Fixture

Risca RFC | 1st Team 10 - 6 Caerleon RFC | 1st Team
Wayne Paul Whitehead
Try 1
James Dowle
Conversion 1
Penalty 1

Match Report
04 December 2016 / Team News

CUCKOOS’ CONCENTRATION CRACKS CAERLEON CONVICTION

Match report by John Hayes

In the very first ever league encounter between two perfectly balanced sides, Risca and Caerleon fought most of the game between the 22m lines.

Risca changes from the previous week saw Ryan Anderson brought in at tight head, James Sully to No 8 allowing Allyn Evans to blindside flanker. While in the threequarters a Cory Nicholl leg injury promoted Taylor Dimmick to outside centre.

Caerleon No 10 Morgan West slotted over a penalty on three minutes, Risca being consistently careless in front of a watchful referee. Risca continued the game at a fast pace and for ten minutes asked questions of Caerleon’s defence. Louis Tovey was yellow carded after Risca’s persistent infringements at the ruck on 18 minutes but this didn’t affect the Cuckoos resolve to attack the Caerleon 22 through bullocking forward runs and good three-quarter handling bouts. Caerleon also had their fair share of the ball but relied on their threequarters to take their attacks in 20 to 40m handling bouts only to be snuffed out on the Risca 22.

A very even game was developing until the 36th minute when Risca suddenly switched their attacking direction on the half way line allowing their three quarters to quickly move the ball along the line, stretching the scrambling Caerleon defence, giving winger Wayne Whitehead that meter of space to hug the touchline and score his 9th try of the season in the corner. Full back James Dowle slotted over a glorious touchline kick to give Risca a 7 – 3 lead. Just on half time tireless tackling flanker Allyn Evans had to leave the field after a clash of heads left him with a nasty eye injury!  Mike Preece left the bench to No 8 and James Sully reverted to his more accustomed flanker position.

On the restart Caerleon literally threw away their chances of try scoring opportunities and probably their chance of winning the game. In two successive three-quarter attacks, inside the Risca 22, their quick passing centres moved the ball wide creating space for their winger, the first try making pass was dropped; the second was thrown long and disappeared into touch to the delight or should I say relief of the home crowd!

Risca knuckled down to a game of chess as move and countermoves were blocked by the opposition defences. From the 60th minute Risca did have to survive a torrid ten minutes of Caerleon frantic pressure but Risca, to a man, pulled off tackle after tackle, this time keeping their discipline and concentration.

In the 75th minute James Dowle sent over a 35m Risca penalty to make a breathing space 10 – 3 but Caerleon kept up the home supporters' suspense by replying 10 – 6. And so, an absorbing and confrontational game ended.

It would be churlish to pick a man of the match but Ryan Anderson’s bludgeoning runs, Mike Hutchings' bursts from deep that took the team forward caught the eye and centres Adam Tetley and Taylor Dimmick’s overall performances of super breaks and head on tackles irrespective of size are worth mentioning. Men of the match …. The Risca team, no one shirked their responsibility and all delivered a win!

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