Porthcawl disappointed by opening-day defeat – Glamorgan Gem

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

By GEM Community Correspondent

When Glais captain Josh Humphreys got his jubilant team together following the final whistle of this match against Porthcawl RFC, he hit the nail squarely on the head when he announced: “Boys, this was our best performance in the last five years, against a top side in this league… we didn’t expect to win today but we simply wanted it more than they did.”

That summation was so accurate as the visitors came from behind to turn the match on its head.

It had all looked so different when the Seaweeds breezed ahead to 14-5 with Jordan Skidmore bagging a super brace of tries, one from 45 metres, the other from his own half, both improved by Josh White, as hooker Chris Austin replied with a pushover try for Glais.

The home eight were providing a huge amount of ball to play with, skipper Richard Hnyda leading the way and James Bruges-Davies all action, before leaving early with a knock.

However, the tenacity of the Glais pack and poor decision making by Porthcawl contributed to numerous chances going begging, with speedster wing Callum Walters often a spectator when he could have been heavily influential.

The second half started much as the first half had ended and when visiting skipper and right wing Humphreys skipped through weak home defence for a try converted by the reliable boot of full back Carl Williams; at 14-12 Glais were right back in it.

White’s 35 metre penalty stretched home advantage a touch at 17-12 but to little avail as hard grafting Glais second row Eifion Jones trundled through a blind-side gap to touch down for the try, with Williams’ superb touchline conversion edging his side ahead for the first time.

For a brief moment they spoiled matters by giving away a penalty for obstruction and White’s telling boot, got Porthcawl ahead with a penalty for 20-19, before Skidmore burst into life down the right touchline and fed inside to flanker Jobe Owens, who finished off the move for the unconverted try taking the score to 25-19, promising a possible home revival.

The now see-saw nature of the match saw prop Rob Thomas score a try for Glais, converted again by Williams to go 25-26 ahead before White again restored the home lead with a pressure penalty from 40 metres and 28-26 with time ticking away.

Williams’ unerring boot for Glais kicked another penalty as the match moved into its dying moments much to the groans of the home support before the coup de grace, as livewire Glais scrum-half Johnnie Evans stole over for the defining try from a lineout 10 metres from the home line to make it 28-34 at the death, and unreserved celebrations from the whole of the Glais team.

Hooker Jack Williams again worked tirelessly for the home side, along with Connor Rees and Leon McNally, and they deserved more.

This was a hugely disappointing result for Porthcawl as the new season opened with a whimper, since they could easily have taken the result, such was the amount of possession they had throughout the match.

Coach Rhys James had some well-chosen words for his troops in the after-match port-mortem and the tough visit to Banwen on Saturday will require nothing less than a massively improved performance.

Paul Fielding

Porthcawl RFC youth were 31-22 winners against Cardiff Quins youth, while the under-13s defeated Mumbles 17-12; the under-12s won 50-0 against Kenfig Hill, while tries from Stevan Yardley (2), Josh Woodbridge (2) and Luke Roberts gave the under-11s a 33-26 win against Kenfig Hill and the under-8s lost 10-5 against Kenfig Hill.

Under 9s – Porthcawl 6, Kenfig Hill 12

A great day of rugby that showed glimpses of our game in two 10 minute slots where we outscored the opposition by passing into space and bringing our runners into the ball after our ball carriers had done the hard work taking the ball up and breaking the gain line.

If we can get our defensive line working it would have been a different game but we showed greater confidence with more players racking up the tackle count such as Dexter, Dylan and newcomer Mackensy who also ran strongly today bursting with confidence a great step forward for them all.

Other player to rack up the tackle count was Neeson who again had another good run and tackled like a demon where the only wincing came from the parents one more than another.

Others continued their tackle count in Dewi, Sam, Lex, Lewis and Piers with Piers coming out with top tackler award for great all-round defensive work.

Dylan was awarded individual effort, we had asked him to take ball up and get at least five tackles and he did this today and did not take a step back all game.

Another warrior was Lewis, claiming the making the difference award; after being heavily winded last week he picked himself up and ran, tackled until he dropped and scored the try of the game from quick pass from Oscar to Dewi, drawing in defence who passed to Dylan.

He could have put his head down and charged for the line but he saw Lewis in space who cut a great line to score a great try showing some silky skills which the opposition also commented on.

Oscar is looking comfortable at scrum half, while also on the scoresheet was Dewi running in four tries and with a strong tackle count he kept us in the game, finishing off some great moves created by our ball carriers and showed some nifty footwork.

Samuel also crossed the line having another fine game he may not be the biggest player on field but has the heart of a lion and did not miss a tackle all day, and one who takes on coaches instructions as you can see with his tackling technique which is text book.

This week we are away to Llantwit Fadre.

Rob Hooper

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