Fixture

Pwllheli RFC | 1st Team 14 - 8 Bala RFC | 1st Team
Arwel Thomas
Try 1
Kalim Joshua Park Kelemete
Try 1
Nicholas J. Butterworth
Conversion 2

Match Report
05 October 2016 / Team News

Pwllheli RFC 14 Bala RFC 8

Following the incessant downpour overnight and morning the weather thankfully cleared up just in time for kick off. A good sized crowd turned up for this key fixture. Despite their unexpected home loss to Bro the previous week Pwllheli knew they faced a real threat from the visitors. 

The home fifteen opened brightly with Pwllheli's backs receiving quick ball from their pack. It took only five minutes for Pwllheli to carve an opening for right wing Arwel Thomas. Winning the ball from a ruck Pwllheli on the half way line swept the ball right. Bala fell off their tackles as Pwllheli's pace left them exposed and Thomas touched down wide out. Nick Butterworth slotted an excellent wide angled conversion. A penalty attempt two minutes later hit the upright. Any thoughts of a scoring spree gradually disappeared as Bala's forwards started to dominate. Their set scrum was the stronger but Pwllheli gradually countered this threat as the match wore on. Pwllheli's possession was limited from the linesout which did not function too well throughout the game. Though Bala's backs had a volume of quality possession they struggled to pierce Pwllheli's defence. Both fly half and full back Rhydian Jones kicked well to gain ground but Pwllheli's cover was well drilled and organised and countered from deep.Wing Arwel Thomas had several strong runs but the cutting edge from the backs was not as sharp as it has been this season.

Bala then kept the ball tight and used their hefty scrum half and powerful back row to bludgeon Pwllheli.They were camped in Pwllheli's twenty two for minutes at a time but the home defence's commitment and discipline held. Pwllheli's  tackling was sturdy and consistent with some really hefty hits knocking back the attackers. To the fore were number eight Tom Parry and the diminutive Ifan Tywyn but everyone played their part..Overall the  teams cancelled each other out and half time came with Pwllheli hanging on to their seven to nil lead.

 

As in the opening of the first half Pwllheli took the game to Bala from the restart.  They looked threatening whenever their backs got the ball. On five  minutes they won clean fast  ruck ball on the left. The ball went to centre Kalim Kelemete .He held the ball up long enough for the Bala defence to over- commit their drift defence. Kelemete saw the gap and dashed through from the twenty two. The conversion from Butterworth took Pwllheli to a lead of  fourteen to nil. Bala held their composure and came back at Pwllheli with vigour. Pwllheli's backs were living on scraps but whenever they got the ball they looked dangerous and made ground. Bala rumbled on and the match was at stalemate until the twenty seventh minute of the half. Bala were awarded a free kick close to the Pwllheli line. They took a quick tap and their number eight Ilan Rowlands crashed over to score much to the delight of his teammates.. The conversion drifted wide. Bala were now on a roll and they cut the deficit with a thirty first minute penatly by full back Rhydian Jones. 

Pwllheli's response was assured and composed They took the game to Bala and the last minutes of the game saw virtually all the play in Bala's half.Nonetheless Pwllheli were relieved to hear the final whistle.

It is a huge credit to  both sides, their coaches and the referee that this attritional tough match never deteriorated into foul play.This was exactly the game Pwllheli needed. If they had any doubts about the task ahead this match dispelled any illusions of a walk in the park.Pwllheli beat a fine well organised team on the day and they will have been made very aware of the areas which need additional work. It does not get any easier with Caernarfon the visitors to Bodegroes on Saturday in the first round of the Swalec Plate. Caernarfon have a good track record against Pwllheli In Cup Competitions and Pwllheli will need to be at their best on Saturday to advance in the Plate.

 

Probably the result of the day was Pwllheli Seconds nineteen to twelve win over a much strengthened Dolgellau side whose first team game had been postponed. The power of the huge visiting pack was neutralised by Pwllheli's pace on the ball. The Seconds are away to Nant Conwy on Saturday.

Pwllheli Youths made it a hatrick of wins for the Club as they beat Bangor away by twenty seven points to nil and scoring four tries in the process.They are at Bodegroes against Caernarfon on Saturday.

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