Rhigos 19 Aberdare XV 27

On a bitterly cold evening and a bone hard pitch Rhigos played Aberdare in the last of the Six Nations Friendlies organised by Nick and Ian to give us some continuity in this disruption of the season’s League fixtures. Both coaches were well pleased with a very competitive game which gave all available members of the squad the chance of game time.

The side that started was: Richard Smith, Dan Wickens, Dave Miles, Aled Morgan, Gareth Summerill, Nathan Edevane, Jon Smith, James Lewis, Mike Lovett, Luke Williams, Aled Jones, Ryan Williams, Kyle Hinks, Kane Evans and Dickie Davies with Rhydian Edwards, Dai Lewis, Paul Edwards, Dave Price on the bench.

We started really well hogging possession and driving deep into Aberdare’s 22 metre zone with a series of strong runs which resulted in 2 quick tries from Jon Smith  and Luke Williams one of which Luke converted to give us a 12 point lead. Unfortunately there we stuck with lapses of concentration spoiling several try scoring chances and slowly Aberdare came into the game.

They made a series of changes which considerably bulked up their fire power and the whole game started to change. It was no surprise when fly half Grant Fox kicked neatly behind the defence for giant wing John Kirwan to score in the corner.

So we changed around at half time in front by 12 points to 5 . But this was not to last and during the course of the next 30 minutes we were forced into defence mode as the Aberdare backline well prompted by half backs Loveridge and Fox attacked strongly. First Kirwan then prop “Tiny” White stormed over before full back Rafferty scored the individual try of the night with a lovely cut through and angled 70 metre run to the line. It was Kirwan again who rounded off Aberdare’s scoring with a strong run  that took 2 defenders with him over the line. Fortunately all the scores were wide out and Rafferty only managed one conversion.

Back we came. Cuckoo returned to the field after being yellow carded for his imitation of an Exocet which displeased the referee somewhat and we attacked and run the ball from all positions and were rewarded when Luke and Shaggy combined well to send Paul through and with Socks up in support he dummied the Full Back to score in the corner and Luke converted with a beauty for a final score of 27 to 19.

We were all a little disappointed not to win for Nick but at the same time pleased to have been so competitive right through the match. On the down side Eggy picked up a nasty ankle injury and Gareth took bad whack on the head and finished the game a little dazed.

One more training session and then a real big game away to Glyncoch. After our spirited display against Treherbert last week, the friendlies are definitely helping with Match fitness and sharpness.

RHIGOS 10pts TREHERBERT 16 pts

After a week of rain, hail, snow then more rain we had some fine weather on Friday and Saturday which was just enough to dry out the field and make this game playable. Just like the field, the Rhigos performance was dodgy in patches but good enough over all to give coaches Nick and Ian optimism for the future.

The two friendlies we had played against Banwen and Glynneath stood us in good stead because they kept the squad together so that everyone including one or two Youth players had the opportunity to show their ability and fitness.

Back into the team came Jon Smith after his spell at Hereford to line up alongside Chris Moses Two (or is it Three) and the old warrior Mike Lovatt in the back row so that the starting line up was: Richard Smith (Captain), Ryan Cheshire, Rhydian Williams, Rhydian Edwards, Gareth Summerill, Mike Lovatt, Chris Moses, Jon Smith, Simon Grindle, Luke Williams, Aled Edwards, Ryan Williams, Kyle Hinks, Kane Evans and Dickie Davies with James Lewis, Huw George, Dan Wickens and Richard Williams on the bench. Quite a few others in the squad were also available and it was great to see such a wealth of players after the difficulties of September and October.

The first half belonged to Treherbert with Shepherd at outside half controlling the game and a good quality pack providing lots of lineout possession they forced Rhigos to concede territory and space. The pressure told and Nye Bevan kicked two penalties to give them a six point lead at the break.

There was some excellent tackling and defending from both sides Treherbert doing particularly well to stop Luke and Kane from scoring up in the top corner at the cost of a yellow card for Murphy at 6. It was a bit of a mystery to Rhigos fans in general and Simon in particular when he was judged guilty of some wrong doing in the same incident. For the rest of the game he had long and extremely interesting conversations with the referee which left that poor man looking as if he had been stuck with Gio Compari for company.

