Fixture

Hartridge RFC | 1st Team 19 - 16 Caerphilly RFC | 1st Team

Match Report
07 February 2017 / Team News

Caerphilly Hearts Broken at Llanwern

Caerphilly suffered their first defeat in 14 League and Cup matches at Llanwern High School last weekend losing to fellow promotion chasing Hartridge by a mere 3 points, earning a bonus point that could well be vital at the season end.

Playing against a big pack on a narrow pitch it’s not difficult to understand how Hartridge have maintained their winning streak in the league, the only team with a 100% record. It was Caerphilly, however, that had the first chance as centre Matthew Nuthall broke out of defence running from 22 to 22 before being caught, the ball lost in the tackle and advantage to the home side.

The next 10 minutes belonged to Hartridge who found themselves ahead after just minutes later winning a simple penalty as the Caerphilly defence were found offside during an attack. The conversion was quickly followed by a try from the right wing. Having kicked for touch from another penalty the lineout was spoiled somewhat by the visiting defence, however, maintaining possession the home side moved through several phases the winger eventually breaking through numerous missed tackles to score under the posts leaving the simple conversion.

Caerphilly came back hard and the boot of outside half Matthew Hurley was on hand to slot the difficult kick and reduce the deficit. Both sides huffed and puffed but neither could break down each other’s defence until Caerphilly managed to play the style of rugby that has brought them so many points this season. Swinging the ball through the centres and moving from right to left the forwards eventually straightened the attack and they nearly crossed under the posts. Quick ruck ball saw the paly move wide, and with the defence stretched winger Will Worthington crossed out wide for Caerphilly’s first try, Hurley missing the difficult kick.

Another penalty for the home side was cancelled out for the visitors on the stroke of half time by Hurley, leaving the score well poised on 13-11 at the interval in favour of the home side.

The second half began well for the visitors with centre Chris Thomas making yards through the centre. Recycling the paly, the ball was spun wide again, and still with much to do just inside the 10mtr line, winger Gareth Dare broke through 3 tackles to score under the posts. Unfortunately for Caerphilly, the kick followed a low trajectory and was charged down, leaving the visitors with a slender 3 point lead.

The game seemed to fall apart for both sides at this point, with some interesting decisions from the match referee, many in favour of the home side, before they levelled the score on 53 minutes a well taken penalty wide on the right sailing between the uprights. With both ringing the changes and scrappy play a series of penalties for the home side ensured they maintained possession with the visitors struggling to get out of their own half, poor handling a contributing factor. Hartridge made the best of the decisions going for them and put themselves ahead with the decisive kick through the posts on 65 minutes adding another penalty.

Unable to break down the home defence the score remained at 19-16 until the end as the home side kept on the pressure and starved the visitors of any attack, keeping play in the Caerphilly half of the field to take the vital 4 points.

Elsewhere the 2nd team welcomed visiting Builth Wells 2ndXV to the Contructaquote stadium defeating them by 45 points to 26 with Ben Candy scoring a hat trick of tries, Dan Jones, Gary Davies, Will Oliver and Luke Phillips also crossing the whitewash, the latter adding 2 conversions, whilst Jack Lucey came on to add a further 3 to the score line.

Caerphilly’s next outing will be their National League Bowl Quarter Final fixture to be played home at the Contructaquote Stadium on Saturday February 18th, Kick off 2:30pm. A win could put them through to a semi-final appearance at the Principality Stadium. The game has been billed as a must see between the 2 local rivals and will be well attended.

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