05 October 2018 / Club News

Treherbert Topple The Buns In Close Encounter

St Albans RFC 19 Treherbert RFC 
(Saturday, 29 September 2018)

Game Sponsored by Michael Hicks (Aqua Pure Cleaning)
Thanks for the Food by Sponsors - Domino Pizzas

Despite resolute defence, and matching their opponent's try count, St Albans RFC suffered their first defeat of the season against an uncomprimising Treherbert team who were deserved winners,

Enforced changes, after previous week's injuries, saw the Buns field a number of new combinations - but confidence in the camp was still high.  All at the Club wish Dan Molcher (Saturday's Water Carrier), Nathan Heppell and Ellis Jones complete and speedy returns from their injuries.

With the advantage of the wind, first half, the pattern of the game became very evident from the first whistle.  Treherber had a huge pack - reinforced by some big carriers in their backs and looked to dominate possession to gain territory before launching their attacks.  The Buns played with greater attacking intent - looked threatening with ball in hand - but faced opponents determined to ensure that it would be the home side who would make most tackles.

After early pressure from Treherbert was handled well, aided by a yellow card to the away team, the Buns appeared to hit their stride.  Despite uncharateristic handling errors, the Buns were finding space and a period of home pressure saw flanker, Simon Morris, aided by team mates, cross for the opening try and a 5-0 lead.

Back to full strength, Treherbert ground out possession and territory in the first half - but the Buns defence looked strong and capable of holding out.  It came as no surprise when Treherbert having secured good field position for the umpteenth time elected to kick a penalty to bring the score back to 5-3.

The Buns were hoping that their bigger opponents would tire - and were further encouraged when bouts of possession created promising openings which were not converted.  The Buns spurned the opportunity to kick a couple of possible penalty opportunities and their enterprise appeared to be rewarded when Mike Thomas crossed wide out and converted his own try.

However this only fired Treherbert to return to their game plan, find new energy levels and return to pounding the home defence.  Again the Buns, impressively, held firm but Treherbert knocked over a second penalty to come back to 12 6.  Both sides very much in the game.

The Second Half saw Treherbert execute their game plan and make very good use of the strong following wind.  Their pack was providing a solid platform - despite the excellent Line Out work of Buns' Charley Smith - and their half backs hammered kick after kick into the Buns' half finding touch and gaining territory.  The Buns were always looking to counter attack - but eventually the Treherbert pack rumbled over for a converted try which took the away team to a 13-12 lead.  Their tails were up.

Treherbert tactics kept the Buns in a 'vice like' grip.  The Buns playing with less ball than has been the norm were looking for opportunities to break out.  Halfway through the second half, the Treherbert flanker made an impressive break and raced awalargely unopposed to dot down under the posts to set up a 20-12 lead.

The game's pattern was set.  Treherbert using the wind well - the Buns trying to break out.  It cam as no surprise when Treherbert stretched their lead with a penalty try.  Their big pack had set up a rolling maul and were rumbling towards the line - the referee adjudged a Buns forward stopped the move illegally and went straight under the posts to signal the try.  Treherbert up by 27-12

At this stage, away supporters understandably were anticipating a bonus poit win.  It was to the Buns great credit that heads did not fall and they worked their way back into the game.  First wing, Keiron James, did everything but score as some superp last ditch defending by Treherbert held him up over hte line,  However from the resulting scrum, Mike Thomas crossed for his second which he again converted.

The last few minutes were very open - Treherbert looking for the try to give them a Bonus Point - the Buns looking for a score which would have given them two bonus points.

The final score was a true reflection of the game - and the Buns look forward to the tough away trip to Treherbert later in the Season.

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