After the cards Treherbert cleared their lines and suddenly Rhigos had to defend desperately as Eggy and Dickie just about managed to get back and foil a 70 metre break out from the visitors.

After half time Rhigos improved and despite one or two silly errors in the contact area and a dropped pass here and there the game became a real physical ding dong battle. Luke broke free down the blind side and pulled away from two tacklers only to stumble just as we all thought he was clear. Then Treherbert were up in our 22 catching and driving from a lineout Murphy forced his way over for a try that Bevan improved.

Meanwhile Rhigos made some changes due to injuries and James Lewis, Dan Wickens, Richard Williams and Huw George came on to replace Mike Lovatt, Ryan Cheshire, Rhydian and Luke Williams.

The game moved into the last quarter before Rhigos finally gott on the score board with a penalty from Huw George though this was quickly cancelled out by Bevan with a penalty for Treherbert.

At this stage in the corresponding away fixture in Treherbert Rhigos lack of fitness had allowed Treherbert to move from a 3 to 3 draw to win 13 points to 3 after conceding 10 points in the last quarter. This time it was Rhigos who won the territory and forced play deep into Treherbert’s red zone. After intense pressure and another yellow card for persistent infringements at the breakdown  the Treherbert defence finally cracked and Jon Smith dived in for a try that Huw George converted with a swerving dipping kick worthy of Gareth Bale. So the game finished at 16 points to 10 which was probably a fair result reflecting the quality of the opposition and a Rhigos performance that was could but could have been better.

Next Thursday we all look forward to a trip down to Aberdare for another Six Nations friendly and an opportunity to give game time to all the squad.

PORTHCAWL 5 pts RHIGOS 7 pts

First away game in January 2013 and we arrived at Porthcawl early by 1.50 pm to find that the groundstaff had not even put out the flags and post protectors. The Seagulls clearly thought we might not turn up and there we were – early – and with 19 players. New Year’s Resolution or what!!!
 
By the time Nick had completed the warm up, we all wished we had stayed home – the wind was bitterly cold sweeping across the field from touchline to touchline and the field was ankle deep in mud; thick clingon minging mud.
 
The team that played was:- Richard Smith, Aaron Davies, Ryan Cheshire, Gareth Summerill, Glen Raynes, Mike Lovatt, Dan Dudley, Chris Moses, Huw George, Luke Williams, Kyle Hinks, Aled Edwards, Ryan Williams, Kane Evans and Dickie Davies. Replacements:- Rhydian Edwards, Aled Morgan, Justin Time and Mark Avey. On that strength sapping surface all 19 were guaranteed to play at some time or other and so it proved with 3 three second rows and one back row forward on the bench proving their worth after half time as bodies began to flag.
 
We kicked off down hill and played most of the game in the middle of the field on the club house side of the field with the odd excursion into each other’s 22 metre zones. Neither set of backs could get working properly and the half backs and back rows of both sides were forced to turn back inside constantly. It was a very old fashioned game with the ball caking up with mud so that it was difficult to kick it anywhere except with the wind to one touchline. There were no delicate touches or neat passes. There was mud slog slog mud and more mud.
 
Porthcawl preferred the pick and go method and Rhigos rolled the mauls from driving lineouts and it was Porthcawl that struck first when they surged up to our line and loose head prop G Jenkins dived over too far out for his captain D Morgan to convert.
 
We battled on. Our front five and back row were lighter than Porthcawl’s but we were collectively more together with numerous double tackles not just from Chris, Mike and Dan in the back row but Arron and Ryan as well. Then just before half time Kyle nicked the ball and raced 70 metres down the touchline only to be forced back inside 10 metres short of the line and Porthcawl just about scambled the ball away to touch.
 
Five nil to the Seagulls at half time and Rhigos forced to play uphill in the second half. Big Rhyd came on for Glen who had been a revelation at the line out in the first half but was tiring. We forced the game up into their 22 and after a good drive had sucked in Porthcawl’s defenders Huw put Luke through the smallest of gaps and using all his strength he forced himself over the line for a well take try which he converted to give us the lead by 7 points to 5.
 
