Hartridge RFC | 1st Team 18 - 21 Ynysddu RFC | 1st Team
Jeremy Roberts
7 Penalty

Match Report
08 September 2019 / Team News

Jezzas boots us to victory

On a nice sunny September afternoon, the Dees travelled to Llanwern  to take on Hartridge in the first league game of the season.

The pitch was not the usual first team pitch but the smaller sized field that is usually used by the hosts second team.  Having suffered at the hands of their speedy wingers in the last encounter Ynysddu were happy thinking this would possibly give them a little advantage until the sight of the bulky Hartridge forwards gave them the idea that the hosts maybe thinking of  making the game a forward battle which was something we would hope to avoid.

From the kick off the ball went straight out and the first scrum was set . Ynysddu ball but the juggernaut home pack pushed us off our ball to the roar of the home crowd. Nothing to get alarmed about as although the hosts backline came running at us our backs were up to the task and knocked them back and a loose ball was pounced upon and on the attack we go. Just inside their 22 and the balls turned over and out to touch on the 10-metre line. Along ball to the back was won by Ross Martin and Huish set the backs on their way. In comes Kurt who put the defender on his backside in no uncertain terms and the defence were only to happy to go off their feet and from the resulting penalty Jezza slots it over for the first points of the game. Despite both sides giving the ball plenty of air the tackles were hard and fair with the defences getting the better of the attack. On twenty minutes Hartridge decided that no arm tackles should become the norm but after two on the trot Ynysddu were within kicking range and once again Jezza supplied the points . whilst this was happening influential centre Matthew Browne had to leave the field to be replaced by Lewis Millard.

A quick reshuffle of the backs and a lovely break by Huish once again put the dds on the attack and with the scrums having settled down when Hartridge knocked on outside their 22. Scrum set and the reverse of the first scrum with the forwards driving the Hartridge 8 backwards until the penalty was awarded. Jezza steps up and slots it between the sticks.  This continued to be the story of the half as although both sides tried everything in attack the defences were equal to it and with Jezza adding another and Hartridge putting one over themselves the teams turned round with the dds 12-3 up.

It seems that the half was a dour affair but to be fair it was entertaining because both sides threw the ball about but the solid tackling of the defence was winning the day. Butch, Ross, Jamsey and Jezza putting their bodies on the line

The second half saw us go off at a rate of knots with Scottie, Jack and Jod joining Pross at taking the ball at the heart of the hartridge defence. After several runs  at looked as though we’d worked the ball to Jack out wide with the winger outside him but out of nowhere came a tackle that hit Jack off his feet and the ground quaked has he and tackler hit the floor. As the ground shock Jack knocked on and from the resulting scrum the Hartridge No8 drove forward before offloading to  their coming at speed. With our defence wrongfooted  he was almost caught  before putting in a slightly forward pass to his supporting centre who ran in at the corner. No complaints about the forward pass as the ref was doing his best to catch up with play but with our own younger players unable to do it  then we cant complain about the ref not getting there. An hour of the game gone where we had been the more dominant side we were now in a fight. With Joe having replaced Keane and Hovley and Butch replaced by the experience pair of Dan Morgan and Luke Hughes we were still finding it hard to break their defence and with Jezza and their kicker exchanging penalties we went in the last ten 15-11 to the good.

It looks as though we’d done enough when total against the run of play  Hartridge broke from deep everything looked as though our cover was in place and when the Hartridge wing ran behind their lineman everyone thought that was it but the flag for touch went up and down quicker than a rat  in a drainpipe. The ref had this views but with the flag staying down he was compelled to give the score. With the kick sailing over we now looked down at 18-15 but this side was not going to be robbed and straight from the kick off Hartridge dropped the ball forward and from the scrum  Hartridge were penalised and Jezza  sniffing a change he quickly tapped and went but he was dragged down within the 10 but managed to offload to the supporting Luke Hughes who drove with determination towards the line carrying three defenders with him only for the ref to say he was held up. However the penalty was awarded for the tackle within 10 and with everyone’s timepieces showing 80 minutes instructions to take the points were given and Jezza complied 18-18. With everyone expecting the final whistle the ref made the statement that there was still 5 minutes to play!!.

From the kick off we worked our way back into their half and after some forward drives the ball was released to Jezza who was tackled low by the one defender but the other decided he wanted to rip off Jezzas head. Penalty conceded up steps Jezza ball goes sailing between the sticks 21-18. Time only for the kick off which fittingly sailed into the arms of Jezza who just pumped if off the park.

A game that was hard physical and draining, and that was just for us supporters!!.

Although we failed to score a try it was more about how well they defended, we conceded two although neither looked legal especially the second. We selected a squad that was up for it and showed better fitness. We gone to a hard place to go and returned with the points not many will do that this season I’m sure.

Next week we take on the Professionals in what will be a hard game but given the effort put in today I’m sure there will be no quarter given.

When I get time to speak to the Rats support team a report of their game will be given. It won’t be this long but hopefully we’ll have one  


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