Porthcawl RFC prepare for new season with impressive friendly …

Friday, 25 August 2017

By Contributed Item
in Rugby

With the new season looming, and following the previous week’s emphatic 31-6 win against Division 3 East Central A side Treharris, Porthcawl welcomed Division One East side Blaenavon to South Road.

The club that produced the likes of Wales hardmen Ray Prosser and John Perkins was bound to provide a stern test and the match turned out to be one of excellent quality and great entertainment for a large crowd.

The die was cast early, with visiting prop Owen Howells, a veritable giant of a man, scattering home defenders as he mowed his way through for a super try from 30 metres inside five minutes, goaled by fly-half Darren Pearce and Porthcawl knew that they would have to match a superbly co-ordinated Blaenavon pack if they were to have any chance of a result.

They stepped up to the challenge impressively, as they more than matched their rivals upfront throughout the match, often making headway at the scrums, and when flanker Dan Forrester drove over for a try from a driving maul for 5-7, it was certainly game on, despite Scott Govan’s conversion into a strong wind being held up short.

No.8 Tom Butcher showed his early season mettle by charging at the visitors defence with aplomb and purpose whenever the opportunity allowed and he showed great vision to changed direction and skip to the blind side to score fine unconverted corner try to put Porthcawl ahead at 10-7 on 24 minutes.

Blaenavon proved that they could rise to this challenge by using quick possession for centre Tom Phillips to put in a strong run for a fine try, again converted by Pearce for 10-14.

However, again the Porthcawl backs, profiting from good ball from a rampant pack, saw a brilliant 50 metre break through midfield from fly-half Jon Phillips and his deft inside pass set up the perfect chance for centre Gareth Rees to fly over for a terrific try at the posts for Govan to convert and the half-time score of 17-14 to Porthcawl was no more than they deserved.

The second half was as closely a fought affair as the opening half, yet points were hard to come by as both teams cancelled each other out with both vigorous attack and defence in turn.

It took fully 70 minutes to elapse before Porthcawl grabbed what would be the crucial score to put the match beyond their illustrious opponents.

Again it was the Porthcawl pack, with skipper Richard Hnyda and hooker Jack Williams particularly prominent, that again found the power and approach work to drive Blaenavon back to their own 22 in the final 10 minutes.

From another great Porthcawl drive, Forrester popped up for his second try to make it 22-14, Blaenavon failing to get back on terms, leaving the home side with a very fine victory that bodes well for the new league season.

Porthcawl seconds played a friendly against Cowbridge who proved to be the victors on the day, despite a spirited performance from the home side.

However, the side – under new skipper James Burge-Davies – is pleased to be back in the second XV league after a few seasons, and will welcome Kenfig Hill on September 2, for what should prove to be an entertaining affair.

PAUL FIELDING

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