The next 30 minutes were spent in desperate defence of that 2 point lead with Nick and Ian bringing in the substitutes Aled and Justin for Richard and Gareth who had played their hearts out. Then late in the game Mark came on to replace Kane for his first Rhigos cap. By sheer grit the team and the defence held together aided by a little bit of good fortune when Porthcawl missed a couple of penalties and when the referee blew for noside we had done it. We beat Porthcawl on their own patch for the first time that I could remember.
 
As all the players came off the field it was difficult to recognise one from the other. Everyone was covered in sticky mud and all you could see was the whites of 30 pairs of eyes, all you could hear was 30 voices croaking bollocks to rugby let’s have Saturday afternoon by the fireside with Sky Sports.

RHIGOS 8pts DINAS POWYS 15pts

Exactly half way through the season and right at the beginning of 2013 Rhigos faced Dinas Powys at home. The corresponding away fixture way back in September saw Rhigos unable to field a side in the “weddings crisis”. Thankfully the situation has been reversed with 22 players available before kick off and a buoyant coaching team of Nick James and Ian Smith advising all those who wanted to play should train or give a good reason for not training.

The side that played was: Richard Smith, Ryan Cheshire, David Miles, Gareth Summerill, Rhydian Edwards, Mike Lovatt, James Lewis, Chris Moses, Huw George, Luke Williams, Kane Evans, Ryan Williams, Aled Edwards, Kyle Hinks, Dickie Davies with Aled Morgan, Richard Williams, Shaun Simons and Nathan Edevane on the bench. All19 players played with injuries rather than tactics forcing the issue.

Rhigos started really well and spent almost the entire first quarter of the match camped in Powys half of the field but unable to score thanks to some resolute defending and also some lack of cohesion due no doubt tolack of games over Christmas caused by the holiday and the weather.

Against the run of play DP broke away with their quick midfield players who threatened all afternoon, breaking away into Rhigos 22 where they won a penalty which outside half S Jones kicked for 3 points. Worse was to follow when flanker T David sprinted through a gap nobody else saw to score at the posts. S Jones converted again and DP went into half time 10 points to 3 in front. All Rhigos had to show for their hard work was a difficult penalty kick that Luke just put over from 25 yards against the wind.

 

The second half with Aled Morgan on for Rhydian Edwards and Shaun Simons for Kyle started with more of the same. Rhigos pressing strongly through the pack where James Lewis dominated the lineout and Ryan Cheshire and Mike Lovatt controlled some good driving mauls. Then DP would break away with a quick counter attack through the back line only for Rhigos to come slowly but surely downfield again through hard team graft. Something had to give and unfortunately it was  Rhigos when a swift counter attack from deep saw the ball pass through 4 or 5 pairs of hands for wing J Williams to score a very good try wide out on the left to extend the DP lead to 15 points to 3.

Back came Rhigos and after a series of driving lineouts that were stopped illegally by DP we got our reward when from a quickly taken tap penalty Luke crashed over for a try that was too far out to convert to bring the score to 15 points to 8.

Rhigos were now tiring and Nick made a double substitution for Nathan and Fridge to come on for Richard and Mike who had both picked up injuries but despite a lot of huffing and puffing with David Miles just inches short for Rhigos and then Dickie Davies stopping the DP centre S Fenwick with a try saving tackle at the other end the referee blew for noside. DP’s excellent defensive tackling, cunning sabotage of the driving lineout and enterprising three quarters just about deserved the win. After the match Nick and Ian were both upbeat. The good numbers of players available and  a very achievable improvement in fitness levels should bring about better results to push us into the top half of the table.

Porthcawl next week down by the seaside will be another strong challenge. Bring it on.

Rhigos 8 Hirwaun 3

This was indeed a classic local derby played on a heavy strength sapping pitch with 2 teams physically battering away at each other without too much finesse on a day of showers of rain and hail. Very typical of most of the games played between these sides in the League in the last 3 or 4 years.

