Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ebbw Vale 45 Blackwood 6, SWALEC Championship, 05/10/13

Ebbw Vale ultimately romped to another bonus point victory over Championship opposition in what may well turn out to be a procession to the league title en route back to the WRU Premiership.
That said, with a half time score of only 12-6, and a first half display of some disjointedness, it needed a string of second half substitutions for Ebbw to hit top gear.

Shamefully, this was my first home game of the season (see blog posts for 14st and 21st of September :)) and so there were plenty of new faces for me to get used to go alongside the familiar ones of Ross Jones, Robert Sevenoaks, Ronnie Kynes, Wes Cunliffe and Ashley Sweet. They were as good as ever, but of the newbies, Gareth Rusby-Davies was outstanding on the blind side of the pack, hooker Joe Franchi was lively, and lock Joe Bartlett put in a good hour. Liam Roberts as a livewire at 9, and Carl Meyer has the look of a class act about him at 10 or 15, whilst centre Jack Flower broke tackles down the middle.

The catch and driving maul is executed to perfection these days and is virtually undefendable. Keynes may break club try scoring records through it! The scrum is solid and Sweet continues to rule the lineout. This was the basis of Ebbw's 7 tries.

The WRU have granted Ebbw an A licence now that the floodlights have been modernised and there's some cover on the bank. This means that winning the Championship this season will take the Steelmen back to their rightful place in Welsh Rugby's top flight of club rugby, the Premiership. With 5 wins from 5 games, it looms promising, and the backs are only going to get better as they play together more.

Nonetheless, next Saturday brings probably the toughest test yet, as we visit our old friends at Pontypool, who lie second to Ebbw. Come through that one, and Ebbw have one hand on the title.

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