Caernarfon RFC | 1st Team 10 - 27 Pwllheli RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
19 December 2016 / Team News

Caernarfon RFC 10 Pwllhli RFC 27

Games against near neighbours Caernarfon are traditionally hard fought competitive contests. This match was no exception. With two large partisan groups of supporters this was never going to be a quiet afternoon.

The visitors played down the pronounced slope in the first half and seemed to have the early advantage. They had a penalty awarded on five minutes but the long range kick drifted wide. This stirred Caernarfon even more and their forwards and backs relished the physical confrontation. They kicked a lot in the early quarter and their astute half backs pressed the Pwllheli back three. Nine minutes in Pwllheli tapped down clumsily from a line out thirty five metres out. Caernartfon forward Mac Jones latched on to the loose ball and powered his way through for an excellent solo try. They extended their lead with a Guto Pierce penalty. From the kick off Pwllheli retained possession and they tried to use their back line to attack Caernarfon. The home defence held and any loose ball was sent deep into the Pwllheli half. On sixteen minutes the most contentious incident of the game occurred . The referee saw a Pwllheli player strike and opponent and he was red carded. What the referee unfortunately not seen was the same Caernarfon second row who had on three occasions previously not released after a tackle. Such is rugby.

The numerical superiority should have inspired Caernarfon but it was Pwllheli's frustration which saw them raise their game. Pwllheli won loose ball in the midfield thirty metres from the home try line The ball was swiftly passed to Pwllheli 's right wing Osian Parry Jones. His pace beat his opposite number and his strength took him past several would be tacklers to touch down wide out. He added to his try with an excellent conversion.. The battle resumed with both teams fighting for their pride and their clubs. Caernarfon started an attack from half way but on twenty five minutes sloppy passing saw the ball dropped . Pwllheli's centre John Pugh latched on to the ball and he scored a fifty metre try under the Caernarfon posts. Osian Parry Jones took Pwllheli into an unlikely fourteen to seven lead. Pwllheli were now managing the game. They tackled as if their lives depended on it. Caernarfon tried to vary their kicking game by trying to run the ball but blanket Pwllheli defence gave them little room to manoeuvre. It was surprisingly Pwllheli who were forcing the errors on the hosts and they conceded several penalties. Osian Parry Jones added a further two penalties to his impressive tally with successful kicks on twenty eight and thirty four minutes respectively Caernarfon rallied and they kept in contention with a thirty sixth minute penalty by Guto Pierce. Half time came with Pwllheli leading by twenty points to ten.

The second half was more even with both sides threatening on occasion Pwllheli were forced into several substitutions through injury but the replacements did not let their team down. Caernarfon thew the kitchen sink at the visitors but their discipline and shape held up well. The result was finally sealed when on thirty minutes replacement centre Mathew Butterworth breached the Caernarfon line forty metres out. His pace and strength saw him brush off would be tacklers and he touched down close to the Caernarfon posts. The conversion by Parry Jones out his side seventeen points ahead. In the dying seconds John Pugh burst through the Caernarfon defence. He made forty yards before being well tackled a metre short of the Caernarfon try line. Pwllheli retained their focus and the final whistle came shortly afterwards.The second half lasted fully fiifty minutes.There had been a delay as an injured Caernarfon player received treatment. Though he had to leave the field the injury was thankfully not as serious as first thought.

This was a hard match where no quarter was asked for or given. Both teams should be proud of their efforts. There are no matches on Saturday with it being Christmas Eve. Pwllheli's next match is a home Conwy Land Rover North Wales Cup match against Nant Conwy. This is to be played on Saturday December 31, New Year's Eve. Kick off is at the earlier time of 1.00. This is an important match for both clubs. With both sides missing key players and seeking bragging rights it should be an interesting afternoon.

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