Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ebbw Vale 63 Bridgend Athletic 3, SWALEC Championship. 17/11/12

On an afternoon which my Nan would have described as 'turning nippy', Ebbw Vale completely overwhelmed the visitors from Bridgend by running in 9 converted tries, and quite frankly could have had more.
Playing in a startling pink number more designed for the evening's BBC showing of Strictly Come Dancing, the faster and fitter Steelmen showed many a nifty turn of foot to outflank and outpace the opposition and reaffirm their position at the top of the league.

The Official Ebbw Vale website puts it best:

"In an excellent display of running rugby, Ebbw scored 9 tries to send a combative Bridgend Athletic side to a comprehensive defeat. Outside half Dan Haymond was in magnificent kicking form, converting all of his team's tries and adding a try of his own in a superb performance that saw him accumulate 23 points. Ebbw's first score came from Wes Cunliffe (his fifth in three games), who intercepted on half way and sped away to cross under the posts. Bridgend Athletic were certainly not slow to attack Ebbw, but the home defence was solid and, when the turnover came, Jamie Jones broke down the left and kicked ahead for the alert Adam Jones to bag the second. Ross Jones almost made it to the line for Ebbw's third, but was tackled just short. Ebbw continued the drive but were held up over the line. The subsequent scrum saw Athletic retreating rapidly under immense pressure and, when their front row dropped, referee Mr Shorte had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try. Athletic were next on the scoreboard, outside half Steve Lewis stroking a penalty after a breakdown offence by the home side, but it was soon all back on track as a breathtaking break and offload by the inform Cunliffe put Chris Thomas over for the bonus point try. It was 28-3 at half time.

In fairness to the visitors, they continued to try and play rugby, looking to move the ball from deep and often driving well around the fringes. It was just that Ebbw were better at doing what they were doing: not over-committing to breakdowns, defending well across the field and tackling fiercely. With ball in hand, the Steelmen played with tremendous pace, always supporting the ball carrier and looking to offload. Wales, take note! Five more tries came to Ebbw, through, Josh Lewis, the rampant Cameron Reagan, Dan Haymond replacement Polu Uhi and a brilliant individual effort by Charlie Simpson, who caught a clearance wide on the left, jinked past several defenders and danced down the touchline past covering opponents. Inevitably, Haymond goaled it and the victory was complete."



We now have a ludicrous 3 week break from league action whilst the primadonnas at the Millenium Stadium attempt to justify high salaries and ticket prices. Yawn.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Bonafide, Steelhouse, Ebbw Vale, 16/11/12

Another superb night at the Ebbw Vale Steelhouse last Friday as Swedish rockers Bonafide kicked off their UK tour with a blistering hour and a bit set.
If you weren't there and want to imagine what it was like, just dig out AC/DC live in Paris 1977, and you'll get a pretty good idea.
Every track is so influenced by the Aussie legends, you end up going, "Oh that's like Sin City, that one's like The Jack, oh and that one's Let There Be Rock".
Nonetheless, they can certainly play and entertain and that's what they did.
Able supported by SKAM, there was a good crowd present, many of whom had travelled from some distance. It's excellent to see this fine rock venue thriving.
I caught them at Hard Rock Hell in 2011, but couldn't recall much about that, due to, err, tiredness, until I heard their trademark number, "Fill Your Heads With Rock". What a great crowd pleaser that is.
Any band that can finish off with "I Don't Need No Doctor" and The Who's "I Can't Explain" (a perfect a 3 minute piece of 1960s pop rock that you'll ever hear) is alright by me.

We even had frontman Pontus Snibb taking a full tour of the rugby club, Angus style complete with guitar.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bargoed away

Good luck to the boys tomorrow as Ebbw Vale RFC travel to league leaders Bargoed in what will undoubtedly be the toughest scrap of the season.
If we play to our best we'll win, but it'll be tough.

Update 04/11/12

Bargoed 3 Ebbw Vale 10 - excellent, it also means this:

Happy days!