Nick James put on his track suit for the first time to coach the home team and at the end of the game had surely got to know his players and appreciate their resilience and spirit now he wants to work on fitness during the 5 week autumn break as well as smooth out technique.

Again 19 players turned out and all of them were there early to welcome Nick and take part in the match warm up and prep. It was frightening – I thought I had gone to the wrong ground but after I had pinched myself I noted the team selected as – Richard Williams, Ryan Cheshire, Richard Smith, Nathan Edevane, Rhydian Edwards, Glenn raynes, Dan Dudley, James Lewis, Shaun Simons, Luke Williams, Ryan Williams, Aled Edwards, Kane Evans, Dickie Davies, Huw George with Kyle Hinks, Steve Davies, Simon Grindle, David Williams on the bench.

Hirwaun who have not enjoyed the best of starts this season started strongly with veteran front row Billa Chilly and Doofis showing all their experience and help provide good possession for young David Llewelyn to control the early part of the game with good line kicking that kept Rhigos penned back in their own half.

Rhigos defended with depth and determination and there was some first rate tackling from Big Rhyd Dan Dudley and Shaun Simons in particular before Rhigos pulled themselves into Hirwaun’s half. After strong running from Eggy and then Shaggy Ryan Cheshire then James Lewis combined for Luke to squeeze in at the corner for a try that he just failed to convert with a magnificent kick from the touchline.

Back came Hirwaun and forced Rhigos into a number of defensive penalties one of which Llewelyn  kicked so that Rhigos went in 5-3 up at the interval.

The second half like the first was a real ding dong affair that had both sets of supporters in the large crowd jumping about with tension and excitement as first Rhigos then Hirwaun bashed away at each other’s line. There was no jinking and dancing by classy three quarters but huge physicality and commitment and intent from both sides. For Rhigos, Huw George and Dickie Davies coped admirably with the high kicks that were Hirwaun’s main tactical weapon all afterneen, while Richard Smith and Richard Williams quietly got on with the difficult job of containing Hirwaun’s vetaern front row. Their hard work at the scrum and Rhydian Edwards and Glen Raynes contribution at the lineout with the excellent work in the loose from James Lewis, Ryan Cheshire and Dan Dudley gave Rhigos the win but only just and it was the trusty boot of Luke Williams who kicked a penalty late in the game to make a final score of 8 points to 3.

To be honest I expected quite a bit more from Rhigos but a heavy pitch a slippery ball and very committed opponents meant there was no chance of expansive rugby which suited the heavier more experienced Hirwaun pack. But a win is a win is a win and so much sweeter for being a local win.

Nick was well satisfied with lots to build on for December and what looks like a willingness from the players to train and work on their game.

Rhigos 71 Tongwynlais 0

After a bye in the first round of the Swalec Bowl, Rhigos overcame visitors Tongwnlais without too much difficulty in Round 2 and for their rewards go to Llantwit Major for Round 3.

Nick James who has just joined the Rhigos coaching staff turned up to see his new players put in a convincing performance against plucky but limited opponents from Division 6 South central.

There was a full house of players and the team picked was: Richard Williams, Ryan Cheshire, Richard Smith, Mike Lovett, Aled Williams, Dan Dudley, Glen Raynes, Nathan edevane, Huw George, Luke Williams, Ryan Williams, Aled Edwards, Kyle Hinks, Kane Evans and Dickie Davies with Simon Grindle, Rhidian Edwards, Steve Davies and Shaun Simons on the bench.

Tries came thick and fast almost from the kick off with Ryan Cheshire, Luke Williams and Kane Evans scoring and Luke converting 2 before all the crowd had settled into their seats.

Ryan Cheshire left the field for scrum half Huw George to move to hooker and allow Shaun to come on. Indeed Huw was to prove his versatility in the game where he played scrum half then hooker and then in the back row.

The game was a personal success for Luke who scored 3 tries and kicked 8 conversions for 31 points which most pundits think is the highest points scored by an individual in a single game for Rhigos. Further scores came from Shaggy, Eggy, Dickie and Shaun before substitute Big Rhyd crashed over for the final score right on time.

