19 December 2016 / Club News

Duane Dudley - Duck Diver

In the very last second of the very last game in 2016, Duane Dudley, loose head prop and captain for the day, scored the try of his dreams with a deft toe poke that beat the defence 10 metres out and a dive like a duck into the right corner of the in ball area. Before he blew his whistle to signal the try - the referee stopped to applaud and Dai Morris said - "I was there!"

Indeed it was a good day for Rhigos with their highest score of the season coming from some excellent passing and running from the backline and direct ball winning and ball carrying from the forwards against a stubborn Cwmtwrch defence. The nine tries scored shared out pretty evenly between backs and forwards.

It was a great way to end a difficult12 months that saw us relegated from Division 3 B down to C and then struggle in Division C to impose ourselves on our opposition.

We started 2016-17 well enough with probably our best display of the season to date when we beat Pontardawe 15 - 8 at home with a fine display against very tough opponents and followed this up by a win at South Gower 20 points to 18. But in that game the weakness that was to expose us throughout September, October and November showed itself. We simply did not have enough players available week in and week out to develop any real consistency. 

The signs were there in pre season training with poor attendance records. It was not so much lack of interest but good solid reasons like work and family commitments some long term injuries were quietly accumulating to eat away at our self confidence and self belief. We always defend well and continued to do so right through those 3 months even though Mark could not field the same team 2 weeks running. The scores from the games that followed showed up this tenacity; Alltwen, lost 5 points to 11, Cefn Cribbwr, drew 7 points all, Tonna, lost 12 points to 13 and Pontrhydyfen lost 3points to 5.

Those scores also show that we were unable to impose ourselves and score ourselves - attacking takes more skills individual and collective than defending so it seems.

There are many pluses for us - we are very difficult to beat and work our socks off on the field. We never give up and battle away right up to the final whistle. It will not take much to turn over those results from L to W and we have shown in the games at the end of the year against Brackla and Cwmtwrch when we won 27 points to 10 and 57 points to 7 that the skills, organisation and game management are all there and just need a little bit of tweaking. Small margins that can be overcome by better attendance at training and perhaps 3 or 4 more players able to turn out every Saturday. 

For a small village we are doing remarkably well to keep putting out sides each week. We have good honest traditions, good work ethics on the field and a great craic off the field. At last, on 17th December 2016 we finally got it all together. This result, and a Christmas present of 3 or 4 more players added to all the good things we already have should make for a very interesting 2017.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to every player and member of Rhigos RFC in our 40th season back in Welsh rugby.


There doesn't appear to be any tagged photos.

Upload and Tag Photos

You must be signed in to add comments