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.