Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ebbw Vale 31 Cardiff Metropolitan University 3, SWALEC Championship, 25/01/14

It wasn't quite the usual 'walk in the park' for Ebbw Vale as plucky students, some filthy weather and an over-fussy referee created some difficulties along the way to what was ultimately another bonus point victory.

About 5 minutes after kick off, the threatened heavy rain delivered on its promise and therefore many supporters took temporary refuge in the 'Magic Tent' at the bottom of the bank. Nonetheless, this didn't stop Ebbw forcing 2 penalty tries out of referee Rob Price following intense scrummaging pressure.

Indeed, despite driving rain, the Vale played some good running rugby with the wind at their backs and could have gone in further ahead than the 17-0 interval score. The students from Cardiff Met (Cardiff College of Education or SGIHE in old money) fought hard though, and would have turned around with hopes of a comeback with the elements.

Such hopes were dashed as a 3rd successive penalty try from a scrum was awarded giving the home side a comfortable 24-0 lead. [It would be interesting to know if there has ever been a case of the first three tries of a rugby match being of the penalty variety.]

A pattern of play followed in which referee Rob Jones did his best to penalize every Ebbw Vale infringement whilst ignoring persistent offside by the visitors. Eventually, the Met got a 3 pointer. 

Ebbw addicts, fearing a 'no bonus point Saturday', were relieved late in the 2nd half when outstanding number 8 Cameron Reagan, who has really come into his own this winter, got the crucial 4th touchdown ensuring that Ebbw Vale maintained their 22 point advantage at the top of the table.

League rugby now takes a 4 week break whilst we endure the yawnfest of the 6 Nations - wave at the camera won't you?

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Ebbw Vale 71 Beddau 13, SWALEC Cup, 04/01/14

It was yet another home demolition day for the Steelmen as their pace and power was evidently too much for the visitors from near Pontypridd in this SWALEC 1st round cup tie.
With the match declared 'on' early on Saturday morning, it was a question of what the pitch would be like following a week in which Noah was thinking of building a second ark. Incredibly, the surface was barely damaged by the recent heavy rainfall and held up well throughout the encounter.
A smaller crowd than at Christmas time came along but enjoyed some rampant try scoring by Ebbw as well as some bizarre referring from Chris Williams.
By half time, Ebbw had moved into a 26-6 lead with the usual scrummaging power, tight mauling and incisive back play.
Pics (taken with new Nikon so bear with me)

A Vale catch and drive......

.....sets up Rhys Clarke....

......for the 1st of his 4 tries from lock

Beddau rallied briefly at the start of the second half, but Vale's superior fitness told in the end. Try scorers were Clarke (4), Ashley Sweet, Liam Roberts, Spencer Gibson (2), Wes Cunliffe, Dai James and Ronnie Kynes, with 8 of the 11 tries being converted.
2nd half pics

It's unlikely Ebbw will be in action next Saturday as scheduled opponents Bargoed will have to play their postponed cup tie. The club visit Narberth on the 18th of January.