Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ebbw Vale 16 Carmarthen Quins 6, 18/02/12

Ebbw Vale followed their previous round victory over Newport by claiming another Premier Division scalp in the form of Carmarthen Quins.

It was like an Ebbw cup display from around 30 years ago as a strong and dogged pack, marshalled by a combative and snappy scrum half, ground the opposition down through sheer teamwork and organisation. Actually, it was a bit more than that, they were all round better than the visitors from down West.

The Ebbw website said:

"Ebbw had the better of the first half, despite trailing 6-3, having dominated possession and territory as Carmarthen didn't make the most of the strong wind blowing down from Beaufort. With the wind at their backs after the turn round, Ebbw put the ball in behind the Quins' back three, with Dorian Jones and Charlie Simpson kicking superbly. Carmarthen's defence was very well organised, making it difficult for the Steelmen to turn possession and territory into points, but they offered very little in attack and never looked like scoring a try.

As the half wore on, Ebbw's forwards turned up the pressure and, with skipper Damien Hudd leading the effort, began to make inroads, dominating the set scrums and putting together phase after phase of rucks and mauls. Dorian Jones struck an excellent drop goal to tie the scores, then landed a 60 metre penalty from inside his own half to give Ebbw the lead for the first time. Carmarthen tried desperately to break the red, green and white stranglehold. When they tried to run the ball, they were cut down by Ebbw's back row of Ronny Kynes, Ethan Matthews and the warhorse Nicky Coughlin - and by one bone-crunching tackle by captain Damien that had supporters in the stand standing to applaud.

When they tried to kick themselves free, it was often down the throat of Simpson who returned it with interest.Ebbw's constant pressure led to a series of scrums deep in the visitors' 22 where Ross Jones, Mathew WiIliams and Rob Sevenoaks had their opposite numbers in all sorts of trouble. Twice Carmarthen infringed, leading first to a reset, then a penalty. Ebbw opted to scrummage again, the Quins' pack disintegrated and the referee awarded the inevitable penalty try. Dorian Jones converted to give Ebbw an excellent victory that proved the performance at Newport was no flash in the pan."

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ebbw Vale v Newbridge - Match postponed!

Oh well, after a busy old start to 2012 I was really looking forward to my first live rugby match of the year with the visit of Gwent neighbours Newbridge but sadly the hard overnight frost and ice has put that one to bed.

Unfortunately this now leaves Ebbw with another Gwent Derby to fit in alongside Tredegar and Bargoed.

Today's match ball sponsor would have been Eye For Finance :)