Nick was well pleased but even more chuffed was Ian who had seen the club’s horrid start to the season turn round with the away win at Ogmore Vale last week and today’s result with 19 players turning out for both games. Are happy days here again well let’s wait and see for a bit because next up in the League are neighbours Hirwaun who are always tough to beat.

OGMORE VALE 24 RHIGOS 27

OGMORE VALE 24 RHIGOS 27

Saturday 20th October 2012 Rhigos went to Ogmore Vale. Rhigos had 19 players. Rhigos won. It wasn’t raining. How much good news can you have for one day??

Yes it started well with us leaving the club in the bus before 1.30 p.m. With 19 players available. The middle wasn’t too bad at times with some good parts now and again and a very happy ending when Luke kicked the penalty that won the game for us twice.

The team for the day was Rhydian Williams, Ryan Cheshire, Richard Smith (Capt), Richard Williams, Aled Williams, Glen Raynes, Mike Lovatt, Dan Dudley, Huw George, Luke Williams, Kyle Hinks, Aled Edwards, Ryan Williams, Kane Evans and Dicky Davies with Rhidian Edwards, Steve Davies, Lee Morgan and Simon Grindle on the bench.

The game started badly for us with the Vale winning possession from their kick off and after a series of phases put their winger M Richards over in the corner for a try that B John converted with a fine kick from the touchline. We struggled to get to grips with the game early on but then quietly built up momentum and began to force the lively Vale backs into errors. After some good chasing Vale were guilty of not releasing in the tackle and Luke kicked 3 points. It then got a lot better quite quickly when Eggy and Shaggy combined to send Kane away outside his opposing winger. He kicked beyond the full back who turned to gather under pressure only for Eggy Edwards to charge down an attempted clearance and cross for a try that Luke converted to put us 10 – 7 in front.

Then it was Ogmore’s turn to apply the pressure and they won a penalty to pull the score back to 10 all. Five minutes later Ogmore struck again to punish indiscipline at the tackle and take the lead to 13 points to 10 from the penalty.

But then Rhigos pulled themselves back into the game with some strong running from Luke, Shaggy and Dicky put Ryan Cheshire in space and he produced a chip kick worthy of a fly half that Kane gathered as the Vale fullback hesitated and Kane flew over for a try that again Luke our burly fly half converted with an excellent kick from the touchline to put us back in front 17 points to 13 and that’s how it stayed at half time. Once again as in our games against Treherbert and Glyncoch we produced overal a really good first half.

After the interval we failed to spark at all and looked incapable of building on our lead. It was no surprise that 10 minutes into the half we conceded a penalty under the sticks that B John converted to bring Vale up to 16 points. Things went from bad to worse when Vale skated down the blind side  to send wing M Richards in for his second try in the corner just too far out for John to convert. Vale were back in front 21 points to 17.

By this time Big Rhyd had come on to the field for his second start of the season and Simon had come into the back row to try and confuse everybody. We began to play better and our backline began to link better. Indeed some close interplay between Dan Dudley and the ever present Ryan Cheshire put Eggy in for a score that was disallowed for a double movement. Then Luke cut through and we all thought he was in when wing forward D Morris appeared from nowhere to haul him down. But with 5 minutes to go the pressure at last told with substitute Steve Davies put in at the corner by some fine passing and running from forwards and backs. Luke converted from the touchline and we were in front 24 to 21 with just a few minutes to play the game was won.

Vale however had other ideas and when Luke decided to take the ball in to contact we conceded a penalty that B John converted to bring the scores level at 24 points all.

Back down field we went and this time Vale panicked and held on in the tackle too long for Rhigos to be awarded a penalty. Luke converted with a magnificent pressure kick that would have done Stephen Jones proud and we had won the game 27 points to 24 for the second time.

It was a buzz to get a win on the road and also get some good performances from Huw George Ryan Cheshire and Dan Dudley in particular. It was also great to see Farmer and Big Rhyd back. Next week home to Tongwynlais in the cup. Thank goodness October is proving a better month than September.

