touchline and the 7th hitting the bar. The coaches will be happy with the win, but not by the overall performance and know things must improve if they are to defend their league title as they come to the business end of the season. The ironmen take a break due to the Wales v England and travel to St Helen's home of the All Whites of Swansea on 2nd March.

MERTHYR: 15 M Jarvis,14 J Williams,13 T Gee, 12 J Martin, 11 T James,10 G Davies, 9 A Hoskins, 1 S Hobbs, 2 R Williams, 3 J Rees, 4 B Murphy, 5 C Locke©, 6 P MacBride, 7 J Thomas, 8 H Barnes, 16 S Evans, 17 J Howe, 18 L Owen, 19 J Davies, 20 A Murphy, 21 R Downes, 22 J Baker, 23 A Pinches.

Scorers, R Williams 3t, J Baker 2t, T James 1t, A Hoskins 1t, M Jarvis 6 cons

Referee, Jason Bessent (Pencoed).   

 

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