TREHERBERT 13 RHIGOS 3

TREHERBERT 13 RHIGOS 3

Season 2012-13 has kicked off with mixed fortunes for Rhigos RFC. On one side of the scales we have the renewal of our Youth team under the care of Geraint, Steve, Darren and Andrew and the progression to level 2 status referee for Jason Morris, both huge pluses for the club in its ongoing development. On the other side of the scales we have seen the Senior team struggle throughout pre season and September for lack of numbers.

We played Porthcawl and Tonna with 13 men and performed bravely and then managed to turn out 15 players in the victory over Blaengarw but our season really began with last Wednesday’s good attendance at training leading to a strong but ultimately losing performance to Treherbert.

For the first time this season we had 15 players and 4 subs and it was heartening to see Big Rhyd back in Rhigos kit as well as the 2 youngsters Glenn Raynes and Kane Evans who have transferred to us from Cefn Coed Youth and Ryan Cheshire who has transferred from Aberdare.

The team was Richard Smith, Ryan Cheshire, Richard Williams, Mike Lovatt, Nathan Edevane, Glenn Raynes, Dan Dudley, James Lewis, Shaun Simons, Luke Williams, Ryan Williams, Aled Edwards, Kyle Hinks, Kane Evans and Dickie Davies with Simon Grindle, Steve Davies, Huw George and Steve Davies. Everybody played in a big performance that just fell short of a win, ten minutes short of a draw. 70 minutes into the game the teams were locked in a 3-3 scoreline but then our poor pre season caught up with us and it was Treherbert that proved the stronger with 2 late tries that clinched the points for them.

The game was end to end stuff with huge physicality and plenty of excitement as first Treherbert threatened to overwhelm our defence and then we did the same to them. Both packs were really having a go at each other and now and again it got a little too warm and the referee Yellow carded the Treherbert hooker which cooled things down a bit. We were pressurising them and they just about kept us out on when desperate tackling just stopped James Lewis then Dan dudley and Kane Evans from going over. Just before half time Treherbert were penalised for another little bit of nonsense and Luke kicked the 3 points so that we led at half time.

After the break we tired and slowly but surely Treherbert gained the better of us and got the lion’s share of possession. Richard, Shaun, Glenn and Kane left the field were replaced by Rhydian, Huw, Simon and Steve. Treherbert kicked the equalising penalty after some tremendous defence kept our line intact for several minutes before we got a little over eager at the ruck with a side entry that became 3 points.

Then Dan Dudley was most unfortunate to get a Yellow card so we went down to 14 at a crucial stage of play. Then the Treherbert linesman’s flag went up then down as he realised his side had gained possession the ball went back across the line for a good score in the opposite corner. Dan came back and once again we carried the game to them but we all looked a bit tired and it was Treherbert that got the decisive score with 2 minutes left on the clock to take the game beyond us.

Never mind, it was disappointing yes but there was much to praise on the day with very strong performances from the pack well led by James Lewis, Dan Dudley and Mike Lovatt who seemed to be everywhere. At half back Shaun and Luke were strong and safe with Luke breaking the gain line 3 or 4 times in the game and the three quarters looking collectively better and more composed than for the last few seasons.

Ian was very pleased with the performance and we are all looking forward again to the next game instead of worrying about the next game.

1st XV Fixtures 2012/2013

01/09/2012
Dinas Powys v Rhigos

08/09/2012
Rhigos v Porthcawl

15/09/2012
Tonna v Rhigos

22/09/2012
Rhigos v Blaengarw

06/10/2012
Treherbert v Rhigos

13/10/2012
Rhigos v Glyncoch

20/10/2012
Ogmore Vale v Rhigos

03/11/2012
Rhigos v Hirwaun

17/11/2012
South Wales Police v Rhigos

08/12/2012
Rhigos v Pontrhydyfen

22/12/2012
Ferndale v Rhigos

05/01/2013
Rhigos v Dinas Powys

12/01/2013
Porthcawl v Rhigos

19/01/2013
Rhigos v Tonna

26/01/2013
Blaengarw v Rhigos

16/02/2013
Rhigos v Treherbert

02/03/2013
Glyncoch v Rhigos

23/03/2013
Rhigos v Ogmore Vale

30/03/2013
Hirwaun v Rhigos

06/04/2013
Rhigos v South Wales Police

 

Porthcawl 17 Rhigos 13

The last game of a long long season ended with a touch of irony because with just 4 points separating the sides and the game in the balance we all wanted 5 more minutes to try and win the game. Mad innit!!

A close score like that seemed a million miles away as we boarded the bus with just 15 players turning up to play thanks to a whole variety of reasons some good, some very good and some that were distinctly iffy. The lucky 15 were:

Richard Smith (Captain), Mike Lovatt, Richard Williams, Phil Pritchard, Steve Davies, Aaron Davies, Daniel Dudley, Jonny Smith, Lloyd Bryant, Luke Williams, Kyle Hinks, Ryan Williams, Aled Edwards, Ryan Llewelyn and Dicky Davies. There was no hooker and no back up front row so we went uncontested from the start. With 2 old wings, Phil Pritchard and Steve Davies playing second row(though we did not announce the team until they were running on to the field) you might have thought the pack looked like the Christmas turkey. Well this little turkey did not get stuffed.

We kicked off ten minutes late with 13 men because Eggy and Shaggy missed the Porthcawl turn off and were almost in Llantrisant before they realised something was wrong and just as they both eventually ran on to the field, Luke kicked a penalty to give us a 3 points to nil lead. Two minutes later we were down to 14 men when young Ryan jarred his shoulder for a nasty stinger that put him out of action.

It was a lovely sunny afternoon with a dry playing surface, a fine referee and 2 sides that were keen to run the ball in their different ways, Porthcawl through their midfield and attacking fullback and Rhigos through their back row and half backs. The tackling was in the main first rate so it was end to end stuff with Porthcawl playing down the slope for that extra bit of momentum that after 25 minutes some them set up a scrum under Rhigos posts and from the free ball a simple 8,9,10 move put in N Walker for a try that D Biggar converted. Worse was to follow for Rhigos as right on half time a loose kick was gathered by full back A Jones and he put in Walker for his second try that Biggar converted.

We turned around at half time convinced we could win the gamebecause our pack was starting to get on top and the hard running of Jonny Smith and Luke Williams and the skills of Mike Lovatt and Dan Dudley at the breakdown was giving us lots of attacking platforms and sure enough within ten minutes of restart Smithy made a super break and ran 40 yards ignored a 2 man overlap and just about bounced over the line too far out for Luke to convert. The score 14 points to 8 it was game on and both sides really went for it much to the delight of  the fans who were really entertained by the play from both sides. It seemed more like an important cup or league fixture rather than an end of season romp with nothing at stake.

Rhigos continued to press but Porthcawl broke away and this time managed to win a penalty 30 yards out that wing P James kicked for 3 points to take the points differential back up to 2 scores. Back we came again and this time we worked a neat 8,9,10 move that saw Luke cut inside the back row and outside the full back for another fine score which again was too far out for the conversion. 17 points to 13 and all to play for. Despite some strong and adventurous running the 14 man Rhigos team could not get that extra score that would win the game and the ref blew for the last No Side of 2011-12.

Once again supporters and players can be really pleased and proud even at the team performance on the field but at the end of the day 4th position in the Division was probably a fair reflection of the year. We just did not realise our full potential mainly because we were unable to get our best 15 on the field with any consistency week in and week out. If we do ever manage to get out of Division 5 it will take a lot more commitment collectively from the team to support the nuleus of 10 or so players that are there every week.

But for today, big games from Richard, Jonny, Luke, Fridge, Mike, Dan Dudley and Dickie and excellent support from the rest of the team. We really deserved a better result.

Hot news from the back room – Nathan Lewis has taken the role of Chairman of Touring and is planning a weekend next May in Beneidorm. Watch this site for more information, Keep your eyes on the Club Notice board and for goodness sake join the Sunday Club to keep up with events as we roll into Summer.